I listen to a lot of podcasts on many different topics. Most of them have nothing in common - except for one thing: they butcher the names of people (cough JavaPosse cough) Those mispronounced names could be of people sending comments, of known people in the community or just some other strangers.
Seems like it would be a valuable service to have a website that people could record their names on. Given that most the podcast speakers know the people to be mentioned one way or another, it would not be to difficult to send them an email request to hit a website that allows to record that name. Then, every time they need to pronounce the name, they could consult the website and save the time to all the listeners with bad attempts and apologies.
And if the website allowed for the name to be embedded in a website as a widget, this could even be a part of people’s calling card to embed their own name on their website. There might even be synergies with identity services such as LinkedIn by exposing person’s name’s pronunciation as a widget on their profile.
The problem of course is how to monetize such a service. Even with short snippets required to deliver the audio for the names, it would add up if the site became popular.
Still, obviously some people think it is worthwhile doing (as a hobby). A search to see if such service already exists turned up a couple of sites:
None did exactly what is actually needed for the podcasts, but something is better than nothing, right? And they did well enough to be mentioned in newspapers or even on TV. Must be something in this idea after all.