Gracenote Digital Ventures, LLC (New York, NY)

One example embodiment could be receiving newsfeeds with a selection of written in text, and accessed via a client device. The choice could indicate that articles containing text have been identified as audible. The specific embodiment could include, perhaps in response to receiving the selection of the text-based articles, taking text-based articles from newsfeeds. Another example embodiment could involve the conversion of articles based on text into audio files. This embodiment might also involve receiving an request for audio files to be streamed to a client device. A different example of embodiments could include streaming audio files to the client device or another device.

You can access newsfeeds via packet-switched networks (e.g. the Internet) in a variety of types. One of them is simple syndication (RSS) which is also referred to as rich site summaries, that is a popular type of newsfeed. It is presented in a standard format and can be accessed by clients using standard devices. There could be different types of newsfeeds that are both custom and standard. In any case, these newsfeeds typically offer text-based content to client devices. While doing so is suitable for devices that run text-based newsreaders, such text-based articles aren’t suitable for people who are visually impaired or who are busy by other activities which require their attention, such as walking, driving, jogging, or doing housework.

The present inventions provide various mechanisms for streaming audio versions of text-based content to mobile devices. In certain aspects, a user may select one or more newsfeeds due to the user’s general or specific attraction to their content.Each of these newsfeeds can provide one or more text-based articles at a time as well as be periodically updated. An online publication such as a magazine, blog or newspaper, might update its newsfeeds to include the most recent text-based content. A newsfeed or several could be modified to reflect the launch of a new text-based piece. One newsfeed might include copies or references to all published text-based articles.

Once selected, a newsfeed may be added to a list accessible to the newsreader application on the client device of the user. The newsreader application may periodically check with web servers associated with the newsfeeds to receive the latest newsfeeds. The application can display articles that are text-based from selected newsfeeds in a way that’s easy for the user to navigate. For instance, the application may display a list with recently published articles from various feeds, and let the user choose one or more articles to display. In some cases the application for newsreaders may only show a brief overview of an article written in text (e.g. the very first paragraph or the first n characters of the article) The user can click through the overview to get an article on a website of the article’s publisher.

However, visually impaired people and those who have a visual impairment are not in a position to benefit from the advantages of newsfeeds that contain text-based content. Consequently, the embodiments provided herein permit users to tag one or more text-basedarticles or newsfeeds for conversion into audio files. The conversion can occur by way of an automated text-to-speech (TTS) system, or by way of verbal reading or any combination of the two. When the audio files are available, they can be streamed to the user’s device for playback that is audible. Users can listen to the audio files on their computer without needing to use a newsreader app. For instance, a user might be able to listen to specific text-based news articles while driving.

Accordingly, a first example embodiment could involve receiving, via an server device and clients an assortment of articles with text from newsfeeds. The selection might be a sign that the articles with text are marked for audibleplayout. The first example embodiment might also involve, possibly when receiving the selection of text-based articles, retrieving by the server device, the articles that are text-based from newsfeeds. The first embodiment might include causing, through the server device, the articles based on text to be converted to audio files. The server device may ask that the audio files be streamed to the client device as in the first example embodiment. The first embodiment may be a result of causing, via the server device the audio files to be streamed to the client device.

In a second example embodiment an object of manufacture might contain a non-transitory computer-readable media, having stored thereon program instructions that, upon execution by a computer device, trigger the computer to perform operations in accordance with the previous example embodiment.

A third possible configuration of a computing device comprises at least one processor as along with memory, programming instructions and possibly a second processor. Instructions for programming could be stored in the memory, and upon execution by the processor, the computer to perform actions in accordance with the first embodiment.

In a fourth embodiment, a system could include various components for carrying all of the functions of the first embodiment (e.g. using a combination of hardware and software functional units).

Although examples described herein attribute specific acts to particular devices, any device or devices could perform those acts. Some or all of these actions that are assigned to “server devices” can also be executed by other serverdevices, and/or clients.

The above and other embodiments, aspects and advantages as well as alternate versions will be evident to anyone with a basic understanding in art by reading this thorough description. If you look at the drawings in the appendix, where appropriate you will notice that many variations are possible. It is possible to, for instance, combine structural elements and process steps while still staying within the boundaries of the claimed embodiments.

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