Text to Speech to Feed

For months I’ve been thinking about how to turn the text in my blog posts into audio. The next step would be to put this audio into my RSS feed. Bang, an automatic podcast!

First I ran across a set of unix shell scripts over at Jerremy English’s blog Sky Clothes called How to make a podcast from a website. I need to find time to set it up for AudioActivism. Basically I could create my own audio from text then put it into a rss feed on my linux laptop. Then upload the rss to my site manually. Bit time consuming for me now.

Next I tried out the service Feed 2 Podcast. It’s free for now and works quite well. Here is the AudioActivism RSS feed created by Feed 2 Podcast. The computer voice reading my blog posts sounds pretty good. Listen to the AudioActivism blog posts with this flash player from Feed 2 Podcast.

How do I get the audio Feed 2 Podcast creates put into the RSS feed automatically? Tons of people are already subscribed to my podcast feed. I could just cut and paste the mp3 links into a post like this.

AA.org Text to Speech MP3s: (Thank you Feed2Podcast)
Links from Digg
Del.icio.us creates podcast feeds
What is real news?
Thank You John
Chapel Hill Free Public WiFi Petition.

It would also be cool if I could embed the flash player on my site. I’m sure that isn’t hard. Might raise the bandwidth usage on Feed2Podcasts web server though. Also dear Feed2Podcast creators PLEASE make the flash audio player on mute by default. I find it really annoying to go to a website and hear some audio right away. Much better to let users CHOOSE when to listen. This also prepares people to pay attention to what they are listening too. I’m looking forward to how this service evolves.

WP Random Image Plugin

I just installed the WordPress Random Image Plugin by Justin Watt. See that neat o’ image over there on the right side bar? If you click on it you’ll be taken to the associated blog post. Cool! Thanks Justin for writing this plugin!

Also I’m trying out this neat Flickr flash slideshow thingy. You can put it on your own site too! See the article HOW TO Quickie: Embedded Flickr Slideshows.

Check out the AudioActivism Photo Slide Show for my implementation of it. It’ll show you all the photos I’ve uploaded to Flickr. In the near future I’ll be posting a lot more HIGH res pics that I’ve taken. (More details about that soon) Plus some other cool moving image type stuff.

Delicious Rocks with Playtagger

The social bookmarking site del.icio.us has released a neat bit of javascript that allows mp3s linked to on your site to be played right in the browser. I’ve been thinking about using something like this for awhile. None of the other solutions seemed to work very well. This just does! It uses a little flash movie that is very usable. Look at the podcast blog post bellow. See the little blue arrow play button? Try clicking on it. Not only can you preview my podcasts without having to download them first you can bookmark my podcasts in Del.icio.us too. Wow! Go get the small bit of code you need to put in your html. Here is the help page for playtagger. Holly crap my Audio Archives page just lights up with easy to listen to content. If you’re already playing one bit of audio and click on another play button the earlier mp3 stops for the new one. Cool!

No Comments for Now

I’ve totally disabled comments on this blog for now. I really want to hear from you tho’. Please contact me via email if you have something CONSTRUCTIVE to say. I turned comments off because deleting the FLOOD of comment spam just got to be too annoying!!! Are you happy now spamers? Huh?! Are ya?!? [Insane laughter] >:-)

Best of Audio Activism Year One

Wow, I’ve been podcasting and blogging for about one year! The Internet world is a funny place. It has a tempo the speed of a bunny’s heart. Podcasting itself has only been a public phenomena for a year and already startup companies are gathering large sums of venture capital, US politicians are using podcasting as a pulpit, the main stream media (not just radio but newspapers too) have adopted it, conferences of all kind are being held (like PodcasterCon), individuals are speaking to the world, and it’s enabeling real positive change.

Here are a few of the podcasts I made in 2004 and 2005 that I’m the most proud of. A Best of Audio Activism Year One.

Messages for Soldiers in Iraq, March 25, 2005
MP3 9m 5s 4.2MB 64kbps

One Man Protests Racism at Walmart, May 29th, 2005
MP3 3m 55s 1.8MB 64kbps

Interview with Lou Plummer
, March 3, 2005
MP3 27m 9s 12.5MB 64kbps

Jon Elliston speaks at the Carrboro Book Fair, May 22, 2005
MP3 36m 21s 16.7MB 64kbps

Audio Activism has iTunes RSS syntax

I finally gave Audio Activism’s podcast feeds an overhaul. The main podcast feed http://www.audioactivism.org/wp-rss2.php now has iTunes specific syntax. It basically makes AudioActivism easy to subscribe to and look nice in iTunes (plus some extra metadata that I admit is cool). Though I really wish Apple would work with the RSS 2.0 dev community and help create standardized RSS podcast syntax. I mean it’s like the browser wars all over again!

This was all done pretty fast and easy with the WP-iPodCater. Very nice WordPress plugin with a wonderful Options page to set up stuff easily. Plus I put a iTunes badge over there on the right. It opens iTunes on your computer and helps you subscribe with one click. Please let me know if ya’ll have any troubles subcribing or downloading with the new RSS feed. You shouldn’t have to change the URL. 😀

All of the other RSS feeds for AudioActivism.org still work. You can find them all here on the Feeds page. (Ex. RSS 2.0 Valid, Atom, RSS 2.0 Valid with Comments, RSS 2.0 Valid PSA Podcasts, etc.) I must admit I was inspired to create a feeds page by the daily video blog RocketBoom. They have a very simple RSS page with links to all their RSS feeds. Sweet!

What AudioActivism Is

The two words in the name of this site, Audio and Activism, can be conceptually reversed to form two phrases. Meaning you could call this blog ActivismAudio as well as AudioActivism. My personal activism has become, helping others learn how to make their own audio. (This has manifest itself in the tutorials I’ve written and the creation of PodcasterCon. An event for people to learn about podcasting.) I advocate for more tools and knowledge for the masses. I dream about the metaphorical death of elite professionalism, a natural evolution of WHAT MEDIA MAKING IS. A future were we can all become audio producers if we want to. This blog and podcast isn’t just audio about progressive/liberal politics BUT activism for people making audio.