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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Convert Blog Posts Into Audio Podcasts By Leveraging Your RSS Feed

There are certainly many ways to deliver content in the Web and podcasting has become one of the most popular. Thanks to podcasting, the possibility to provide Internet users with the capability to actually "listen" to the news (and not just read them on the screen) is nowadays a reality and should not be ignored by whomever wants to become a problogger.

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Moreover, the action of transforming a blog into a podcast not only facilitates those Web surfers who are willing to experience a new way of reading their favorite news, but also opens many doors to those bloggers who wish to maximize their revenue income by making their content accessible in alternative ways.

But how can you do that?

It's not complicated at all: simply by using your blog's RSS feed and some web-based text-to-speech technology, you can instantly turn your blog (or a blog you want to "listen to") into an effective podcast and have each single post read to you by an artificial voice.

In this mini-guide I review for you some of the most interesting web-based technologies that allow you to turn blogs into podcasts. As usual, you are more than welcome to suggest and revise our data through the comment section available at the bottom of the article.




Your blog's RSS feed plays a very important role when it comes to transforming text into a podcast. The RSS feed, in fact, contains all your blog posts (the length of the incorporated text depends on your settings) and it represents the key element you need in order to set up your blog-to-podcast service.

Here is a list of the currently available web services (each one provided with a mini-review) that let you do it without having to rely on any particular knowledge:



RSS To Podcast Web-Based Services



Feed2Podcast

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Feed2Podcast is a web-based service that lets you instantly turn any RSS feed into a podcast. Feed2Podcast technology is based on the use of a text to speech tool and the resulting voice is very human-alike. Bloggers might be interested in offering an audio version of their blogs to be published in podcast directories. Users just need to copy the RSS feed of the website and paste it into Feed2Podcast homepage: the site will automatically generate a link that will result into a podcast version of the blog. Feed2Podcast is completely free to use.

Link: http://www.feed2podcast.com/



Odiogo

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Odiogo allows to convert any RSS feed into a podcast: in other words, if a website provides a RSS feed, you can podcast it with Odiogo. This service offers Automatic podcast generation and detailed download statistics. Bloggers can also earn money from ads placed in the generated file. Odiogo monitors the feeds to be podcast: whenever a change is spotted, Odiogo processes the new content, automatically excluding "non-content" parts of the page (such as links, images, ads, etc.) to ensure that they will not be included in the generated MP3 file. Free to use.

Link: http://www.odiogo.com/



Talkr

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Talkr provides a service that allows you to listen to your favorite text news and blogs rather than read them. Point to it an RSS feed and Talkr will convert it from text to speech. Talkr can also provide you with a podcast. This means that you can plug your MP3 player into your home computer once a day and Talkr gives you hours of audio content with no additional work on your part. Talkr keeps tabs of your RSS feeds and sends audio to your computer as those audio files become available. The service has several subscription options, both free and paid.

Link: http://www.talkr.com/



Audiodizer

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AudioDizer produces high quality, text-to-speech MP3 podcasts for every single article or story on your website. AudioDizer podcasts can be customized to include music for branding and personalization, podcast advertising insertion and targeting and a variety of male and female voices/accents. AudioDizer creates an RSS feed that enables your readers to easily subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or their preferred service. It's all very simple, automated, and only requires you to publish a link on your website. Contact the developers for pricing.

Link: http://www.audiodizer.com/



ReadSpeaker

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ReadSpeaker XT is a server-based product that speech-enables your website for the benefit of people who would like to listen as well as read. ReadSpeaker XT is available in the most spoken languages (English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Danish, Italian, Dutch, Norwish, Brazilian, Japanese). ReadSpeaker XT does not require any downloads, installation or plug-ins of software and works on Windows, Mac, Linux and SUN. ReadSpeaker XT supports most browsers including Internet Explorer, Netscape, Opera, Safari, Mozilla and Lynx. Free of charge for the user. No prices available on the website.

Link: http://www.readspeaker.com/



Few Tips To Help You Improve Your RSS To Podcast Experience

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Here are some suggestions to maximize the advantages of transforming your blog into a self-standing podcast:

  • Don't generate a podcast of your blog's homepage

    Remember that if you enter the URL of your homepage in the blog-to-podcast service, it will generate a podcast that will include only the text that is displayed on the homepage. Hence, if you are used to posting one paragraph of the article in the homepage with a link to the extended entry, the blog-to-podcast service will read only that paragraph.



  • Make sure you have your rss feed set to display the full post, and not just an extract

    For the above mentioned reason, it is better if you paste a link to the podcast at the beginning of every article you publish: by doing this, readers will be capable to listen to the whole article, and not just to the first paragraphs that appear in the homepage.



  • Pay attention to the text included in the podcast

    Make sure the service you are using does not include images, ads and all those textual elements that are not your content. If not, the tool you are using to convert text into audio might not recognize the difference and it would then generate a confusing audio file.



  • Podcast comments to your blog posts

    It might be a good and original idea to provide also a podcast of the comments posted to your articles. If your readers are particularly interested in following the comments to a specific article they might like to have the possibility to "listen" to them as soon as they appear online.



  • Create a podcast directory of your articles

    Consider adding a navigable audio archive of your articles by using the services I have reviewed. It can bring added value to your blog, offering an alternative way to access your latest news. Furthermore, it is worth considering the benefits that an audio version of your blog posts can bring to the visually impaired or those with reading difficulties.



  • Listen to what others say about you

    Another cool thing you could do if you are a blogger is to perform a Google Blog search for your blog tags, take the RSS feed from the search results and make that into a podcast: this way you will be able to listen to what people are saying about your blog.



Read More On RSS Feeds And Podcasting

Here is a list of interesting articles published on this website that you can read in order to know more about how to create RSS feeds and how to start your podcasting experience.



Photo credit

Arrows and target: Tatiana53



Originally written by Livia Iacolare for Master New Media and originally published as: "How To Turn Blog Posts Into Podcasts With The Help Of RSS Feeds"

Livia Iacolare -
 
 
 
Readers' Comments    
2009-03-13 03:40:51

Ami

Using Odiogo and it's simply amazing. Cannot get enough of it, and it's free!



2008-04-18 12:34:33

Jean

Is there any in spanish?



2007-12-09 07:18:13

Luca Mascaro

Hi, yesterday we have announced a new service www.dixero.com for vocalize the RSS feeds that work in opposite mode, enable the users to vocalize ours favorites feeds :)



2007-12-04 17:52:41

podcaster

I have been a user of AudioDizer and love their service. They just added a new client in australia using some new voices. the music they are using sounds really good. anyone else have any thoughts?



 
posted by on Sunday, May 13 2007, updated on Friday, February 26 2010


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