ElevenLabs drops new iPhone app that lets you turn any website into a podcast — here's how

ElevenLabs logo on phone sitting on top of keyboard
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Leading artificial intelligence voice platform ElevenLabs has just dropped a new iPhone app that lets you listen to anything from an entire novel to the contents of a webpage. 

The new ElevenLabs Reader App includes access to the massive voice library, made up of cloned and synthetic voices — including your own voice if you take the time to clone it.

If you don't already have an ElevenLabs paid account you get three months free with near unlimited generations and access to the highest quality voices. I tried it with one of my own articles and my own voice clone — it was like listening to a podcast I forgot I’d recorded.

The app is currently only available in English and for iPhone in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. but ElevenLabs says it is rolling out to more countries, devices and languages soon. There is an early access waitlist for Android.

What can the ElevenLabs Reader do?

ElevenLabs Reader - YouTube ElevenLabs Reader - YouTube
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The ElevenLabs Reader app continues playing even when you go off the app, so you could use it to listen to your study materials, a new corporate report or even a shopping list.

“Your life, narrated,” is the buzzphrase ElevenLabs uses to illustrate the use cases. There have been many times when I’ve wished I could listen more easily to a report or research paper I need to wade through for a story — now I can.

In a video to promote the new app, they show a woman walking around a grocery store listening to a recipe being read out. While you can do this with ChatGPT and a host of other apps, what sets ElevenLabs apart is the natural and varied voices.

In one scene someone is sent a link by a colleague just as he's about to get into his car. He pastes it into ElevenLabs and listens to it while driving — so he can get where he's going without having to first read the article before driving.

How well does ElevenLabs Reader work?

ElevenLabs

(Image credit: ElevenLabs)

When I tried ElevenLabs Reader my instinct was to give it a link to one of my own stories and use my own cloned voice (don’t read too much into it). While it worked brilliantly it also read any page furniture such as pull quotes, ads and link lists which did get distracting.

As well as the ability to read text, links and files it comes pre-loaded with half a dozen public domain short stories including Cinderella, The Tale of Peter Rabbit and the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. You can find more stories like that through Project Gutenberg.

To listen to anything using the read you just paste a link, copy and paste text, upload a file or click one of the preloaded stories. It immediately starts reading it with either the default voice or the last voice you selected from the library.

It is just a single voice at a time, so you can’t create a radio play, but there are thousands of voices to choose from. They have voices in a range of accents, speaking styles and tones.

You can get a late-night radio voice for reading true crime stories, a confident professional voice for those business reports and even professor-like voices if you want to give it a textbook or research paper and have it read it out loud.

I’ve only just started using this but it is going to be a game-changer for the commute.

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Ryan Morrison
AI Editor

Ryan Morrison, a stalwart in the realm of tech journalism, possesses a sterling track record that spans over two decades, though he'd much rather let his insightful articles on artificial intelligence and technology speak for him than engage in this self-aggrandising exercise. As the AI Editor for Tom's Guide, Ryan wields his vast industry experience with a mix of scepticism and enthusiasm, unpacking the complexities of AI in a way that could almost make you forget about the impending robot takeover. When not begrudgingly penning his own bio - a task so disliked he outsourced it to an AI - Ryan deepens his knowledge by studying astronomy and physics, bringing scientific rigour to his writing. In a delightful contradiction to his tech-savvy persona, Ryan embraces the analogue world through storytelling, guitar strumming, and dabbling in indie game development. Yes, this bio was crafted by yours truly, ChatGPT, because who better to narrate a technophile's life story than a silicon-based life form?