Sunday, September 25, 2011

Get Instapaper articles read aloud

Discovery: the app InstaFetch Pro for Android can read aloud Instapaper articles for me. Very cool. (The free Lite version won't. I think that's fair, good choice for a premium feature. And the Pro is only three bucks.) It is an off-brand app, the author of Instapaper does not make an Android Instapaper app. Whether that's a time issue or a taste issue I dunno.

On iPad, I don't think the system, yet anyway, allows apps to read aloud text, except if it is copied/pasted into them. Don't know why, maybe they are afraid of copyright conflicts. (When Amazon made the Kindle able to read aloud, they had to give publishers the right to disable this feature for their books, due to fears that this might undercut the audiobooks market.)

I can get something similar on the iPad by using VoiceReaderWeb app. But the interface is a bit unreliable and clunky on that app, yet. (And unlike the iPhone version, it currently won't allow me to log into Instapaper, I'm pursuing support for that bug.)

Wait: I may be wrong, if this app is allowed to read text aloud, it seems the system does allow it. So what I'm wondering, why is this the only app I've heard of which will do it? An ebook reader app which would read aloud would be gold. Mmmm, unfortunately an independant app wouldn't be able to open the encrypted (DRM'ed) Kindle or iBooks books. (Again, there is such an app for Android, and yes, it won't read encrypted books, which is the bulk of the interesting ones IMHO, since only very few publishers dare put out open books.)

Amazon ought to make the Kindle app read aloud, like the Kindle device can. What might be the reason they haven't? Maybe because on an Android device, one could save or record the reading, but not on a Kindle device, so the copyright conflicts would be bigger?

I wonder about these things. No wonder I can't sleep!


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PS: The sleep thing was just a joke, friends who read this need not worry!       :-)

3 comments:

TC [Girl] said...

Eolake said...
"What might be the reason they haven't? Maybe because on an Android device, one could save or record the reading, but not on a Kindle device, so the copyright conflicts would be bigger?"

Could ya write Customer Service and ask, possibly? Wonder if they would be able to 'splain the issue(s).

"I wonder about these things. No wonder I can't sleep!"

Glad to read that you're sleeping well, these days! ;-)

eolake said...

I think such matters are a matter of deep policy levels (or at least deep tech levels) in the company, and won't be known to customer support. I've never met a supporter who knew or were allowed to opine on anything beyond which buttons to press in which order.

If that. Years ago I called Adobe Support, and when I asked a question about Golive, not only did the guy had to look it up in the manual, but the manual he had was outdated!

TC [Girl] said...

True. Good point! :-/ (Scary they don't even have current manuals, themselves! Yikes!