Home WTF? Google Has a Sense of Humor: Adds Audio Previews to YouTube Comments

WTF? Google Has a Sense of Humor: Adds Audio Previews to YouTube Comments

YouTube is not exactly known for the depth of discourse in its comments. A few days ago, Randall Munroes’s popular web comic XKCD suggested that Google should add an audio preview for all comments, so that commenters might realize how inane some of their comments really are. Now, Google has implemented exactly this feature: audio previews for YouTube comments. While the XKCD comic recommended that commenters would have to listen to a comment before posting, however, these audio previews are entirely optional.

The audio previews are actually quite impressive and can handle even relatively complex words well (think ‘autohagiography’ or ‘schadenfreude’). You can try it out for yourself on any YouTube video.

This is clearly a project that Google had been working on before it released this fun, but relatively useless feature on YouTube. Right now, audio previews are restricted to the first 150 characters of a comment, but we envision that Google was working on this text-to-speech project to provide screen reader functionality for tools like Google Reader or Blogger.

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