Wikipedia:WikiProject Spoken Wikipedia

 Overview and Benefits How to create a spoken article Articles Completed Currently being recorded Review Project talk Project Participants Pronunciation Task Force 

In this project, WikiProject Spoken Wikipedia aims to produce recordings of Wikipedia articles being read aloud. See the spoken articles for articles that have already been recorded, and the requests for instructions on how to request a recording of a particular article.


Why participate?

Here are just some reasons why it is worthwhile creating spoken recordings of articles.

  • Spoken articles make Wikipedia content available to those who can understand English but cannot read it.
  • Users can listen to Wikipedia articles while they perform tasks that preclude reading but not concentration (such as running, or housework).
  • Visually impaired users can use screen readers, but they may not be as accurate as a human vocal performance. This is particularly true of articles relating to science, mathematics, linguistics, and other areas commonly requiring unusual or unfamiliar pronunciation, or the use of symbols.
  • They are a valuable learning tool for those learning English. If a link is given to the version of the page that was recorded then users may listen to the words while reading them.
  • They are a valuable learning tool for auditory learners (people who learn most effectively by listening to information delivered orally).
  • Some may find it easier to concentrate on an article while listening to it, especially in an environment with distracting sounds (with the use of headphones).
  • In performing the articles aloud, readers can catch inconsistencies, redundancies, and awkward phrases not noticed by other editors, thus improving the written version of Wikipedia.

A few caveats

However, the project does have some difficulties and drawbacks that one should be aware of:

  • Recording and editing articles can be time-consuming, and recordings are sometimes abandoned or have their source text dramatically changed before they are finished. It helps to start with smaller, more manageable articles first and then move up to bigger ones.
  • Incorrect pronunciation can mislead non-English-speaking users. This can be solved by looking up the pronunciation for words before performing the recording.
  • There are several audio formats supported by MediaWiki, the software behind Wikipedia:
    • Ogg Vorbis: Although it's neither very well supported (see Help:Media) nor lossless, it's recommended for recording articles. Small files with high audio quality can be produced using Ogg Vorbis, which makes them easy to be up- and downloaded and respectively streamed, even with a slow Internet connection.
    • WAV (PCM): The well-known wave format. It is supported by nearly every browser and media player but it produces huge files. The file size limit may pose an issue here. For pronunciation of single words, it is however suitable at its best.
    • FLAC: It is lossless (this means you can edit it as often as you need to without losing quality) and compressed, but still produces large files.
Note that a software called TimedMediaHandler that runs on Wikipedia's servers will automatically convert your uploaded audio files into different file formats for best compatibility and user experience.
  • To maintain a consistent vocal sound and to avoid the degradation in sound quality that comes from re-editing compressed audio files, edits to an existing recording should be done by the original recorder. Thus, in cases where a recording needs to be modified and the original recorder is not available to do it, the recording may need to be re-recorded entirely or removed.
  • Wikipedia articles are constantly evolving; once created, audio versions become less and less accurate when compared with the current article. This can be solved with updated audio recordings.
  • There is no way to follow or indicate links, although Audio Hyperlinks are one possible solution.


For people wishing to listen to articles that don't yet have a spoken version:

  • Software that converts text to voice is readily available and can be easily used to read out Wikipedia pages on-the-fly. See screen reader.
  • The web-based Pediaphon service uses speech synthesis to generate MP3 audio files and podcasts of Wikipedia articles in different languages. It is highly discouraged to use this software as nothing can replace the user's voice and it may also miss words. If this is used, you will not be awarded any credits for the project.

Spoken Barnstar

Spoken Barnstar
This project has its very own official barnstar, the Spoken Barnstar. According to Wikipedia:Awards by WikiProject:

The Spoken Barnstar may be awarded to an editor who makes outstanding contributions in the form of spoken articles for Wikipedia. Outstanding contributions may include: recording ten good articles, recording three featured articles, or doing an incredibly good job of recording one long, complex, excellent, featured article despite all odds. Awarded by WikiProject Spoken Wikipedia.

This award was introduced on June 28, 2005 by Chameleon.

To award a contributor with the Spoken Barnstar, use: {{subst:Spoken Barnstar|1=Put your message here. ~~~~}}

Audio Barnstar

Audio Barnstar

The Audio Barnstar is more general and may be awarded to editors who make a significant contribution to the wiki by creating and/or adding original or rare audio files, historical recordings, self-made music, self-made examples of sound effects or musical styles, natural sounds, etc.

To award a contributor with the Audio Barnstar, use: {{subst:Audio Barnstar|1=Put your message here. ~~~~}}


Use any of the following userboxes:

{{User WikiProject Spoken Wikipedia}}
USB-Microphone.jpgThis user is a member of WikiProject Spoken Wikipedia.
{{User WikiProject Spoken Wikipedia4}}
Speaker Icon.svgThis user is a member of
WikiProject Spoken Wikipedia.
{{User WikiProject Spoken Wikipedia2}}
Wikimic-cropped.svgThis user is a member of WikiProject Spoken Wikipedia.
{{User WikiProject Spoken Wikipedia5}}
Lorem Ipsum Gill Sans.svgThis user is a member of WikiProject Spoken Wikipedia.Speaker Icon.svg
{{User WikiProject Spoken Wikipedia3}}
Wikimic2-cropped.svgThis user is a member of WikiProject Spoken Wikipedia.

See also

External links