Location: New Hampshire
Launch Date: April 18, 2005
What is it?
Talkr is a site/service that converts text feeds directly into audio files. For instance, to listen to this post, click here.
As a blogger, signing up is relatively simply. Steps:
1. Make a request at the site here
2. They quickly send a follow up email, with a link to a user agreement that you must physically sign and fax or send back to them. The agreement allows them to place ads into the audio, so that is another potential revenue source for them (and I’m fine with that since they aren’t charging me for the service)
3. Once you return the documents, they send another email with directions on setting it up at your blog. This consists of adding an html snippet (note the talkr gif under our xml gifs at the top of our sidebar. You also have a URL structure to allow any post to be listened to – See above for the audio of this post. The audio can be downloaded as an MP3 file as well.
As a listener, there is fairly deep content to scroll through, and you can add any other blog you like (up to three for free). Given that they have only been live for a month, the content is actually quite good (heck, it includes Techcrunch :-) ). There is both search and browse capability, and there are links to a few on the home page to allow easy testing of the service.
The recording is automated, but good quality. The main problem is that you lose hyperlinks and images.
In their own words, “Talkr provides a service that allows you to listen to your favorite text-only news sources rather than read them. If you can point us to an RSS feed (a machine-readable version of your favorite blog or news source) we will convert that feed from text to speech. Talkr can also provide you with a podcast of your favorite news sources. This means that you can plug your MP3 player into your home computer once a day and Talkr will provide you with hours of audio content with no additional work on your part. Talkr will keep tabs on your feeds and send audio to your computer as those audio files become available.
Does this cost money? Well, yes and no (mostly no). Talkr has partnered with several of the most widely read blogs on the internet to provide an audio version of those blogs for free. In addition, if you sign up for a free membership, you can listen to up to three additional blogs for free. If you want to listen to more than 3 feeds (plus all the free ones), we ask that you sign up for one of our monthly subscriptions: Talkr Basic or Talkr Premium.”
For listeners, there is a free version, Talkr Basic for $5/month and Talkr Premium for $8/month
I like this service and there may be some “there” there, as Keith always says.
Chris Brooks, CEO