importing audio flashcards (as used to be able to do with Flashcard Exchange)

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14 Feb, 2016 02:44 AM

I was sorry when Flashcard Exchange stopped allowing outside apps such as yours to import decks. What I particularly liked about it was that it not only imported the text, but imported the audio as well. And since this audio was automatically generated by Flashcard Exchange when creating foreign language decks, it was a dream.

Your current iOS app still allows importing Quizlet decks, though the audio doesn't import to Mental Case unfortunately. Will the new Studies iOS app still allow Quizlet imports, and if so, is there any way to get it to export the audio to your iOS app like Flashcard Exchange imports used to do?


  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by drewmccormack on 14 Feb, 2016 10:42 AM

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    I think Flashcard Exchange did export the audio in the beginning, but at some point they stopped going that too.

    Cram, as it is now called, closed down third party apps. Even before them, Quizlet did too, but went back on the decision probably due to outcry.

    The thing is, each service now has their own app, and they have no interest in supporting third parties anymore. So we decided to make a break with Studies to not be reliant on them. We have some plans to possibly introduce some sort of sharing ourselves, but nothing to announce at this point.

    Kind regards,

  2. drewmccormack closed this discussion on 14 Feb, 2016 10:42 AM.

  3. zeppo re-opened this discussion on 14 Feb, 2016 05:32 PM

  4. 2 Posted by zeppo on 14 Feb, 2016 05:32 PM

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    Do you know what mechanism quizlet and Cram use to automatically add audio to their cards the way they do? Is it an enhancement that you could add to Studies? I hope so. I have their apps, but they don't cut it. What would be really great for language study is to be able to play the audio without seeing the text of the word, so that your are testing purely your audio recognition. Yet for audio to automatically generate based on the text, the text would need to be there. But if I made the text the same color as the background, that would effectively make it invisible (i.e., text green, background green = Spanish audio card). Next facet would be the English audio, and then a hint/info card could show the written word.

  5. Support Staff 3 Posted by drewmccormack on 14 Feb, 2016 05:39 PM

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    I don’t know exactly what they use, but there are libraries available to do it. It would be good to add. The problem may be the language. Would depend on the library recognizing that properly.

    Note that on the Mac, you can choose Edit > Speech to say the text. I doubt it will work well with foreign languages though, but maybe worth a try.

    As for hiding the text, I would think you could just look away or close your eyes to achieve the same thing.

    With a real audio file, you could of course put the audio on one facet, and the text on the next.

    Will think about what we can do. Busy with Studies on iOS at the moment.


  6. 4 Posted by zeppo on 15 Feb, 2016 12:32 AM

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    Looking away to avoid seeing the text might be an option with your iOS app because you can use gestures to advance past the prompt. With Cram's you have to tap a specific button to play the audio, which is hard to hit without looking.

    One reason I would create a template where the text is hidden by being the same color as the background is that if the audio files could populate automatically as they used to do with Cram, it would save me the work of having to move the audio file or delete the text afterwards.

  7. Support Staff 5 Posted by drewmccormack on 15 Feb, 2016 07:01 AM

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    Have you tried the OS X speech menu to see if that is OK?

    iOS has a similar speech generator which we could add.

    Kind regards,

  8. 6 Posted by zeppo on 15 Feb, 2016 05:51 PM

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    Yes, if you are talking about the one that you activate in System>Preferences. If so, it was awful. It is like Stephen Hawking's.

    I created a few identical cards with Cram, Quizlet and Flashcards Deluxe, and, at least for those examples, the same TTS was used, though their choice of speed varies. These are human voices speaking the full words in most common cases, not a composite of spoken or computer generated syllables. To test it further I used some words used in every day speech and did find a couple that resulted in a composite audio. But even with these less common words, more than not were fully spoken words, or else very well done composites. They do use composite verb endings, like -ing, -ed, and probably adverb endings like -ly (I didn't test it) . By comparison, Google Translate is better than Apple's TTS, but still is not near as good as what the three apps I mentioned use.

    A google search led me to this link where a Quizlet developer tells where they got their TTS:

    You know, now that I think of it, though I always study on my iPhone, audio flashcards could be the one time I might use the desktop app, since I could turn up the volume and put on a slideshow (assuming you allowed some control for the amount of time it takes between facets) and still go about getting other things done (preparing a meal, cleaning, etc.) The problem with the three apps mentioned is their navigation does not suit the way I would like to make use of audio study, whereas I could see yours being more suitable.

  9. Support Staff 7 Posted by drewmccormack on 15 Feb, 2016 07:00 PM

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    Seems like what they are using is server software that has an expensive commercial license. Quizlet is a startup with deep pockets. Don't think that would be an option for us, but I'll look into it.

    Kind regards,

  10. 8 Posted by zeppo on 16 Feb, 2016 04:02 PM

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    I see. Well, I hadn't actually thought of hiding the text by making it the same color as the background until I typed the idea above. Turns out I can do this with the Flashcards app, so I can try that one for audio testing and leave the rest of my study to your app. I've yet to try audio testing. It may not be worth the effort of creating the cards and loading audio one by one (although you just tap a download button), versus whereas I used to be able to take any of my existing decks on Cram and load the audio for the entire deck at once and then upload to your app-- so simple. Thats a big difference in the amount of effort involved, and probably my time now would be better spent on iTalki in actual conversation. But the idea is still intriguing to me. So when I get the time I'll create a few decks and try it out and let you know what I think of it as a learning method. It is unfortunate that they have the audio, but you've got the mobile app that would be most suited to it. Maybe they'll use those deep pockets and buy your app. :) Plus, as I've said before, I like being able to create and edit cards on a large screen desktop. So you've got them beat there if the new sync turns out as you say. I can't wait to try your new iOS app (looking forward to it)!

  11. drewmccormack closed this discussion on 16 Feb, 2016 04:04 PM.

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