IHT launches podcast of newspaper

Posted on July 17, 2006 
Filed Under Journalism

All aboard the podcast wagon:

The International Herald Tribune (IHT) has launched a service that instantly generates an audio version of any article in the newspaper.

Owned by the New York Times Co., The IHT, is the first English-language website to deliver the service, with Swedish technology company ReadSpeaker.

The voice of a female with a British accent and only a slight robotic stammer reads the articles with nearly accurate intonation and word emphasis, though the beta version is not glitch-free as some words were difficult to understand in a recent test.

The IHT is providing the audio service free at http://audionews.iht.com/home/ and without advertising temporarily as it makes changes and improvements, but is seeking advertisers to help generate revenue.

Users can either listen to articles on the spot or download them onto an MP3 player or mobile phone, creating a personalized audio version of the Paris-based newspaper, which was founded in 1887 and is sold in 180 countries.

The IHT Web site draws 2.7 million unique readers a month.

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