A brand new service called SoundGecko is the creation of 121CAST, a Melbourne-based startup. SoundGecko takes any submitted URL, strips out anything other than the core article text and converts that to an audio file. This audio file can be emailed to you for listening later, great for commuters who want an audio version of read it later.
While you can register for an account and start adding a cue of audio to listen to, you don’t have to. To try out the service, simply head to http://soundgecko.com and submit your URL. Shortly after you will receive a new email with an MP3 attachment. You can also take advantage of Cloud drive sync by having SoundGecko post files to your Google Drive or DropBox account. Lets hope more services are added in the future.
Those who run Google Chrome, there’s an extension available for SoundGecko that allows for rappid adding of articles for listening later.
Last Friday I got a live demo of SoundGecko from one of its creators, Long Zheng who is also one of the creative minds that delivered us MetroTwit. The voice translation actually uses a variety of services, but the voice use was quite natural, one of the better computer-generated voices I’ve heard from any service. This could obviously be evolved over time and even be a revenue model for the service using in-app purchases on mobile platforms for additional voices.
It will be interesting to see how content providers react to having their content converted to a different format, namely one without ads. Personally I’m happy for techAU content to be consumed in anyway consumers want, so SoundGecko away. Overall, SoundGecko is a great new service that’s perfect for commuters who don’t have time to read all the morning news over the breakfast table. I can definitely see myself using this service to absorb content that is not already provided in podcast formats.
Check it out now @ http://soundgecko.com/