Need not read, hear it

BlueGrind is a useful service which converts text based blog/news articles into speech. Although, it is not a new technology, yet the presentation and the implementation is pretty neat. The service is primarily aimed at facilitating visually impaired people, however, the ability to download the converted audio files as mp3 means that you can carry your news around in your portable media player as a podcast.

BlueGrind

6 thoughts on “Need not read, hear it

  1. Wow, this is very useful for me, thanks. I always wanted to have MP3 versions of the news. I was wondering why someone hasn’t done it yet. But I can listen to this while going to work. So I don’t see any subscription fee or anything. Is it really free? I guess there are ads that support it. Good job guys.

  2. Hi Melissa, yeah it is a great service, indeed.

    Another way, however, to carry your news around is to subscribe to ‘Podcasts’ offered by most News websites (the likes of BBC, CNN, BusinessWeek, Wall Street Journal, etc.). The best way to obtain these podcasts is to subscribe them using the iTunes software by Apple. The podcasts are automatically downloaded to your computer periodically which you can then transfer to your media player and listen to them while on the move.

    Learn more at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podcasting

    Indeed, the podcasts do not offer individual news articles in detail which can be obtained through BlueGrind.

  3. Hi All,

    Thank you for your interest in our technology. We are always looking forward to hear from people who are using it and welcome any comments and suggestions.

    Michael, we just recently launched the web site. Many of the features we want to have are still in development but we love using the service so much that we felt we could at least offer what we’ve built so far. You will see many more features over the next few weeks.

    Mellisa, yes it is a free service. The idea behind the site was to have news and blogs in audio format for visually impaired users (we have a complete mirror of the site that is only audio and navigation by keyboard. Try it, press ‘1’ when you are on the home page or go to http://www.bluegrind.com/blind/). While we were building the service though, we noticed that we were using it as well, like you mentioned, by transferring news to our MP3 players and CDs. Living in Los Angeles, we spend a tremendous amount of time in traffic and this is useful. Other than news, you can also convert pretty much any text you want by submitting it as a “User Generated” content. It’s great for listening to documents that I need to read while at the gym.

    Plyush, Thank you for reviewing our site. We also have podcasts of our feeds and you can register to them by clicking on the icon at the top of each category page or just by searching for bluegrind when in itunes store. The main difference between listening to podcasts (such as the BBC podcast) and our service is that with BBC, you have to listen to whatever news they deemed newsworthy. With our service, if you’re a registered member, you can browse the news and add news items, blog posts or user submitted text just like you would in a shopping cart. When you’re done choosing what you want to hear you can listen to it in your browser or download the complete list and transfer to your MP3 player or burn to CD. Registration is of course free.

    Thank you,
    Serge Madenian
    http://www.bluegrind.com

  4. Hi Serge,

    Thank you for the comments.

    BlueGrind is a valuable service to the community, challenged or otherwise. It will definitely enable us to enhance productivity by listening to things we may not be in a position to read (eg while driving, walking, running, sleeping?, etc.). Thank you for providing the service and good luck with future developments.

    I have a question though, which by no means intends to impede your progress but only spark a discussion to enlighten myself and the readers.

    Have you considered any kind of copyright issues under such a scheme? Content, such as news articles, submitted by the users might be gathered from sources which are protected by copyright, specially news sites who are very possessive about the information they provide. Would properly citing the sources avert such circumstances? Or is it something which has not been considered in the equation yet for it is irrelevant?

    Thank you.

  5. Thanks, I know about podcasts, it’s just I don’t have an ipod so itunes is not as useful to me. but this is great for me MP3 player.

    Good job bluegrind!

    M

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