Computer? Make It So.

It's amazing what you can achieve with tech, and this week's roundup of apps makes music, writes novels, and even speaks! Take a break from the day and let your computer do all the work.

This Week on Function: Podcast Advertising

Squarespace. Mailchimp. Casper. Blue Apron. If you’re a regular podcast listener, then there’s no doubt you’ve heard ads from these companies, among many others.

This week on Function, we examine the world of podcast advertising. Host and Glitch CEO Anil Dash sits down with Francesco Baschieri, president of Voxnest, and talks about some of the trends and technology behind podcast ads. We also hear from New York City podcasting duo Jade + XD and pull back the curtain on advertising and monetization from an independent media perspective.

Listen to the episode below, and subscribe to Function on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or wherever you find your favorite shows.

Make Your Own Audiograms

Speaking of podcasts, you may have seen some of your favorite shows share small clips from recent episodes in the form of a video. (We even do it for our podcast.)

There's several ways to make these shareable videos -- also called audiograms -- and Glitch user Tennyson (@tennyson) created an app that lets you build your own custom audiograms. Upload your audio of choice, edit the waveform, and use your own image to make the audiogram come alive.

Become A Piano Virtuoso

When I was a kid, there was someone in my class who was a whiz on the piano. He could hear a song on the radio, sit down at the keys, and play it and riff on it like he wrote it himself. Except for a jazzy version of Chopsticks, the piano was never my forte. But thanks to engineer and Glitch user Monica Dinculescu (@notwaldorf), I can finally tickle the ivories like a true professional. And so can you!

Monica's app Piano Genie mimics an entire piano in just eight keys, and it uses magenta.js to automatically improvise new notes. Check out the explanation behind how the app works, then give it a try and compose the next smash hit!

Write An Unreadable Novel

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) takes place every November, and hundreds of thousands of people participate in the marathon journey of writing a 50,000 word novel in just 30 days. National Novel Generation Month (NaNoGenMo) is...a bit different. Instead of stressing over characters and plot lines, you can let your computer write your novel for you. There is one rule: you must share at least one novel along with your source code at the end.

Artist, musician and Glitch user Emma Winston (@emmawinston) published her NaNoGenMo novel "Boring Tales From Tiny Places", and it was generated using JavaScript, RiTa and Tracery. Read the novel below, and remix it to make your own tech-generated magnum opus.

Teach Your Computer To Talk

Humans have created machines to emulate human speech for over a hundred years. Bell Labs created the vocoder in the 1930s, and as computing has grown over the years, now we have apps like web-speech from Glitch user @yung_kropotkin. Type in the text of your choice, and select from over twenty different speech types, and change up the rate and pitch to find the voice that you like best.

Change The Government

If 2018 has taught us anything, it's that tech innovation and modern government aren't exactly the best of friends. Regardless of that, we still use technology to rally behind candidates, champion important causes and spread the word about the laws that effect us all.

Canadian high schooler and Glitch user Maggie Lee (@Margaretl33) wanted to clear up the confusion about the upcoming referendum in British Columbia around electoral reform. She built a website on Glitch that explains the three proposed systems, and it's been so popular that her local newspaper even helped amplify it to their readers.

According to Maggie, this is an important issue that "could really change who we see in our legislature and what happens in our province."

Featured Illustrator of the Week: Yacoyon

We are so pleased to once again feature the work of Yacoyon! With a nod to the early days of computing, Yacoyon's pixel art style is a perfect accompaniment to our roundup.

View more of Yacoyon's work on Instagram, and see Yacoyon's visions for this week's featured apps.

Technology allows us to do so much, and with Glitch, you can make your ideas come alive. Start from any project, remix it, and come up with your own unique creation. What will you make today?