Saturday, May 27, 2017

When shiny new objects get old - Odiowent

It started with so much promise.


Odiogo announced today the launch of the 'Listen Button' (, a web 2.0 service which allows Content Publishers to provide visitors with an easy and instant way to hear regular text articles. Located near the familiar 'Email' and 'Print' buttons on top of each article in mainstream media and blogs, the Listen Button when clicked will open a player which will read aloud the currently displayed article.

"With the PC entering the living room as the brain of the home multimedia center, text content providers need tools which seamlessly turn readers into listeners," said Marc Kawam, CEO of "Our Podcast solutions and the Listen Button empower content providers to mobilize and boost the value of their text content by making it instantly audible."

So as Odiogo rolled out, the tech press started writing about this shiny new toy. Mashable did. CNET did. DailyTech did. Politico added a Listen button.

In 2008, I signed up with Odiogo, and incorporated it into my blogs. The audio files were not only available at my blog posts themselves, but (via a podcast link) could be subscribed to, so that you would never have to even go to my blog. As I said at the time:

I'm not sure if this really has a practical use yet, but the service is available for those who want to truthfully say, "I don't read Empoprise-IE."

And I used it for years, until 2013, when I received this letter:

August 12, 2013

Important change to the Odiogo service

Dear Odiogo User,

We would like to share with you important information and changes we are making to the Odiogo Service.

When we started the company a few years ago, we were under the belief that our vocalization service would be paid for via embedded pre-roll ads. Unfortunately this did not prove to be the case. The many of brands and agencies we reached out to were skeptical about audio advertising on the web and preferred staying with the traditional banners and web formatted film ads for the videos.

This situation is driving us to shift to a different model which will help us sustain in the market and provide high standards of product and support. Starting September 1, 2013 the Odiogo Service will be made free only to personal, non-profit blogs. All other blogs or sites using Odiogo will have to switch to either the "Plus" or "Pro" plan....

While I could have remained with the service, I chose to interpret their terms to conclude that I was excluded.

And then I forgot about Odiogo until this morning, when I was playing mp3s on my computer and ran across an Odiogo file that I had saved - the reading of this post. A computer voice reading Spice Girls - what can beat it?

This got me curious - how was Odiogo's new business plan going?

Not all that well, according to The Hot Iron in a 2015 post.

A few weeks back, when I was integrating the new responsive design for this blog and was testing all links and functionality that I found the link to Odiogo did not resolve to anything, as if its servers were down. As I thought it may be a temporary issue I left all links in place. Now several weeks later, when I go to the Odiogo site, the resulting Web page is from domain registrar GoDaddy indicating the domain is available for sale at auction! Clearly somebody did not renew the domain name and the site and service is down.

I kept on search for information, but all I found were other user comments like this one:

Update: As of February 2015, it looks like Odiogo is dead. Broken link to above removed.

Everyone was writing about Odiogo when it started, but hardly anyone mentioned it at its passing.
blog comments powered by Disqus