Home Listen To The News With BlueGrind

Listen To The News With BlueGrind

When the people at BlueGrind say they’re in beta, they mean it. The website nearly doesn’t work at all. Even the ‘About’ and ‘Contact’ pages don’t yet exist, so this post is going to be full of a lot of speculation. That said, however, BlueGrind is too compelling for me to pass up.

BlueGrind is a text-to-speech technology provider. Their website, or what of it exists right now, talks a lot about “textcasting” and turning your text into a podcast. It is exciting to think that someday there might exist a website that could automatically turn your blog into a podcast for blind website visitors or simply for people to take your words with them on their iPods.

Since, as I said, BlueGrind doesn’t yet give many hints on what their service will actually do, I can only speculate. What would be great, is if blog owners could plug in a feed and have their posts automatically turned into speech and fed back into a widget on their page, with MP3s available for download. Of course, none of that is really worth anything if it sounds terrible.

What BlueGrind’s website does offer right now, is a tech demo. You can listen to TTS recordings that are fed from various news sources, or after signing up, upload your own. I decided to give it a little test to see what it could do and tried to trip up the service. Below are the results.

Here is the full text that I used for the demo:

Hello readers. You are listening to a test of the BlueGrind technology for Read/WriteWeb. I have often been skeptical of screen readers. We all remember the crummy sounding, far-too-robot-like voices from the 1990s. But this one sounds pretty good. Let’s see if we can trip it up. How will it pronounce the name of the president of Iran? Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. That was actually better than many television news personalities! How will it handle some symbols? I will be purchasing $5 worth of widgets @ 7%. The order # is 440993-442.

Because BlueGrind does not offer a widget (yet?), I used one from MyFlashFetish for the purposes of this demo. (Just press the triangle.)

I was impressed by how well BlueGrind’s technology was able to tackle my test. The only place it really messed up, was skipping the # symbol. But that’s a relatively minor slip. I’m not sure if this technology is licensed or developed in house, but in my opinion it is ahead of AT&T Labs’
TTS demo. Of course, as with most screen reading technology, BlueGrind’s accents the wrong words on occasion, which can be a bit jarring for listeners, but that’s to be expected.


It still remains to be seen what services BlueGrind will offer to bloggers. Their page mentions podcasting in a conventional manner (i.e., downloading and taking MP3s with you), but it’s anyone’s guess whether they will offer a service that allows bloggers to stick text-to-speech stuff directly on their own blog posts with a widget (as I hope), or simply feed content into a BlueGrind portal and require bloggers to send their visits to the BlueGrind website to retrieve TTS content.

What do you think of BlueGrind’s text-to-speech technology? Do you know of any other players in this area?

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.