I had a chance to check out the service called Slidespeech.com.
Slidespeech is an online service where you can upload Powerpoint, Google Doc, ODP presentations and their service will auto narrate whatever is written in the speaker notes area and create an autorunning video-esque presentation that can play back through slidespeech.com or through their app on mobile devices (iOS & Android)
So, how does it work? well… a little clunky. But, let me preface the rest of my comments with the fact that Slidespeech is currently in their alpha version, so it’s expected that there would be a lot of bugs to work out before they hit Beta… where they will work out even more bugs, before it’s officially released.
So I created a fake account with slidespeech.com and uploaded a PPT file that had speaker notes. Here is what happened:
- Imported presentation lost all transitions and a lot of visual effects that were on screen. Some graphics and text effects were not properly converted. That said, most of the presentation translated fine.
- During playback, any slides that did not have speaker notes were immediately skipped over. They autoadvance the slides after the speaker notes are finished being narrated… no narration = skipped slide
- The presentations played back nicely on the computer as well as the iPad. (did not test on my android phone)
- The speech engine works… ok. the accent is a little odd. Sometimes you may have to spell out words in your notes area phonetically so that the speech engine can read it properly. It behaves a lot like what you would hear on an Xtranormal video. (Example of xtranormal video on my iPad app blog post: http://is.gd/VE7i1l)
So… my verdict? It has potential, but isn’t ready for primetime yet. … and I’m left wondering if the time spent writing a machine readable narrative in the notes area couldn’t be better used to simply record your own narration using the built-in tools in Powerpoint…. then there would be extra control over slide timings…