Chrome Introduces Feature to Convert Web Pages into Podcasts

Google continues to innovate with its Chrome browser, this time introducing a new feature called “Listen to this page,” which converts web text content into audio directly within the browser window. This much-anticipated feature is now available to some Android users and is being actively tested on desktop versions.

The “Listen to this page” function features an intuitive interface resembling traditional media players. Users can pause the reading, adjust playback speed, and skip forward or backward by 10 seconds. Additionally, it offers multiple voice engine options and languages, including English, French, German, Arabic, Hindi, and Spanish.

To use this new feature, simply open a web page with substantial text, click on the three-dot menu, and select “Listen to this page.” Currently, Russian language support is not available, but it is expected in future updates.

An alternative to this new feature is Google Assistant, which can also read web pages aloud and even translate them into other languages. However, Google Assistant operates in a separate application, whereas the new feature keeps users within the Chrome environment.

Google is also testing “Listen to this page” on desktop computers. In the experimental Chrome Canary build, a play button appears at the top of pages in reading mode, which activates text-to-speech conversion using a voice engine.

At this stage, the quality of synthesized speech leaves room for improvement—it sounds quite robotic, and some words are pronounced incorrectly. Notably, Microsoft has already implemented a more advanced text-to-speech feature in its Edge browser’s Immersive Reader mode. Safari for iPhone also offers a similar “Speak Screen” functionality using Siri’s voice engine, with comparable control elements.

If Google can refine this feature and roll it out across all platforms, it could become an excellent tool for users who prefer auditory consumption of information. The key will be enhancing the quality of the synthesized speech to make it less robotic.

As of now, the “Listen to this page” feature in Chrome is gradually being rolled out to users. Some Android device owners can try it out in the release version of Chrome 125 as part of Google’s A/B testing, while others may need to wait a bit longer or install the latest beta version of Chrome. This new functionality highlights Google’s commitment to accessibility and user convenience, particularly for American users who rely on auditory methods for consuming digital content.

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