Bombarded with feeds full of text from your favourite blogs? Australian startup SoundGecko converts articles into speech. The mission is simple: to turn your favorite blogs into MP3 files for later listening.
Essentially, what SoundGecko does is allow website owners to easily integrate a WP plugin and a general purpose “listen” button widget. These will allow readers to easily listen to the website content with SoundGecko. Here’s how it looks like:
Founded by Ed Hooper, Andrew Armstrong, and Long Zheng, SoundGecko is a product of 121cast, an audio blogging platform. In November 2012, 121cast raised $250,000 investment led by SingTel and is an inaugural recipient of the Optus Innov8 Seed Program. Stuart Richardson and Darcy Naunton, the cofounders of Australia based early-stage venture capital investment firm, Adventure Capital also sit on the board of SoundGecko.
With the button’s incorporation into 90-plus websites since its soft launch last week, 121cast has taken another step towards making the web listen-friendly, following the release of its mobile apps for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.
Rob Skillington, lead developer behind the listen button, said the focus of the new feature was on making it as easy to listen to web content as possible. “We’ve had a lot of demand from users for an easy way to implement SoundGecko on their websites; this is a great way we can help more people access content the way they want,” Rob said.
While the service boasts over 24,000 users and over 2,000 listens per day last September according to TechCrunch, with mobile on the rise as a medium for media consumption, will an audio file be preferred over text? Maybe. Maybe not. One thing for sure, the text-to-speech transcription service is certainly doing something different.
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