more rss to voice shenanigans

With a little research it turns out that RSS to Voice is not a new technology at all – there have been services around since at least 2005 but I just hadn’t heard of them. VocalFruits is *almost* but not quite, there. It gives you a public page that lists all your posts and was easy to set-up, but it’s a pay service (after the first 100 listens) and it’s truncating the translations for some reasons, so I need to find something better.

Aah! Worked out why it was truncating – I had my feed settings at “Summary” rather than “Complete” – you set this from Dashboard/Options/Write. I’m glad I found that actually as it annoys me when sites only feed me a summary and it’s generally considered a bit *rude* in the blogosphere.

Anyway – hopefully that will fix VocalFruits, in which case I’ll probably just stick with that. I’ve registered the site at Talkr – another RSS-voice tool, so anyone who has an account with them can hear it, and I was looking at Odiogo, which seems to have the neatest solution – a button that you can insert in each post which opens a player on the page. It doesn’t work with WordPress at the moment though and it’s ad-supported, but voice quality is good.

So – what did I learn? Well firstly it’s a lot easier to just do this stuff and see what happens than it is to research it in advance and try to work it out in theory. Altogether I’ve spent about 3 hours on this – and most of that was troubleshooting/research, it only takes 5 mins to sign up to VocalFruits. Secondly, that this enables a feature that I didn’t have to choose – blogs give you an RSS feed automatically. It’s like having a web-page with an output on it: you may not know what you can plug it into but if it isn’t there you’re stuffed. What I’m looking for now is a service that will take the entire text of this site and stick it into a TagCloud so I can see what I’m talking about.


vocalfruits – testing, testing, testing

Vocalfruits is a site that promises to take an RSS feed and turn it into a Voice feed (it’s tagline is “Compose your vocal information system”). I’ve only just signed up for it and don’t really get how it works yet – but as a test I’ve registered my first feed (this page) and I’m supposed to get a voice called KATE to read it back to me.

If I’m being a bit vague it’s because the site isn’t massively clear – translated from French I would guess and without much of a tour – it’s a partner to a site called xFruits that offers a variety of widgets for mashing RSS feeds and/or converting them to post/mobile/mail formats – but it made me go “Wow!” when I saw it and Web2.0 is a lot about the wow. So I’ve stuck some code in a text widget at the top of the page – lets see what it does.


ScienceHack is a video search site where all the videos are screened by a scientist/specialist to verify their quality and accuracy. It pulls videos from Youtube/Googlevideo/VideoJug etc and presents a neat search page so you can search by discipline. You can also subscribe via rss, so it will automatically update you when new content is added. This is a clip about Milgram’s Obedience to Authority experiments at Yale in 1963.