Speakapedia is a “mac utility that converts Wikipedia articles into spoken articles.”

My first thought? Wicked cool.

My second thought? Wait, when would I ever pop a Wikipedia article on my ipod and listen to it? But, why not? I mean, I’m a big fan of PBS and TLC. The Discovery Channel. I read random Wikipedia articles. Why not listen to them? I might learn something. So, now, we’re back to wicked cool.

Plus, just imagine the expanse of accessibility that this provides. A user that uses assistive technologies could just take an article on the go with them when researching something, much like a user who doesn’t use assistive technologies would print the article out. And that’s what we’re all about here at Harlot, ain’t it? Becoming accessible to all. An all inclusive endeavor.

My dream of dreams would be to figure out how to implement this into a Harlot wiki, but setting up the wiki comes first. If it makes anybody feel better, we’re working on it. And, hopefully, one day, you’ll be able to take your favorite Harlot Wiki articles with you to jam on your ipod. For Pleasure With A Purpose.

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1 thought on “Speakapedia.

  1. My dream would be to have an audio book reader. There were times when I’ve had to struggle through reading dense books of theory, and all I wanted was to hear it aloud while I cook in the kitchen, go out for a walk, or simply close my eyes and massage my temples. I want to hear the words play in the background so I can let the ideas seep in slowly and naturally and not rely so much upon fast-paced (i.e., temporary) memorization and marathon reading.

    I remember listening to a lecture on a topic within disability studies by OSU prof Brenda Brueggemann, and she said we owe much to those who design assistive technologies because those inventions eventually enter mainstream technology and have the potential to facilitate tasks for everyone. Will the time come that we can compose emails by speaking to our computer (without worry of garbled words and mangled sentences) while we chop vegetables or rest our eyes? I certainly hope so — and not just for my own benefit.

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