Pocket Listen

Reading is hard. Listen to articles instead.

#1 Product of the WeekJuly 18, 2015
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1 Review5.0/5
Me and Pocket: Well done, @nateweiner and team. I haven't tried this out yet but robot readers have always been obnoxious to me (not for @nireyal) which is why I loved Umano, an app of articles read by professional narrators (recently acquired by Dropbox and shut down). Are you using the on-device text-to-speech or something proprietary?
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Thanks @rrhoover! The iOS version uses the system (Siri) voice. On Android you can use third party voices. Umano was pretty cool. We looked at it and something we definitely still think about. The challenge was scaling it. We see millions of new articles a day in Pocket. That is a lot to get recorded :) Plus we are working to just find a way to skip that whole listening step and just insert it into your brain. (Joking. Kind of. Maybe?)
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@nateweiner Nate any plans to support Sonos? Would love to have long reads played on Sonos! Also given that you are using the iOS API - can you provide the time it might take to listen to an article? Thanks! @rrhoover
@nateweiner @rrhoover IAP for voices seems to work in other apps. Siri is very basic to me. Maybe personal preference for alternative accents
@nateweiner haha, a few years ago I asked myself the question, "If I could make ONE thing more efficient, what would it be?" My answer was knowledge transfer. I want Matrix-like learning. 😁 My short blog post on the topic (add to your Pocket).
@nateweiner Congrats on releasing TTS support for iOS! I have been enjoying it for ages on Android, not even assuming that it wasn't available on iOS until very recently. I guess, I am just curious to know what issues have prevented you guys from releasing it on iOS sooner. Were those technical issues, like lack of native TTS support, or something else?
@rrhoover This really aggravates me to the point of disbelief. I don't understand This is just a demo of the algorithm we were developing to integrate into Quest using a Concatenative Speech Synthesis approach which is exactly the innovation Ryan is talking about. https://www.dropbox.com/s/hnkx1k... I say this with all the love and admiration I posess that you guys have tens of millions in funding a huge team of hundreds. My startup raised a second seed round and we are now trying to product revenue by focusing on a new project but a team of two is focusing on innovating. But I get it..Instapaper, Google, Apple none of them offer what you are actually talking about Ryan. Why isn't Apples $200 billion dollar cash covered war-chest going into innovation like this? WHY HAS A LOT OF OTHER AREAS SEEN disruption BUT this is still a 25 YEARS OLD experience in 2015. We've had speech synthesis mathematics since the 40s! Why does it still not work because most is purely “synthesized” speech and not based off of Concatenative synthesis so it's just a computationally-intensive playback that can’t transcend a monotone which is what a human does. In addition to other algorithmic approaches that make this an overall great user experience...that's where innovation comes into play. None of this is as hard as coming up with a general relativity theory..too hard to innovate toward, none of this is insurmountable. So for the first time in a very long time a #1 product hunt post is not getting an upvote from me...you guys could have truly shined a beacon of hope on innovation in every way, especially to the big guys...true innovation is about adding incremental value that offers not creates more pain.
@nicholassheriff fun fact, by actually commenting we help keep it at #1 😂
@alexg473 @nicholassheriff I was pointing out that their was no innovation at all tied to this offering from not a 2 member team but a company that raised tens of millions of dollars in funding and waited years to offer this....like 5 years. Was just stating facts we should all innovate period...this is just a implementation of Apples API without any edits nothing is proprietary about what they have done nothing is innovative tied to this.
@nicholassheriff they could have made it better...that's what we expect from companies to innovate. Instead they didn't everyone does it like this I was hoping for something more.
@nicholassheriff as far as I'm aware, products are not successful because of the technology they use, but because of how much value they provide.
I love pocket and I use it constantly to read. I was very excited for this feature, but after trying it, I am very disappointed. I can't see myself actually using this. The voice (Apple's native Siri voice) is not even close to bearable and mispronounces frequently, and the has no tempo to the reading. I really hope the Pocket team can innovate and actually make this feature useful. It would be a game changer for me if it worked well.
@dylanjha Agreed. I'd love to see Pocket develop their own voice, but that can't be easy.
@dylanjha You should try @Narroapp for more voices and better quality audio - it syncs with your Pocket account! http://producthunt.com/tech/narro
As a dad with a 12-year-old who is essentially unable to read due to a genetic condition that causes significant learning issues, this seems like a nice addition. However, the functionality already exists in iOS in the form of Speak Screen which is easily invoked by pulling down with two fingers (when configured in Accessibility). My daughter uses that to "read" content in nearly every app she uses whether it's the MLB app or news apps. Kudos for bringing something like this to the table, but it seems Apple has it covered at the OS level already.
These comments are a bit of a shark tank so I'm hesitant to weigh in without reading it all, but I use Pocket with Ivona on a daily basis and absolutely love it! Mostly for reading & saving, sure, but when I'm in the zone, travelling or otherwise occupied on any non-work tast...I'm either listening to articles on pocket, or a podcast. They're an essential app for me no question. Actually just tweeted at them a few weeks ago that the only wish I had was the ability to remove the modal window on TTS so it was easy to follow along and view charts & visuals as the audio progressed. Anyway I want to mention that from the outside it's hard to judge another companies product roadmap, feature development and innovation decisions. One can never fully know what's happening behind closed doors or under the hood for that matter. Easy to get frustrated def. but just have to keep that in mind IMHO. Def upvote for anything pocket from me though. Great job Pocket team!