A startup called PimpMyNews.com has launched a free news application that converts text news into spoken news for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The Web-based service can be accessed through the iPhone’s or iPod Touch’s Safari browser. PimpMyNews uses the Internet to find the latest news and converts text into audio that can be listened to on the devices. Audio versions of the news can be shared with others by posting the information on social networking sites.
Users are able to create what the company calls “personalized talking newspapers”. A user is able to choose from 59 categories from news sources and blogs for the program to look for and translate. The information is sent to the iPhone or iPod Touch and is constantly updated as news comes in. The PimpMyNews Internet site has over 200,000 talking stories and over 4,000 are added each day.
The news from this service does sound automated. A live person isn’t reading the news like you hear on the radio or television, so inflection and diction sound computerized. (Maybe some day computers will learn to speak with some emotion.) But the service is free so why not give it a try?