You may have already noticed that the queue looks a bit different today. Take a look:
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.
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.
Today we updated RhinoSpike.com 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.
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.
As many of you have probably noticed, RhinoSpike‘s interface supports changing the language from English to Spanish, Japanese, and now also Greek. And if you’ve set the language to anything other than English, you’ve been disappointed by how little of the site has been translated into those languages. Well now you can help do something about that!
We have setup a new site at translate.rhinospike.com that allows you to translate RhinoSpike into your native language. This includes not just Spanish, Japanese, and Greek, but also 47 other languages that we’d like RhinoSpike to support. As more languages are translated by wonderful people like you, we will add those languages to the RhinoSpike site for the benefit of all of our users.
Signing up is very easy! Go to http://translate.rhinospike.com and register. Once registered, login and go to the “Home” page. Find the language you want to help translate to and click on. Then click on “RhinoSpike” and then on “django.po”. There you will be able to translate sentences into your language.