Pocket Listen

Reading is hard. Listen to articles instead.

#1 Product of the WeekJuly 18, 2015



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Ryan Hoover
@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
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?
Nate Weiner
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?)
Arjun Ram@arjunram · Tinkering Past:Investor & Product leader
@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
Ryan Plumley@rplumley
@nateweiner @rrhoover IAP for voices seems to work in other apps. Siri is very basic to me. Maybe personal preference for alternative accents
Ryan Hoover
@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
@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).
Preslav Rachev@preslavrachev · Full-Stack Software Engineer
@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?
Mitali Pattnaik@mitali · Co-founder @IntroHQ. pm @ TWTR, GOOG
@rrhoover @nateweiner - this is the BEST upgrade to one of my favoritest apps ever. Thank you! I agree professional narrators would be better at some point but this is already amazing as a start.
Josh@twandjosh · VP Eng @ThreadMeUp, Founder @NarroApp
@rrhoover If you liked Umano, and are enjoying this basic speech for Pocket, you should try @narroapp for higher-quality voices and text-to-podcast support. It syncs with your Pocket account and everything! http://producthunt.com/tech/narro
benburns@benburns · Product Manager, Bose
@nateweiner @rrhoover For what it's worth, I would completely love (and pay for) narrated versions of just the most popular selections from my Pocket feed (the ones you've marked "Best Of", for instance.
Blake Thomas@bosblaket · Engineering, Product
Are there any plans to implement different (better) voices than siri for iOS?
Nicholas Sheriff@nicholassheriff · Founder, Quest
@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.
Alex Greene@alexg473 · Cal Poly student
@nicholassheriff what?
Carl@cprins_ ·
@nicholassheriff fun fact, by actually commenting we help keep it at #1 😂
Nicholas Sheriff@nicholassheriff · Founder, Quest
@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.
Nicholas Sheriff@nicholassheriff · Founder, Quest
@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.
Alex Greene@alexg473 · Cal Poly student
@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.
Nicholas Sheriff@nicholassheriff · Founder, Quest
@alexg473 @nicholassheriff I never said that the technology was what is valuable it is the innovation around the experience buddy if you view my last sentence I clearly said this "true innovation is about adding incremental value that offers not creates more pain."...we are in disagreements with the experience I think it isn't adding value..you do, so we're not seeing eye to eye with incremental value increase in this regard. After 25 years I was expecting not new technology ( none of this is NEW ) but a Incremental Increase in value. Period that is not what is here but you disagree with me on this it seems.
Nicholas Sheriff@nicholassheriff · Founder, Quest
@cprins_ @nicholassheriff lol lmao just realized this thanks for the late warning Carl. I'm not like Pocket grr curse you I think it's a good offering from a great team I just wish their was more innovation everywhere and this was an example where I was just shocked.
Dylan Jhaveri@dylanjha · Co-founder and Engineer at Crowdcast
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.
Justin Fowler@somewhatjustin · Business Analyst, Upswing.io
@dylanjha Agreed. I'd love to see Pocket develop their own voice, but that can't be easy.
Josh@twandjosh · VP Eng @ThreadMeUp, Founder @NarroApp
@dylanjha You should try @Narroapp for more voices and better quality audio - it syncs with your Pocket account! http://producthunt.com/tech/narro
James Koole@deleted-21562
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.
Paul Tomkinson@paultomkinson · Founder, Textras
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!