Talkr: Cool idea, really bad reality

OK, so everything cool must be mispelled these days … like Flickr, and now Talkr.

The idea is super-cool: every text blog can now be a podcast.

The reality sucks hard. I checked it out – saw the link on, and they have a few blogs they do for free (yes, it’s a pay service – another knock against widespread adoption). I recognized the voice immediately … it’s one of the original Macintosh ‘speakable items’ voices that haven’t changed for about a decade.

The voice isn’t the worst part.

The most unfortunate thing about auto-generated computer voices is their complete lack of human-ish intonation … an understanding of what phrases and phonemes to group together … what to say fast … what to say slow … and so on.

Plus, who cares if it’s Jeffrey Zeldman’s blog when the voice is some impersonal CPU running in some anonymous hosting company’s racks?

Sorry, I’ll pass on this one.


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