Do you like reading articles but just don’t have the time? Would it be more convenient to LISTEN to the many articles you want to read as podcasts on your daily commute? That’s where modern technology comes in to bring us programs like SoundGecko.
No, it’s not a program to insure your MP3 files, it’s actually a program for converting articles and web pages into audio format and listening to them on any device.
SoundGecko makes listening to articles on the go a one-click affair. You can paste a URL in the SoundGecko website or use the Chrome extension to convert articles, download them, send them to cloud storage if you like, or simply listen as they magically appear on the SoundGecko apps for iOS, Android, or Windows phone.
Best of all, the actual MP3s are of such high quality that you may forget that they were the product of text-to-speech technology.
More and more people are listening to content rather than reading it. It started with radio plays and then books on tape but has progressed to audiobooks read by famous people in MP3 format that you can download from Amazon or a host of other places for a small fee. There are even apps devoted to nothing but audiobooks. That being the case, it’s no shock that there’s now a program devoted entirely to creating more audio text for you to listen to in the car, while jogging, the gym, or where ever else you might like.
SoundGecko is a pretty simple but effective program that, essentially, takes any web page or RSS feed and automatically turns it into an MP3 file text-to-speech spoken version of the original. The basic use for this is to be able to catch up on the splash pages of your favorite web sites while your ocular orbs are otherwise engaged but your auditory cusps are free. In other words, it lets you listen to articles and posts instead of read them. The process is simple enough that even kids will be able to handle it, consisting mostly of copying and pasting a URL and then saving the resulting audio file. You can then send those files where ever you like, using email or other avenues. You will need to enter an email address, which will also get a notification when the completed conversion is ready for use. Giving out one’s email seems to be the basic price paid for nearly all downloadable freeware these days. If you log in using that email, you can download the resulting mp3 files. If you don’t log in, and just enter a URL, it will just start playing the file on the page (as pictured below).
There are two ‘plans’ available, the free and the premium. The differences are in features, but the free version allows you to do up to 30 articles per month and this is more than adequate for the average person. Only the more extreme or professional audiophile is going to need the premium package, and that’s as it should be. The free version also allows one RSS feed to be converted and sent per month, which is a nice addition to the service you might expect, given the recent explosion of RSS feeds as a major news feed.
All in all I was satisfied with SoundGecko. I would like to see some more features added to the free version but there’s always room for improvement if a developer is willing to put in the time and effort to continue supporting their product. There are mobile apps available for SoundGecko on the Android, iOS and even Windows Phone platforms, and that’s a big plus in my book. In any case, SoundGecko is worth checking out if you want to save some time by listening instead of reading your favorite web articles. Until next time, my friends.
- Get SoundGecko here.