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In the era of the instant stream and radio podcast, it?s easy to get used to having your news delivered aurally. But you still can?t listen to the actual newspaper, of course.

Not so, says SoundGecko, a free new Web app that converts just about any written text to speech.

The easiest way to use the service is to go to the homepage and plug in the URL of the article you want to hear. SoundGecko will then instantly translate the text to voice and e-mail you a listenable file. Just click the link and behold as that entire 10-page New York Times Magazine article is read aloud (in 25 minutes and 49 seconds, in case you were wondering).

You can also listen to articles offline by downloading SoundGecko?s iPhone app or Google Chrome extension and sending stories to yourself on the fly.

?But how does the thing sound?? you ask. Well, the go-to narrator is definitely more C-3PO than Ira Glass, so don?t expect the articles to come across like your favorite book on tape. That said, this is still an effective method for getting your news read to you as you go about your day.

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