Google has added audio playback to some of its Google Knol articles; this page on Echocardiography is an example. Clicking on the “Listen” link in the upper right displays an audio player with surprisingly clear sound. Google Operating System recently pointed to more information on an Audio Knol help page:
We are experimenting with Audio Playback as an option for some knols, starting with a handful of English language featured knols. You can listen using our Flash player, or by downloading an mp3 file and using any mp3 player.
The page says additional languages may be added if the experiment is successful.
Google has also added an Audio Preview button to YouTube that lets people hear audio of their own comments before posting it.
But it begs the question: Where else can Google add audio across its properties? Is there a chance we’ll someday see audio playback
- of search results?
- of AdWords ads? (“click to hear this ad”?)
- in Gmail?
- of reviews on Google Maps?
- of web pages viewed in Google Chrome?
- in Google Reader?
- in Google Docs?
If these audio experiments on sites like Knol are successful, wouldn’t Google try the same on other products?