Voices on our blog! A new Labs experiment


I have recently been experimenting with a new service on the web called SpokenLayer. SpokenLayer offers a network of on demand “human voices” who are ready to voice content on the web. SpokenLayer works completely behind the scenes and in an on-demand kind of way. As new page requests come in, SpokenLayer adds them to your queue. Then, the content is sent to SpokenLayer’s Mechanical-Turk-like network of recording artists who voice your content in small recording studios around the world. New sound recordings are then automatically added to your site via a simple Javascript snippet.

There are many possibilities for how Cooper-Hewitt might utilize this kind of a service. We see this as a useful way of experimenting with the podcast-ability of our content, bringing our content to a wider audience and allowing for better accessibility to those who need it. It also works nicely when you are on the go, and I am really eager to figure out how we might connect this up to our own collections API.

For a first pass we’ve decided to try it out on the Object of the Day blog. From now on, you will notice a small audio player at the top of each Object of the Day post. Click the play button on the left and you will be able to hear the “voiced” version of each day’s post ( be sure to turn on your computer’s speakers ). It usually takes anywhere from a half hour to a day for a new audio recording to appear.

I thought this one was particularly good as the recording artist was able to do a pretty good job with some of the Dutch accented words in the text.


It is an experiment and we’ll see how it goes. Here are a few examples you can listen to right now.





One thought on “Voices on our blog! A new Labs experiment

  1. SpokenLayer

    It’s so great to have you on the SpokenLayer platform! Just a little stats from what we’ve seen so far, 25% of people who view each post are start listening, and just about 1 in 2 listen all the way to the end! Quite engaging content!


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