As I’m not a driver (not even infrequently — I just don’t drive) I rarely find the urge to download text-to-speech apps. Most tend to be cumbersome, ugly and sound like the deep, ghastly bellows of a horse, but SoundGecko is offering an option that just might have the right combination of easy, fast and pleasant to compel yours truly to “listen” to more of the news.
SoundGecko allows you to set up a number of RSS feeds which can be delivered to your devices as audio clips without much fuss. New feed items are automatically converted to audio and synced to your phone for quick and easy listening whenever you get ready to sit down and digest your news for the day.
Created by startup 121cast, SoundGecko uses an accurate text-to-speech engine that allows the conversation to flow as if you’re listening to a report from an actual radio broadcast. You can still hear the odd robotic nuance of a digitized voice every now and then, but I never had to rewind to catch a word I couldn’t understand. I was more impressed with the fact that it could accurately pronounce my name than anything else.
The service can be had for free, but there are some limitations. You’ll only get to add one custom feed, you’ll only get up to 4,000 words per article read to you and you’ll only get to listen to 30 articles per day. The 4,000 words per article limit won’t be an issue for most (believe me, most articles don’t go anywhere near that amount of words), but the other two limitations require a monthly subscription to lift.
Usually $7.95 a month, SoundGecko’s premium service will allow you to add up to 100 different custom feeds, listen to an unlimited amount of articles per day and will read up to 30,000 words per article. The insane 30,000 word limit will be more useful for those wanting to read long manuals, whitepapers and other such documents in PDF form as the service does support that (simply email the document to yourself).
If you act fast, though, you can get locked into the service for just $2.95 per month, and SoundGecko gives you its word that you’ll never be asked to pay more than that. It’s a limited time holiday special so this offer might expire very, very soon. Give it a shot, and be sure to download the app from the Google Play Store to take it with you on the go. Be sure to take a look at our quick hands-on video above.