Jon Aquino has written a software that will probably cause a big uproar in the digital community. I have not read about something like this before, which is surprising because it seems like such an obvious application:
Instead of downloading podcasts using RSS, have a piece of software that downloads your usuall RSS feeds and reads them out to you.

The big advantage here:

  • you don’t have to rely on only those sites, that have podcasts (which aren’t the majority sofar, because )
  • people might not like podcasting themselves, they rather write. And if they do podcast, it might be a terrible listening experience

Like many others, I have been disappointed with the quality of the content of today’s podcasts (to be fair, podcasting is still in its early days), especially with so much good textual content on the web. For example, I wished that there was a podcast of biographies of great lives — after all, there are numerous websites on the subject. Then it struck me: What if I used text-to-speech to convert these textual webpages to podcasts that I could listen to during my daily commute? Thus Audiolicious was born.

This little piece of software converts your usual RSS feeds into an audio file you can listen to on your iPod (but also on anything else, of course).

I have tried a sample from Jon’s website, and admittingly, it sounds terrible. But keep in mind: these kind of things usually improve rapidly (and unfortunately for Jon, they might also be picked up quickly by the big players, like Google or Apple).
Secondly, I got used to it rather quickly. It’s like looking at a monochrome screen in the 80s. Back then we were also happy with it, even though we new from the television, what coloured pictures could be like.
It’s a fantastic application and just a matter of time until this becomes a regular in the blogging/RSS community, I am sure of that.

Darren Barefoot writes some more about the fact, why podcasting, as trendy as it might seem, might also never take off big scale. Same goes with vlogs, but for this, it will be much harder to write a substitute like Jon did. How do you make a video out of a text-blog?