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article imageNew Text-to-Speech Tool Lets You Hear Digital Journal Articles, Download as MP3

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By Chris Hogg     Dec 19, 2008 in Internet
Digital Journal is proud to announce a partnership with VoiceCorp. Using VoiceCorp's realistic text-to-speech technology called ReadSpeaker, you can now listen to every single article on DigitalJournal.com or save them as MP3s to listen while one the go.
Text-to-speech technology has come a long way over the years, from the early days of robotic voices to today's more realistic-sounding narration.
Digital Journal is happy to stay on the leading-edge of technology, with a partnership with VoiceCorp. Using the company's ReadSpeaker technology, readers are now able to "hear" all articles on the site as well as download them as MP3s for playback on your phone or music player.
When we first heard ReadSpeaker, we were amazed at how realistic the "robot" voice sounded. Our follow-ups with the company revealed a technology that was far more advanced than we initially thought, and it certainly wasn't robotic.
ReadSpeaker uses an actual human voice recording and controls pacing, pitch and intonation based on the punctuation surrounding each word. We've known a lot of text-to-speech technology, and ReadSpeaker has certainly stood out in the pack with a very realistic-sounding product that works well.
So why are we implementing text-to-speech technology on DigitalJournal.com? There are a few reasons:
First and foremost, we wanted to provide a service to our readers who are visually impaired, or to those who have difficulty reading. With the Web playing host to so much content, we looked across the industry and found a lot of today's news coverage was still inaccessible to those who have a tough time reading or seeing text on a page. As VoiceCorp notes, more than 20 per cent of the Western world suffers from some kind of reading disability, and it's even higher in other parts of the world. ReadSpeaker bridges that gap by allowing everyone to "hear" an article by having someone read it aloud.
Secondly, we looked at Web habits of younger generations and Internet multi-taskers and realized there was a service we could offer them as well; if you're the type of person who has 10 tabs open on your browser and you don't have time to read everything, you can now press "play" on a Digital Journal article and then multi-task in other tabs. ReadSpeaker will dictate the article to you while you surf, providing a radio experience that frees up your eyes.
Finally, as more of us today are busy travellers, we might want to download articles as an MP3 and take it with us on the road. Click on the articles that interest you, download them as an MP3 and throw them on your phone, MP3 player or portable media device and listen to them wherever you are.
We thank everyone again for their continued feedback as we work to improve our services. As always, we invite you to comment on this article, or send us your thoughts and ideas by email.
Click Play on the top of this page (below the headline) to hear ReadSpeaker in action, or download this announcement as an MP3 (Click "save as MP3" to download an article in audio format, or right-click on the link as Save Target As). For more info on ReadSpeaker, check out VoiceCorp's site here.
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More about Digital Journal, Readspeaker, Text-to-speech, Visually impaired
 

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