PondStories Readers Can Read and Listen at the Same Time

At PondStories, we’re always exploring new ways to make content more accessible. That’s why we’re excited to share that SpeechSynthesis is available to all PondStories readers with the launch of PondStories’s Listen feature. Any PondStories reader can click the “Listen” button at the top of most stories to hear an audio version read aloud from a number of narrators. Users who aren’t PondStories readers will be invited to join us.

Since the launch of our partnership, PondStories readers have told us that audio has helped them consume more stories than ever before – up to three times as many. Audio helps people listen to PondStories articles during the day when they normally wouldn’t be reading: while going on walks, commuting, exercising, doing chores, doing other things on their computer, or even as they fall asleep.

We’ve also heard many readers tell us they retain information better when they have a chance to listen and read at the same time. This is a new way of consuming content that our partnership supports – SpeechSynthesis highlights text as it reads the audio out loud to you.

“I must confess to generally hating sections entitled “how to read this book” and so on. I feel that, if I bought it, I should be able to read it any way I damn well please! Nevertheless, I feel some guidelines may be useful.” ― Paul Taylor, Text-to-Speech Synthesis

From everything we’ve heard, we believe the SpeechSynthesis play button on PondStories can make your experience with PondStories more enjoyable and flexible.

A Magical Way to Read More

If you love reading, you probably have a long list of articles bookmarked. You can now use the Listen feature to make your way through that list faster. SpeechSynthesis also allows you to change your listening speed. Some users listen to articles at 2-3x the normal listening speed. You can listen to articles at up to 4.5x the normal speed. Speed listening is a productivity hack for many, and we’re excited to make it easier for you.

A Tool for Proofreading

We’ve heard that writers find the Listen feature helpful when they’re proofreading their drafts. Sentences often sound different when you read them out loud, and we’re excited to help our community of creators improve the stories they bring to life. To listen to one of your drafts, you can click the “…” button in PondStories web editor, then select “share draft link,” visit that link yourself, and click the Listen button.

Making Reading Easy

By some estimates, one in five people faces dyslexia, which can make traditional reading difficult. Many people also have visual impairment. Through our listening option, we aim to lower the barrier to learning and delight across PondStories.

How You Can Listen to PondStories with SpeechSynthesis

You can find the Listen button at the top of a PondStories story. When you press this button via web browser, as a logged-in PondStories member, the story text is read to you and you’ll see the words highlighted as you go.

We all have our own tastes. If you’d like to listen to a voice other than the default option, you can select a new one by clicking the voice button in the bottom left corner.

Happy listening!

– Team PondStories

4 min read
Dec 21
Created this post in Dec 21, 2023
Crafting compelling stories and copy that connects brands with their audiences. I specialize in creating impactful content to help businesses stand out online.

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