New credit system and search

Howdy! We have recently updated RhinoSpike to use a new credit system. And we also opened up our entire archive of 25,000+ recordings to search!

Credit System

To help encourage more users to contribute recordings we have added a new credit system to RhinoSpike. Here’s how it works:

Record audio to earn credits

Whenever you record an audio file and submit it to RhinoSpike, you now receive a fraction of a credit. Three uploads equals one full credit. Once you have earned a credit, you can use it to unlock a recording for download!


But what about all the recordings I’ve submitted in the past?

Don’t worry. If you have uploaded anything to RhinoSpike in the past, you will be grandfathered in. All of your previous recordings will count and you will receive all the credits you would have earned had we had this credit system in place from the beginning. If you uploaded 30 recordings before the update, you will have 10 credits to start with!

What’s more, all 25,000+ recordings that were live on RhinoSpike before the update are unlocked for all users by default. This means you won’t have to spend your hard-earned credits to download recordings that were submitted before today! We also have a new search feature (see below) that will help you find the recordings you want.

For recordings submitted after today, they will be ‘locked’ by default and you can use your credits to unlock them. Once you have unlocked a recording, it will be added to your Collection. You can access your collection by click on the ‘Your Collection’ button at the top of the page.


Once you have unlocked a recording, it is yours to download whenever you want.

Note that all recordings, even new ones, are free to listen to on the site without unlocking them. Unlocking a recording enables you to download the audio file to your personal devices. So you can listen to a recording to make sure you like it before you spend a credit to unlock it for download.

Are there any other ways to get credits?

Yes there are! We realize that some people are shy, don’t have access to a recording device or are otherwise unable/hesitant to contribute their own recordings to RhinoSpike. Or maybe you just want more credits faster. For this reason, we now offer subscriptions and credit packs.


If you purchase a subscription you will get three things:

  1. A monthly allotment of credits
  2. A favorable upload/credit ratio (1 upload = 1 credit)
  3. Our heartfelt gratitude for helping to support the site!

You can purchase a RhinoSpike subscription on the subscribe page.

Credit Packs


If you just want extra credits but you don’t want to commit to a monthly or yearly subscription we also sell credit packs.

A credit pack is a one-time payment for a small chunk of credits. You can purchase a credit pack here.


If a subscription or a credit pack isn’t for you, you can always earn credits the free way by uploading recordings for other users!


RhinoSpike now has a search feature! You will see a search bar at the top of the page. Simply type in a word and you can find all Audio Requests that contain that word in the text.


Now you can easily find recordings for the specific words and phrases you are working on!


Thanks for all the support over the years! You guys are what makes RhinoSpike such a great language learning resource. We can’t wait to listen to all your new recordings.

Correct Me If I’m Wrong

Howdy! Good news. We just released a new feature on RhinoSpike that let’s you correct the text of an audio request before you record it! It’s really easy.

When you click the link to record, you will see that there is a new step. Before you record, you are given the option to correct the text first:


Simply edit the text in the textbox to make your corrections and press the ‘Done’ button:


Next, submit your recording as usual. When the requesting user checks their recordings, they will see you corrections along with it, with changes highlighted in blue:


That’s it. The correction step is completely optional, so if no corrections are required you can just skip it.

Now that native speakers can correct your audio requests, we hope that you will feel more comfortable submitting journal entries or other text that you composed yourself in your L2. Have fun!

The New and Integrated Queue on RhinoSpike

You may have already noticed that the queue looks a bit different today. Take a look:'s new queue

We’ve integrated the audio request and script request queues into one view, eliminating the need to click between two tabs, and making it clearer when there are script requests ready for transcription. You have probably noticed the large dropdown on the right listing languages. Using this dropdown allows you to view the queues for other languages besides your native language.

Behind the scenes, we’ve tweaked how requests are picked to be displayed in the queue as well. Right now, audio requests with no recordings and script requests that aren’t complete are shown first, with requests belonging to users who contribute more recordings and transcriptions shown first.

It is also no longer possible for one user to completely fill the queue. Only one audio request and one script request per language per user will be shown in the queue. Once one of those requests are fulfilled, their next request will be placed on the queue.

As always, your feedback is always welcome!


The Recording Queue has been Improved

We have made a few small changes to the recording queue on RhinoSpike which should benefit both recorders and those who request recordings. You can now see more requests in the queue on one page, and click to see more pages of requests on the queue if you need to. We have also tweaked the sorting of the requests in the queue a bit so that you should not see an entire page of requests from just a single user now. As always, we are open to feedback and suggestions, which you can submit to us through our feedback form.

RhinoRecorder let’s you record audio within your browser on RhinoSpike!

We are excited to announce that users can now record audio without leaving the browser with RhinoRecorder! Check out this short demonstration video to see RhinoRecorder in action:

You will need to install Microsoft Silverlight to use RhinoRecorder, which works on both Windows and Macintosh with Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer.

You may, of course, continue to record audio using programs like Audacity and upload your recordings as before.

If you haven’t sign up for a free account! Then login, and record some audio for a fellow language learner today!

RhinoSpike now supports Ogg Vorbis

Today we updated with support with Ogg Vorbis. What the heck is Ogg Vorbis, you say? Ogg Vorbis is a popular open source audio format that is unencumbered by patent and licensing issues, and arguably offers better quality audio than the MP3 format. We’ve also upgraded to a new in-browser media player that supports both MP3 and Ogg Vorbis, using HTML5 where available and Flash where it’s not. Also for certain browsers that don’t support Ogg Vorbis natively (like Internet Explorer and Safari), there is a Java-based media player that we use. We hope this will allow everyone to play all of the audio on RhinoSpike within the browser. We’ve done a lot of testing to make sure that it will work for everyone.

Our usage data indicates that about 80% of our users are using Firefox and Chrome, which will have no problem supporting these new changes. Most of the remaining users are using Internet Explorer and Safari, and about 80% of those users have Java installed, so they should have no problems either. If you find yourself unable to play Ogg Vorbis files on RhinoSpike, I recommend switching your browser to the latest version of either Firefox or Chrome, or installing Java if you’re too attached to your current browser.

What about downloading Ogg Vorbis files? How do I play them on my computer? The good news is many major media players already support Ogg Vorbis. Check out this page for a detailed list of software.

To see a live example of Ogg Vorbis in use, check out this recording.

So why support Ogg Vorbis? At RhinoSpike, we’re big fans of open source software, and believe we should help the world adopt an open audio format such as Ogg Vorbis. Also, support for Ogg Vorbis is a major step in our plan to bring in-browser recording to our users.

Get YouTube Transcriptions on RhinoSpike

Just a quick update to mention that RhinoSpike now supports YouTube videos. What this means is that you can find a YouTube video in your foreign language and make a Script Request out of it. A native speaker will watch the video and transcribe it for you!

To do it, create a Script Request as you normally would. See the last post about how to make a Script Request on RhinoSpike for details on that. When you get to the Script Request creation page, enter a YouTube video url in the appropriate space:

Get foreign language YouTube videos transcribed for you by a native speaker

Get foreign language YouTube videos transcribed for you by a native speaker

When you click “Create”, RhinoSpike will embed the YouTube video into your script request. Currently, we support YouTube urls in the following formats:


The only caveat is that the video must be embeddable. Occasionally YouTube users will choose to turn off embedding. These videos won’t work with RhinoSpike, so it may be worth your while to double-check if the video you want transcribed allows embedding.

For a sample of a completed YouTube transcription on RhinoSpike, check this out: He-man intro transcribed on RhinoSpike.

Get foreign language YouTube videos transcribed for you by a native speaker!
Try it out and let us know what you think!

Help Videos

We’ve also started the process of creating help videos to help new users learn the site. RhinoSpike co-founder Peter made the first one and it fits right in with this blog post. How so? It teaches you how to create a Script Request using either a YouTube video or an audio file! Check it out here:

Have fun! We love you!

Foreign Language Transcriptions On Demand

We updated RhinoSpike today with a new feature. It’s still a work in progress, but we wanted to go ahead and roll it out and get feedback on it.

One of our most requested features was to have a “reverse” RhinoSpike. Users wanted to upload a foreign language audio file and have a native speaker transcribe it for them. Well, now you can do just that with a little thing called a Script Request.

Creating a new Script Request

Now when you click the rhino Submit button you are given a choice: Audio Request or Script Request.

Choose Audio Request or Script Request

Pick your poison (both are yummy poisons that are extremely good for you)

Clicking Audio Request will send you down a familiar path, but Script Request is new. Clicking Script Request will take you to a page where you can submit audio for a native speaker to transcribe for you. Just enter a title, select a language and upload the file and it will be submitted into the queue for that language.

Creating a new Script Request on RhinoSpike

Creating a new Script Request

The Queue

The Script Queue works just like the Audio Queue. Transcribing for other users will bump your Script Requests ahead in the queue. Not only that, it will also bump your Audio Requests ahead in the Audio Queue! Recording your voice for other users will likewise bump both your Audio and Script Requests!

So if you don’t have a mic, or if you were too shy to record yourself before, you now have a new way to help other users and get your own requests pushed to the top.

How To Transcribe

The “rhino Record button” has now been renamed to the “rhino Queue button”. Clicking the Queue button will take you to a list of pending Audio and Script Requests. The Record! and Transcribe! buttons near the top of the queue page toggle between the two queues. To transcribe, toggle to the Script Queue and click on a blue [ TRANSCRIBE ] link.

Click the Queue button, then select the Script Queue.

Click the Queue button, then select the Script Queue.

Work in Progress

As mentioned in the opening paragraph, this feature is a work in progress. We are still working on integrating Script Requests into the site as a whole and hammering out bug-fixes. We wanted to give you guys a peek early so that we could get feedback. Expect to see some fine-tuning in the days and weeks to come. Embedding YouTube clips is on the list.

Try it out and let us know what you think!

Happy Birthday RhinoSpike!

Today, RhinoSpike turns 1-year-old. Depending on your time zone, we launched on March 24/25, 2010. Happy Birthday RhinoSpike!

Since launch, we’ve attracted over 6,500 users, all by word of mouth! Thanks to everybody who signed up and double thanks to everyone who told a friend about us!

As you know, is the place to get custom-made audio content for any foreign language text, recorded by native speakers for you. Since launch we’ve received a ton of recordings. How many? Check it out:

RhinoSpike has 6400 recordings in 49 language after only 1 year!

You guys rock!

2011 is going to be an even bigger year for RhinoSpike. We have a lot of incredibly wonderful things in the works. Thank you everybody for your continued support!

Want to give us a birthday present? Here’s our birthday list:

Better Profiles, Better Friend Search, Better RhinoSpike!


We updated RhinoSpike again today. We updated profiles, improved Friend Search and cleaned up the recording path. Here are the details:


Due to popular demand, we added a few extra fields to user profiles to make it easier to connect with other users. The new fields are:

  • Gender
  • Twitter
  • Skype
  • Facebook

We hope that these new fields will make it easier for you to connect with your language buddies outside of RhinoSpike. But it won’t work if you leave them blank. Go update your profile!

Friend Search

Many people asked us to allow searching for friends by accent and gender, so we have added these fields to the Friend Search page. Want your Spanish Audio Requests to be recorded by a woman from Spain? Well, now you can find her with the updated Friend Search. We should also mention that search results are now sorted so that the most active recorders appear at the top of the list. Thanks to whoever suggested that feature!

Now you can search for friends on RhinoSpike by gender and accent!

Search for friends by gender and accent!

Make it easy for people to find you: fill in the gender and accent fields in your profile!


To make the recording process faster, we’ve added some Audio Request widgets to the user home. Now as soon as you login you are presented with an Audio Request to record. We always show you the one at the top of the queue, so you can bypass the rhino button completely if you want to. We show you some of your friends’ Audio Requests too so you can, you know, help out your friends. Please do! Your friends need your help!

Audio Request Widget

The user home now presents you with Audio Requests to record!

Audio Request widgets on the record path are cleaner too. We’ve removed irrelevant information to reduce distractions and make the recording process smoother.


We made a few other changes too. See if you can find them!

Thanks for all of the feedback everybody! We have a nice, beautiful list of wonderful suggestions that we are chomping at the bit to implement! If you have any ideas for making RhinoSpike better, let us know! (and don’t forget to update your Profile!)

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