The Standard Edition of this newsletter now has an audio version for the visually impaired as well as for anyone who would prefer to listen to articles on an iPod or other MP3 player. The text of each article is narrated by a computer-synthesized voice that is amazingly lifelike and easy to understand.
There are two different ways of listening to the audio version.
For the first method, you need to subscribe to the free e-mail edition of the Standard Edition. You can do that by entering your e-mail address into the "Receive daily newsletter updates by email" area near the upper right corner of most pages on the eogn.com web site.
When the daily edition arrives in your e-mail in-box, each article will include an icon that looks like a small loudspeaker. (That icon obviously is not going to be very useful to a visually impaired reader.) Clicking on the loudspeaker icon will take you to a page with links on www.talkr.com that will recite the entire article through your computer's speakers.
NOTE: If you are already a Plus Edition subscriber, you will need to implement a second subscription, this time for the free Standard Edition. Talkr.com does not handle passwords required to access the Plus Edition articles.
The second method is to go directly to the www.talkr.com web site and sign up for a service there. Instructions may be found at http://www.talkr.com and especially in the site's FAQ section at http://www.talkr.com/faq/configuration.html. Follow those instructions to listen to the RSS feed at http://www.eogn.com/all-the-news/index.rdf.
Whichever subscription method you choose, the web site at www.talkr.com actually reads this newsletter's RSS newsfeed and converts the text of the articles to computerized speech. I was very impressed with the quality when I first heard the audio version of the articles.
Talkr.com provides a service that will read most RSS newsfeeds and convert them to speech. Of course, this newsletter has been available as an RSS feed for more than three years.
Talkr can also provide you with a podcast of your favorite news sources. This means that you can plug your MP3 player into your home computer, and Talkr will convert articles to speech and store them on your iPod or other MP3 player. Full instructions may be found at http://www.talkr.com. When asked for the RSS newsfeed, enter: http://www.eogn.com/all-the-news/index.rdf.
The services of Talkr.com are available free of charge. The Standard Edition of this newsletter is also free.
I would like to ask a favor of anyone reading these words who is familiar with the equipment and procedures used by visually impaired computer users: could you please check this out and write a set of instructions that would be worthwhile to any visually impaired newsletter reader? I will post your instructions on the eogn.com web site in order to help the visually impaired find the audio articles.
I cannot write those instructions since I am not familiar with "what is normal." I need some help from an expert. If that is you, your expertise could benefit many people.
Please send your suggestions to me (there's an e-mail link for me at http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2006/01/contact_us.html) or post your suggestions in the comments section below.