Podcasting Changes Traditional Media

Published on October 17, 2006

Podcasting Changes Traditional Media

    The French newspaper International Herald Tribune (IHT) was probably the first in the world to fully integrate podcasting into the publishing system . Now they have a button “Click here to listen to this page” on each web page.

    In addition, a full-fledged podcasting platform has been created , with which you can subscribe to a particular RSS feed with podcasts, as well as create a personal stream with selected materials to your taste. All this is completely free.

    Visitors to the site can either listen to the text online, or select articles to download to their player. The interface of the podcast platform is made very convenient: both individual articles and entire sections of the site are selected for subscription in iTunes or another RSS reader.

    The highlight of podcasts on the IHT website is that they are published automatically at the same time as the publication of a regular, text version of articles. This was made possible thanks to a collaboration with the Swedish company ReadSpeaker, which specializes in voice acting.

    The French newspaper IHT is published in English and is a division of The New York Times . Website IHT.com serves a monthly audience of 2.7 million readers. Many of these readers have now become listeners.

    According to the leaders of ReadSpeaker, every website can make a sound version, and a media site can do it without fail. This is not just concern for visually impaired people. Nowadays, even ordinary users do not always have time to carefully read text materials. Podcasts that you can listen to in the car or on the subway are a solution to the lack of time. The popularity of audio books among chronic workaholics of Americans confirms this thesis.

    In principle, it is not necessary to involve professional broadcasters to publish a sound version of articles. Modern speech synthesizers even for the Russian language, for example, Sakrament Talker , support the correct intonation and rhythm of sentences ( sample in WAV format ). Of course, such a voice is still different from the human one, but you can probably listen to it for hours without much disgust. In other words, the automatic publication of a podcast version of a media site comes down to a common programming task - connecting a sound engine.