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BuzzVoice comes to the iPad

David Winograd

Back in October we wrote a very positive review of the impressive BuzzVoice app for the iPhone and iPod touch. BuzzVoice reads you stories from over 1500 blogs and plays them back in various ways. The playback sound amazingly natural allowing you to choose a male or female voice, or both.

You can create a personalized Playlist or BuzzCast. A Playlist is built by choosing the sources that you are most interested in, and they appear in the app along with a general category. So if you wanted to hear the latest stories from TUAW, you'd put it in your Playlist and tap the TUAW topic.

A BuzzCast is a bit different. It's an app generated podcast. You decide on the content and each day it will appear in your iTunes library allowing you to hear it on any iPod, iPhone (within the app), or even on your computer. BuzzCasts can be as long as 30 minutes long.

Here's the problem: creating a BuzzCast or Playlist required you to log onto the BuzzVoice site to choose your favorite content. To get the full function of the app, you needed a computer nearby, and were required to jump back and forth between the computer and the app.

Here's the solution: this complexity is going away courtesy of the BuzzVoice iPad app currently under testing. The full functionality of the web site will be built into the new app..
Correction. The BuzzCast feature is still only available through the web site.

Within the iPad version, you'll be able to pick and choose from a curated listing of over 1500 popular blogs and news sources, or pick from 59 preset categories to build your Playlist or set up your BuzzCast. There is also the option of typing in any keyword and content from the requested blog or topic will be listed.

John Atkinson, a developer and one of most passionate and helpful people I've met, told me that new app was built using Apple's SDK 3.2 beta 5, and since they haven't gotten their hands on an iPad yet, the result upon release will be as good as the emulation software they had to work with. No surprise there, since most all developers are in the same boat until April 3rd.

This is an early example of how useful the larger iPad screen can be in adding functions that were too visually complex to cram onto an iPhone screen. So far over a million stories have been heard by BuzzVoice users and by simplifying the user experience, I can see that number jumping pretty fast shortly after next Saturday.

Take a look at this initial video explaining the new features:

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