Audio-Only Smart Review: Try it Out!

Olá a todos! Excited to introduce an upcoming feature that we’ve been working on the last while. This is for when you’re on the go and want to review phrases without looking at the screen. Perfect for multitasking, like going on a walk, driving, or washing your dishes!

Here’s an overview of the functionality: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJZPbQ73Oao

First, you generate an audio review with your choice of background music and length (# of phrases). Next time you return to the page, you provide feedback on all the phrases so they are graded accordingly.

Notable Features:

• Mark all as correct/incorrect to save clicks/taps
• Download your review, or listen through the web browser (or in our upcoming app)
• Subscribe to your audio review as a podcast. As you generate a new review, it shows up immediately in your podcast app of choice!

  • If you find the review is too fast or to slow, all major podcast apps allow you to speed up or slow down the audio, which can be a big help
    • Discard an audio review, if you decided not to listen to it

How you can help

We’d love to hear your feedback on…

  • The number of repetitions and pacing (pauses)
  • Is it useful to have the phrases all repeated in a different order after the halfway point, or should we stick to 1 session only, cutting the audio time in half?
  • Background music volume
  • Background music choices
    • Which are your favourites?
    • Which ones do you hate or find distracting?
    • How do you find the volume?
  • What features / improvements would you like to see? Anything you’d consider urgent before we launch this to everyone?

Known Issues

  • Improvements to mobile version
  • Beta mobile app users: You can find it in the side menu under Learn > Audio Smart Review. You can download the review directly into the app (showing up in your Downloads area), but we need to push an update in the next few days to resolve a crash that happens when trying to play downloaded files
  • We need to make it easier to copy the URL for your custom podcast feed, since it’s not currently possible from within the app. (You have to do it through the browser).
  • Some English prompts may sound wrong because of a bug with how some of the short form hints (about gender and plurality) are expanded. For example, “Your socks are purple” expands to “Your socks are purplurale”. So if you hear weird English prompts, we’re working on fixing that now.
  • You have to mark ALL phrases correct or incorrect in order to Submit the Review. We will update this to allow you to submit without marking all phrases.

Access the Smart Review: Audio Mode. (Requires Active Premium Membership)

Thanks in advance for your help and feedback!

4 Likes

I really like this and think it can be quite useful. One other feature that is sort of the reverse of this, would be to have the audio of Portuguese speakers from the lessons. I still find it difficult to understand what people are saying, even though in the SmartReview I understand the Portuguese. Even having the reverse audio mode would be useful. IOW, you hear the Portuguese, can repeat it, and try to understand what the English translation is. Just a thought for a future version.

2 Likes

Thanks for testing it out! We will be pushing some new improvements within the next day or so.

Your suggest is good, and we have some other similar activities (including your ideas) to explore based on some of this functionality. I think for a comprehension practice activity like this, it should use phrases that aren’t necessarily part of your Smart Review, since I think the Smart Review should be focussed on your recall skills, (needing to come up with the Portuguese phrase from just the English translation). And comprehension practice would also need to surprise you with phrases you haven’t seem recently (or possibly ever), unlike your Smart Review, which is your curated list of vocab you’re trying to memorize.

So I’m thinking that comprehension practice might be a bit more randomized, pulling from a wider bank of phrases on our platform.

Do you agree? Would you want the phrases to be completely random, or would you like the option to filter the ones included by level, topic etc?

We could also include the audio from the video phrase clips, which would increase the challenge (but possibly frustration too, since the quality of some of the clips needs improvement, and could be more difficult without seeing the person’s mouth). So this is something we will also be exploring.

Any further ideas / feedback are welcome, on these points or any other aspects of this audio-only functionality. Thanks for your help!

Abraço,

Joel

I like your idea of it being more random, but I think the option to chose would be useful. If you are just starting it would be very frustrating to get phrases with words and phrases you’ve never heard.

I think the audio from the video phrase clips would be useful and give more ‘real life’ learning practice, but it could definitely be frustrating. Audio from the Smart Review phrases would be a good start, and probably easiest on your part.

Ideally you would have the option to chose from all 3 - Smart Review phrases, more randomized comprehensive practice, and / or audio from the video clips. What about pulling clips from the shorties? That would also be good audio practice.

Maybe it shouldn’t be part of the Smart Review at all, but just another learning feature. Ideally it would pull from all of the lessons you have completed, including what’s in your Smart Review, the video from the audio clips, and audio clips from the Shorties. Options to chose between them would certainly be useful.

Happy to help! I’ll give it some more thought too.

Abraço,
Paula

1 Like

I loved doing this, but did just encounter a bug after I had finished. I ticked the 8 I remembered, and crossed the 2 that I found difficult, but it wouldn’t let me submit the review.

In terms of feedback:
I liked having them repeat again, but I think it would be fine looping back to the beginning. I had ones repeat that I had heard just a moment before and it didn’t have the same effect as the earlier phrases in the audio clip

1 Like

I love this new feature since I can’t be looking at my phone when I’m walking the dog, but I can’t find where to generate the podcast/rss url (like in the video demonstration).

Thanks!

Glad you like! I use it while walking the dog too actually (and that’s when I discover bugs for us to fix :))

The podcast feed is updated automatically after you generate an audio file. The subscribe link is the big purple button at the bottom right if the page. Ah! But I just noticed it doesn’t appear in our app, you have to do it through a web browser. We will fix that.

You have to copy and paste the link into your podcast app. Need more help? Let me know which podcast app you use (or if you’d like to use it inside our own app instead) and I can make a demo.

I also just noticed that the button disappears if you have already generated a review. So you have to discard or mark it to get the button to appear again. We will get on that next week!

Hmm that’s strange. Is it possible you removed one of the phrases or marked as mastered (instead of marking it right or wrong)? I just discovered that any action besides marking right or wrong will block you from submitting. (We will fix it)

Were you able to move on from that or are you still stuck?

I am also experiencing the problem of marking the review and not being able to submit it.
It is taking me a little time to get used to this method of learning. I like that I can download and play the same sets of phrases regularly, especially those I find difficult to recall correctly. I also find I can check my pronunciation. I find some of the longer phrases more difficult to recall and speak aloud within the time given, especially those I am getting to grips with and more or less know but not tripping off the tongue quickly. A similar thing happens when the speaker says things like you singular just before the phrase. I could just do with a couple of beats longer for my brain to compute the information
Overall a very positive experience with this learning tool Thanks so much for all your hard work

This is an incredible feature! I was thinking I wish I had a way to practice while walking or doing the dishes and now I do. Thank you.

I wonder about the pauses. I hear a phrase, there is a long pause (and I need it for the longer phrases I’m working on now) then Rui speaks it, another pause, then says it again. That is perfect, but I would like the pause between the two times Rui speaks to be a little longer, so I get a chance to say it again. Is it static or dynamic based on the length or complexity of the phrase?

Some little things: On the webpage where you’re building the audio file, I would like the dropdown for “background Music” to remain on the one I choose last, such as “none”. It defaults to “random” now. I also would like the number of phrases to default to my last choice, 10, 20 or 30.

I used the RSS feed in my podcast player, Podcast Addict (on Android) and it worked great. I’ve generated about 5 files so far, the title in the podcast player is “audio review” + date and I’d like a field that would let me name that. Even if it just had a title of the first frase that would help.

I like the repeat feature. After the first review, I can turn it off if I feel like I got all of the right, but for me, most likely I need to review again, so having it repeat is handy. Otherwise I would have to manually play it again.

I’m only sad I recently deleted all my smart review because I wanted to be more selective about what I practiced. I will load it up and test this feature more. Your new features that let me load up smart review, and clean it up are a great improvement that I am taking full advantage of, Good work!

1 Like

Thanks for these suggestions, great ideas! Adding them all to our list for review. :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

@maureenlister1 and @Connor Thanks for reporting this – it won’t submit the review unless you’ve marked every phrase right or wrong, so my guess is that perhaps you skipped a phrase or 2. (But let me know if it’s happening even when all are marked.) We’re going to fix this so that even if some are missing, it will still let you submit the review, and will set any unmarked phrases as incorrect by default.

Hi all, I was able to recreate the bug too, we will try to resolve this with our programmer. Sorry for the frustration! For now, try using the “mark all” buttons at the bottom of the list first to make the submit button show as enabled, then go back and adjust each phrase as you need before submitting. Does that help? Thanks for the feedback!

Also, thanks for the feedback about the pauses. They are currently a fixed pause (2 seconds maybe) plus a dynamic pause based on phrase length. We will extend it a bit to see if we can find the sweet spot! One day we might need to add this as one of several customization options.

Also, I agree about the options being saved by default. We will work on that :slight_smile:

I’ve used it a little more and I have more feedback.

  1. I like that you repeat the phrases in a second round, and I like that they are mixed up, not in the same order as the first round. I might even like a third round. Of course I can just play it again, but maybe in the future that could be a setting on the audio generation page,

  2. currently I build my audio files by unit. I’m starting easy, since I find this audio flashcards to be harder than online/screen. I only have a few seconds to come up with the answer, which is fine, but it’s more challenging, so I am going back to earlier units to add to my smart review. The way I do this is by deleting all of my smart review, then add to smart review by unit. Create the audio files for the unit, then delete all of my smart review again. If I could simply create the audio by unit this would be easier. I could have hundreds of phrases in my smart review, but I would like to generate the session by unit of my choice.

  3. I may have mentioned already, but in my podcast app I’d like a way to modify the title of each episode. Since I am making very specific audio files, I would like to call them Preterite Verbs, Irregular Present Tense verbs etc.

Awesome feature!!!

Hey everyone, Pedro here, one of the programmers :nerd_face:

We’ve already taken some of your feedback into account:

-the default background music choice is now ‘None’
-the pause between the english phrase and the first portuguese phrase is now longer
-the bug where you could not submit the review after marking all the phrases should now be fixed

Please let us know if you think these changes have improved your experience. We’ll be tackling some of your other suggestions in the next few days. Thanks for all the great feedback so far! :hugs:

more than a tweak but I have a suggestion for creating the audio files. Rather than just getting random sets of 10 to 30 phrases from my smart review, I would like to create the audio files by unit.

So that could be a feature of creating the audio (and a feature of smart review as well) that whenever you do smart review, flash cards or create audio that you can select by Unit what you want to include in the session. That would be very handy.

Currently I handle smart review by deleting the whole thing, then adding to smart review by unit. Then I can either do flashcards or create audio files by unit. I used to have over a 1000 phrases in Smart Review but now I prefer to keep it small and focused.

1 Like

Thanks for this great new opportunity to learn - with closed eyes in a meditative way … love it

1 Like

Just tried this for the first time and it’s going to be another useful tool, well done guys!
I encountered the bug with the english not sounding right, got used to it after a while, but some of the phrases were completely unintelligible. (Eg The apples are bad)

When I looked at the marking review there were two phrases listed which hadn’t been used in the audio.

I’d prefer not to have the phrases repeated, it’s easy enough to reply if you want to review.

Amazed at all the new tools you keep giving us!

Here’s my idea for another one!
Conversation builder a bit like a role play, based on common situations like eating out, shopping, banking, doctors, hairdressers, getting stopped by the police for a driving offence (This really happened to me and I insisted on only speaking broken Portuguese, he took pity on me and let me go!)

So you provide the Portuguese side and we have to come up with a suitable response, with maybe a prompt so the dialogue continues in the way you’ve structured the role play. This would test both listening and speaking skills.
Almost impossible to mark as so many possible replies so students would have to self assess.
You could scaffold support by giving a written hint response in English and then an audio sample answer in Portuguese.
Just a thought!