NYTCO’s International Herald Tribune is offering users the beta of AudioNews, which produces a stream or download of any IHT article; it’s the first English-language newspaper use for the text-to-audio service from Swedish company ReadSpeaker. It requires minimal registration — too much to hope that a registration from another NYTCO property would work. Users can select articles or sections, creating a custom podcast; unfortunately, it’s either a section or a single article at a time.
Nifty notion but the reading by the robotic British-sounding female voice needs work. I listened to the stream of the June Allyson obituary and it was rife with mis-pronunciations — including pronouncing the dead star’s name as “a-lie-son”.
Reuters: The IHT is providing the audio service free and without advertising temporarily as it makes changes and improvements, but is seeking advertisers to help generate revenue…”We would probably put on five to 10 seconds of an audio ad, and we’re considering doing it on every third or fifth article.”