RhinoSpike – Foreign Language Audio on Demand
This new platform is targeting learners of a foreign language who would like to have customized mp3 with the content they want to listen to. From simple pronunciations for flashcards to short texts.
RhinoSpike is another example of taking a simple idea and building a useful and valuable service around it. As the tagline says learners can demand audio recordings from other users of the platform.
The principle is that everyone contributes to the platform. If you are learning French and demand some recordings for you, those demands will be listed in a queue for French. Now all French speakers of the platform can browse the demands and start recording but if you are also recording files for learners of your own native language your own demand will move up in the queue and therefore your chances to get your demanded file recorded more quickly grow.
RhinoSpike wants to offer customized audio files for learners of a foreign language. As they write on their website, most textbooks come with audio CDs but of course those CDs only cover the topics of the textbook. Searching for audio files or videos on the internet that match your interest and level takes long and maybe there is simply nothing online that fits your personal needs yet.
Hence I think RhinoSpike will be a great addition to services like CoboCards or Smart.fm. You could build a set of flashcards with vocabulary you would like to learn, take the text, submit it to RhinoSpike, get the recording, edit the file with Audacity and stick the pronunciation to your flashcards.
And it seems as if RhinoSpike is serving a need. According to a tweet of RhinoSpike on Twitter two days ago the platform already attracted more than 230 members in only 5 days who submitted recordings in more than 10 different languages.
Bottom line: great idea, simple but able to add a big value to the language learning process. The service is free to use but sooner or later there must be some sort of revenue model as audio file streaming and downloading will nibble on the bandwidth especially if the service gets popular. And I think RhinoSpike has the potential for that.