Let’s debate: is listening as good as reading?
Daniel T. Willingham is the Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia. He turned this question into a study and a blog post. The short and quick version of his answer is that listening to an audiobook is exactly like reading print, except that the latter requires decoding and the former doesn’t.
With that misgiving out of the way, let’s turn to a wonderful little tool called Narro that can turn your heaped reading list into podcasts. These personal podcasts can then help you get through your reading list faster. Send your bookmarked articles to this cross-platform app and fill up those in-between minutes.
Narro comes as an Android app, iOS app, Chrome Extension, and as a bookmarklet. It automatically turns any article into a podcast which you can listen to in any device and any podcast player. It also integrates with a few other apps like Pocket and Instapaper.
You get a choice of 25 voices for the voice reproduction. The absence of a robotic recital is the best thing about the text-to-audio conversion. The clear-voiced conversions is without any fragments of ads. Narro thoughtfully filters the text.
Narro has Free and Pro versions. The free version gives you 15 articles to convert and listen to every month. The automatic detection of 12+ languages is one of the little features I haven’t tried out yet. But it could be handy if you are trying to learn a foreign language and want to listen into its nuances.
Narro is the new kid on the block. SoundGecko was popular but has been shut down. Umano has joined Dropbox. There are apps like Audiofy floating around on the App Store. And then there may be some more which will find its way to the comments below.
Try Narro for a day and come back to tell us a bit about its polish. Also, tell us if you agree or disagree with Professor Willingham?