Tuesday, August 05, 2008


So I'm waiting on my next batch of movies from Netflix to arrive and decide to poke around the Vatican's website for awhile. The more I search, the more I keep running across document after document I want to read. But there's only so much time, you know. What to do? Well, I thought to myself, wouldn't it be great if I could listen to some of that stuff on my mp3 player while I'm typing or doing chores? So I popped over to SpokenText, one of those free online text to audio converters, and plugged in Pope Benedict XVI's recent July 2 address on St Paul. The results were listenable, albeit weird, kind of like having Stephen Hawkins for a lector during mass.

And then I got another idea.

My blog is predominantly text. My blog is listenable, albeit weird. My blog could be converted to audio! So I thought I would give SpokenText a challenge and feed it my recent review of Ator: The Fighting Eagle. The somewhat questionable results are below.

I don't recommend listening to the whole thing, but there are some highlights. I purposely chose the Ator review just to hear to the computer struggle through the paragraph containing Joe D'Amato's gazillion aliases. (You can almost hear the computer growing frustrated the longer it goes on.) I was also surprised that it couldn't handle the contraction "it's", preferring to spell it out instead. And, of course, some of the inflections the program's AI chooses are bizarre. (Although the amount it gets right is downright creepy, sure to bring nightmares to those who live in fear of the inevitable robot holocaust.) Most disturbing to me was the fact that after both my texts were translated, the spoken version of my Ator review clocked in at over 5 minutes longer than the Pope's address on St Paul. I'm not sure that's a good thing.

Anyway, it's a handy tool and I thought some of you might want to give it a try even if it's just for fun. Let me know if you come up with a translation I just have to hear.


Wm. said...
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Wm. said...

As you may or may not be aware, I tried the same thing with the Dr. Seuss tongue twister "Fox in Socks." Only I used the Mac utility which reads text for blind people. It's the same utility that Radiohead used for "Fitter, Happier, More Productive" on the OK Computer album. Turns out the Dr. Seuss is just as freaky as that song when read by the computer.

I used to fear the robot holocaust but ever since I got turned onto a couple of Servotron albums in the late nineties I am now at ease with the idea of serving the robot overlords.

Admittedly, Servotron albums are a little hard to come by. Until then I suggest Flight of the Conchords' "The Humans Are Dead"

Watch it at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGoi1MSGu64

EegahInc said...

Good call on Flight of the Conchords, I'd never heard them before.

As for the robot overlords, I suppose they'll be okay. They still have to worry about going to robot hell after all. Just ask Bender.

Wm. said...

I had no idea you were a fan of Futurama. The Robot Devil's song and dance are, indeed, temptingly funny.

Scott said...

Check out Zippy's blog with a zombie short here: http://zippycatholic.blogspot.com/2008/08/reasonable-men-can-disagree.html

Thought you would like it.

EegahInc said...

Love it! That's going on my Halloween mix CD this year for sure.