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Life Short Reads

On the Consumption of Content

Now that we have internet access and are pretty much unpacked, I’ve been slowly trying to catch up on the internet. I’ve collected RSS feeds in Google Reader to the point that I can’t get through them all on a regular day, so several weeks of backlog probably means I’m going to give up and miss out on some incredible world event or the latest IP-maximalist atrocity.

As popular as they are, web videos create a particularly salient sticking point in my quest to cram information into my brain. Unlike audio podcasts or text, they simultaneously command the utilization of multiple sensory apparatus. I have to both watch the video and listen to the audio, and I must keep the containing browser window open and on top. It’s gotten to the point that I get frustrated when an interesting headline or clipping links to a video for the full story, and often forgo the information altogether.

Thus, my idea for the next killer web service: Video Transcriber. Just put in the inevitable link to YouTube or some news site, and it delivers you a text transcript you can read (or have read back to you) while you do something else. Even having adjustable speed for video playback would be nice, perhaps 1.5x with a filter to minimize audio distortion. Any takers?