The Next Web: This Chrome extensions turns articles into audio playlists

The Next Web: This Chrome extensions turns articles into audio playlists. “As a reporter, I have to read a lot of articles every day, and I often can’t get around to all the tabs I open by the time I clock out. It’s frustrating as hell, and I’ve been looking for a solution to clear my reading queue. Thankfully, I came across Podcastle, a Chrome extension that solved all my problems. On the surface, it’s just a text-to-speech converter — and there are many of them out there — but it comes with extra bells and whistles that are actually useful. And unlike other text-to-speech tools, it works across tabs so you can control your listening queue and playback for several articles in one place.”

MakeUseOf: 6 Free Online Tools to Download Text-to-Speech as MP3 Audio

MakeUseOf: 6 Free Online Tools to Download Text-to-Speech as MP3 Audio. “Text to speech tools help you turn the written word into the spoken word. Text to speech technology has come a long way over the years, with male and female voices, different accents, and the ability to control volume, pitch, rate, and more. If you need a service to convert text to speech and then download it as an MP3 file, we’ve rounded up the best free websites to do that. The emphasis here is on tools that give you a file at the end of it, rather than just playing the conversion.”

Mashable: Brilliant paramedic uses voice-to-text app to talk with patients who lipread

Mashable: Brilliant paramedic uses voice-to-text app to talk with patients who lipread. “In case you needed one more reason to be in complete awe of first responders handling the COVID-19 pandemic, paramedic Danny Hughes is here to help. On Friday, the UK-based medical professional, who currently works for South East Coast Ambulance Services per his Twitter bio, shared his inventive solution for speaking to patients who lipread while wearing a mask.”

Library of Congress: Experimenting with speech-to-text and collections at the Library

Library of Congress: Experimenting with speech-to-text and collections at the Library. “This guest blog post is shared by Chris Adams, Solutions Architect in the Office of the Chief Information Officer/IT Design & Development Directorate, and Julia Kim, Digital Projects Coordinator at the National Library for the Blind and Print Disabled at the Library of Congress, formerly the Digital Assets Specialist at the American Folklife Center, supporting digitized and digital multi-format content for digital preservation and access workflows. In this post, they share more about exploring the feasibility of off-the-shelf tools to enhance description and aid in processing of Library of Congress collections. Read on for more background on the phases of the Speech-to-Text-Viewer experiment from creating the viewer interface to exploring its utility in processing workflows.”

Make Tech Easier: The Best Web Apps to Dictate Your Docs and Notes

Make Tech Easier: The Best Web Apps to Dictate Your Docs and Notes . “You probably know Google Docs supports dictation in dozens of languages, but what if Google Docs’s ‘live dictation’ feels a bit restrictive, or you don’t like the complicated interface? There are alternatives to Google Docs with practically the exact same levels of accuracy (since they use the same Google Voice API), but a different interface, that could be better-tailored to your needs. Let’s see how you can use some of the best web apps to type with your voice instead of your keyboard.”

SEO Roundtable: Google Video Spam Through Text-To-Speech Technology

SEO Roundtable: Google Video Spam Through Text-To-Speech Technology. “Roger Montti posted on Twitter that he is seeing more and more spammers using a technique to spam Google through videos. In short, the spammers would find the top ranking content, use text-to-speech software to create automated videos of the content, while using the featured image as the background to the video. Then those videos would rank in Google search.”

Lifehacker: How To Get Google Assistant To Read Notifications From Third-Party Apps

Lifehacker: How To Get Google Assistant To Read Notifications From Third-Party Apps. “Previously, Google Assistant could only read messages from Android Messages and Google Hangouts aloud — and not very well, either. Now, the sky is the limit: Google Assistant can read your messages from third-party apps such as Slack, WhatsApp, Discord, Telegram, and even Google’s own finicky apps like Google Voice.”

Lifehacker: Use a Text to Voice Reader to Check for Written Mistakes

Lifehacker: Use a Text to Voice Reader to Check for Written Mistakes. “When you want to make a good impression in a cover letter or written submission, it’s incredibly frustrating to discover later that you left out a word in the very first sentence. Our brains don’t always catch simple mistakes, so it can’t hurt to enlist a little digital help as well.”

App Advice: Articulu Turns Content From the Web Into Natural Sounding Audio

App Advice: Articulu Turns Content From the Web Into Natural Sounding Audio. “After downloading the app, you can see suggested articles in a number of different sections including popular, tech, news business, lifestyle, and more. But easily the best feature is to select any URL and have the app turn into an audio article.” Nice idea. Does have a monthly fee if you want unlimited use.

TechCrunch: Pocket’s reading app won’t sound so robotic now

TechCrunch: Pocket’s reading app won’t sound so robotic now. “Last year, Mozilla made its first acquisition by snatching up Pocket, the Instapaper competitor that helps you save longer articles for later reading. Today, this popular reading app is getting a major update that gives its app a visual makeover, including a new dark mode, and most importantly, a better way to listen to the content you’ve saved.”

TechCrunch: Google updates its speech services for developers

TechCrunch: Google updates its speech services for developers. “Google Cloud’s Text-to-Speech and Speech-to-Text APIs are getting a bunch of updates today that introduce support for more languages, make it easier to hear auto-generated voices on different speakers and that promise better transcripts thanks to improved tools for speaker recognition, among other things.”

Google Blog: Make Google read it

Google Blog: Make Google read it. “We launched Google Go last year as a lightweight, faster way to search the web on devices which may have less space or less reliable internet connections…. Today, we’re launching a new feature which will let everyone using Google Go’s browser listen to webpages out loud. Powered by natural language processing and speech synthesis AI, this technology can read aloud billions of webpages in 28 languages smoothly, and in a natural sounding voice, even on 2G connections. It also uses minimal cellular data.”

The Verge: Google launches more realistic text-to-speech service powered by DeepMind’s AI

The Verge: Google launches more realistic text-to-speech service powered by DeepMind’s AI. “Google is launching a new AI voice synthesizer as part of its suite of machine learning cloud tools. The service, named Cloud Text-to-Speech, will be available for any developer or business that needs voice synthesis on tap, whether that’s for an app, website, or virtual assistant. But what’s particularly interesting about this news is that Cloud Text-to-Speech is powered by WaveNet, software created by Google’s UK-based AI subsidiary DeepMind.”

TechCrunch: Get the latest TC stories read to you over the phone with BrailleVoice

TechCrunch: Get the latest TC stories read to you over the phone with BrailleVoice. “For the visually impaired, there are lots of accessibility options if you want to browse the web — screen readers, podcast versions of articles and so on. But it can still be a pain to keep up with your favorite publications the way sighted app users do. BrailleVoice is a project that puts the news in a touch-tone phone interface, reading you the latest news from your favorite publications (like this one) easily from anywhere you get a signal.”

Small Business Trends: Amazon Polly WordPress Plugin Turns Business’s Printed Content Into Spoken Word

Small Business Trends: Amazon Polly WordPress Plugin Turns Business’s Printed Content Into Spoken Word. “The launch of the Amazon Polly plug-in for WordPress is going to turn blog posts into spoken audio or podcasts. And it will do this in 47 female and male voices and 30 languages.”