If you’re a multitasker who wants to catch up on the latest news while doing half a dozen other things, Basil Salad Software may have a Mac app for you. The company has just released News Anchor, an RSS/Atom feed manager that reads the stories aloud.
News Anchor lets you quickly subscribe to news feeds by entering their URLs. You can then assign the RSS/Atom feeds to your own channels. You can give the channel a name, and decide how frequently to use various feeds within that channel. News Anchor then generates an auditory episode for that channel, using the Mac’s text-to-speech technology.
The navigation screen for News Anchor lets you view and edit channels and episodes; it also provides a pane that displays headlines for the stories within the episodes. When you’re actually playing an episode you see another screen that shows the virtual “news anchor” (get it?) who reads the stories aloud; while the stories play, you can view basic information about the feeds and images from the articles.
News Anchor requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later. You can download a fully function free trial to use for 14 days. After that, you’ll have to pony up $38 for a single-user license to keep hearing those RSS broadcasts. A five-user license is available for $97.