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The Indefinite Article.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Blog Reading for the Blind

So Tuesday, my office-mate Ethan says to me that he wants to make something like a conservative NPR. Ethan is a self-avowed conservative--Killy, remember that guy at First USA that was studying economics? Ethan is kind of like that. I'm not sure what he means by conservative. So I say, "Isn't that kind of an oxymoron?" and he acknowledges it but says that he likes the format and information but not the liberal spin.

So we bat ideas back and forth for a bit until I have this idea: Blog Reading for the Blind. The basic concept is that a modest number of people (say, 30) commit to reading 5 minutes of blog posts into their computers every few days and each day's recordings are put into one mp3 of about an hour that would be downloaded through Bittorrent (a distributed downloading system that would take some of the bandwidth burden off the central server).

I imagine it would be something like Houston Taping for the Blind, a service that is directed toward the blind but is freely available to all. I was first exposed to Taping for the Blind through KTRU, where sometimes I catch the Houston Chronicle being read.

To demonstrate how easy it would be to record, I pulled out the trusty Belkin Voice Recorder and read a few minutes of an article and imported it into iTunes within seconds and played it back. It worked pretty well. To learn more about hot Houston Taping for the Blind works, I applied to be a volunteer there.


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