Rexblog mashedup up as a “botcast” — a new cure for insomnia discovered

Rexblog mashedup up as a “botcast” — a new cure for insomnia discovered: After I mentioned the Washington Post’s new mashup initiative, Post Remix the other day, in a comment on the post, Ted Gilchrist said he was using the rexblog RSS feed in a mashup. (Sidenote: the Creative Commons deed I use here makes it fine to use my RSS feed for such non-commercial purposes.)

Here’s what he’s doing (I think):

Ted has set up a process that takes the rexblog RSS feed and converts the text of each post into speech through an open source speech sythesizer, Fesitival. He then distributes an RSS feed of the resulting MP3s of each post. He calls these feeds “botcasts.”

For example, here is a link to the RSS feed of speech-synthesized (is that a term?) versions of rexblog posts.

Other than as a cure for insomnia, it’s hard to think of a reason someone would want to listen to a Hal-sounding
robot read the rexblog. Warning: do not listen to this blog while
operating heavy machinery. (Weirdly, however, I think if I were a
monotone robot, my voice would sound exactly like the way his feed
sounds.)

Ted has several more feeds listed on the Botcast Network website.

On a related note, John Musser (programmableweb.com) has a round-up of early mashups that have come in response to the Post Remix announcement.

Update: Almost as soon as I posted this, I saw where Doc Searls has linked (later clarification: someone on Doc’s IT Garage blog, not Doc, actually linked to it) to another service, RSS DJ, that’s doing something that sounds similar, I guess, if I’m following this corrrectly.

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  • Ted Gilchrist

    Well, I guess being called a cure for insomnia is better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. A cure for something more serious would have been better, though. 🙂

  • rex

    I said hearing the rexblog is a cure for insomnia. I’m sure there are other botcasts that will keep one awake for a long time. I won’t be linking to them, however.

  • Ted Gilchrist

    My apologies.

  • rex

    In re-reading my last comment, I think I was trying to make a joke that didn’t quite make sense. I knew what I meant. That “I won’t be linking to them” meant they’re are probably some blogs with content that is, well, forget it. If I have to explain it, it wasn’t funny in the first place — so “my” apologies. I think what you’re doing is great.

  • Ted Gilchrist

    We’ve got to stop meeting like this. Thanks.