Medium Audio Stories

Listen to your favorite Medium stories

#5 Product of the DayMay 18, 2017



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Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
I've heard rumors Medium was exploring the podcast space and while this isn't podcasting, it's in the audio space. I like this move, and makes it easier to justify paying $5/mo for a Medium Membership (which launched a few months ago) when people are so conditioned to read news/articles for free. Note: 8 months ago some clever guys hacked together a Chrome extension that robot reads every Medium article. This also reminds me of Umano, an app of professionally voice read blog posts and articles. Unfortunately, it couldn't hit the scale it needed and shut down. Perhaps they were too early as voice becomes more accessible through Alexa, Google Home, AirPods, connected cars, etc.
Graham Gnall@ggnall · Product Manager - Bluecore
@rrhoover is it read by a humon or text-to-speech?
Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
@ggnall humans. Text-to-speech (as the Play chrome extension supports) is too robotic. Professional readers imbue personality and engage the listener much more.
Nitin Alabur@nitinalabur · I make iPhone apps
@rrhoover I miss Umano even now! Hoping MAS sticks around for ever!
Graham Gnall@ggnall · Product Manager - Bluecore
@rrhoover nice. Totally agree. Couldn't stand as a premium feature otherwise.
Robin Raszka@robinraszka · Founder @beamtalk
@ggnall @rrhoover TTS
Nima Gardideh@ngardideh · Suto
@rrhoover @ggnall TTS is starting to become pretty close to passable:
Nick Barrett@nickbarrett · Anayltics
@rrhoover I miss Umano. What did Dropbox ever do with that service?
Mark Moriarty@mbym · podcasts
@rrhoover @ggnall right, I wish Umano could have lived on instead of being shut down! It was a promising app with good folks behind it. Excited to see companies like SpokenLayer (a network of human readers) addressing the same need in a different way through its partners. I agree robot voices are too robotic now. I'm surprised Pocket has held out with it's robotic TTS for so long (with it's "Listen" option) and never explored human readers. Perhaps they're waiting for the tech to get better; surely it's a matter of time before the computers voices cross the uncanny valley into "acceptable". DeepMind's text-to-speech is pretty good already: (I'm particularly interested in this space since Awesound lets anybody charge for premium audio via existing podcast apps.)
Evan Zhou@evanczhou · Co-Founder, STEEZY
@rrhoover Audible's Channels section has some awesome Umano-like human read articles, but also creating their own audio originals
Will Mayo@wrmayo · CEO,
@mbym @rrhoover @ggnall thanks for the SpokenLayer shout out, we feel the same way around how important the human element is to storytelling. It's awesome to be working with Medium and to be bringing their content alive with human audio!
Avadh B.S. Dwivedi@avadhbsd · Designer
@rrhoover oh man, you are like Google for products. I love that when someone tells you about a new idea they were working hard on and then you throw like 10 names of existing or dead products that did similar stuff and then you also tell which one fought well and which one died and the most probable reasons behind. I love sunflowers!
Ilan Peer@ilan_peer · www
@ngardideh did you hear attempt?
Nima Gardideh@ngardideh · Suto
@ilan_peer Lyrebird is focused on style transfer (converting existing audio and changing the voice). State of the art of voice style transfer is still choppy. But getting there!
Chris Messina@chrismessina · 🏆 PH Community Member of the Year!
How soon before this content is available on Alexa-enabled devices?
Manu Geitner@manu_geitner · Director Product,
@chrismessina As far as I know there is no availability to create alexa skills that allow third party voice to be delivered to the consumer. any other knowledge about that? cheers.
Kunal Bhatia@kunalslab · Co-founder & Design Lead @SlidesUp
Audio Stories are a great addition for members. 🙌 I wonder what the process is for selecting stories to make audio versions of. 🤔
Nick Horsthuis@horsthuis
Soon you could be hearing you read it back to yourself. Would be cool if you could highlight sections to review in the text or listen to later.
Angela Bowman@angelabdesign
Is there a story I can listen to for free? Before I decide to subscribe, I'd really like to hear an example.