With a whole wide web of content to sift through, many readers of online content might find they simply can’t read everything they want to. However, a new form of audio platform – the soon to be launched “Spoken Editions” will see Apple enabling users to make the best use of their time by delivering spoken versions of publisher content as podcasts, so users can listen to the news when their eyes are otherwise engaged – in the car, at the gym, while out walking.
The service itself hasn’t been officially announced. TechCrunch initially uncovered Spoken Editions while perusing iTunes, only to find that the publication itself has a presence, alongside several other publishers in early tests of the platform.
Also noted, was that larger publications like Wired, which will have Spoken Editions for “Business,” “Science” and its homepage, had their own section.
So, will this be a simple text-to-audio conversion? Yes and no – while it looks like these episodes will deliver a selection of online content, it’s not auto-generated. We have to look to the source of the platform. As noted in TechCrunch’s coverage, the podcasts are powered by SpokenLayer, a company that works with media groups to prepare their content for the audio medium.
They use voiceover actors to read out publisher-content, and attempt to match a publisher with an appropriate voice – i.e. a voiceover artist that will become an established part of the content for listeners.
Spoken Editions looks set to launch in October, and is likely to arrive alongside a tweaked-iTunes update. So, if you’re already a fan of podcasts, or this sounds like something that’ll encourage you to get involved with listening to online and downloadable spoken audio on your device, then keep an eye out next month for Spoken Editions in iTunes.
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