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New Rocket Languages release!

jason-oxenham-ceo March 12, 2018, 12:14 am
Bonjour tout le monde,

We are excited to announce a reasonably substantial new release/upgrade!

So, what are the main changes?

1. Play it!

Our conversational trainer, Play it!, has been upgraded and improved. You will see that it is now positioned towards the top of each Interactive Audio Lesson. You can access it by clicking the "Practice this conversation" button. You also now have more flexibility about how it works. The settings icon lets you decide what parts of the phrases you can and can't see.

Play it! Settings

Note#1: Play it! ratings no longer contribute to your overall lesson ratings. The reason being that, with the new arrangement, their are a myriad of ways to use Play it! and we didn't want to pigeon-hole its use.

Note #2: You may have to login again and/or do a hard refresh for the changes to be fully functional. You can do a hard refresh by clicking in your browser url field and then Ctrl+F5 (Windows users) or Shift+F5 (Mac users).

A big thanks to our community members for helping out with ideas to improve it and for beta-testing.

2. Rocket Record and Rocket Record Ratings

We have improved how Rocket Record works. It is a far more streamlined version than the old version. The Rocket Record ratings have also changed with your result coming back in 5% increments.

Rocket record ratings

3. Reinforcement Activities

You will notice that there is a new, simpler layout for the Rocket Reinforcement activities at the bottom of the page. And that there are 3 rating levels for each phrase.

Rocket Reinforcement activities
Most of the changes here were so that we could be consistent with how the apps work, and to keep the whole process more straight-forward.

Speaking of the apps...

4. The apps

We are aiming to release an extensively updated edition of the Android app within the next 48 hours. Due to the iOS/Apple approval system, the iOS app should be live within a couple of weeks.

Essentially we threw out the old app and started afresh using new technology to make the app work much better.

Overall a ton of work has been put in to get all of this out to you, so a big shout out to the Rocket Languages team for producing such a great experience for our members!

Best

Jason
New Rocket Languages release!
sfpugh March 12, 2018, 8:52 am
The new play it great, a big improvement!
I have one problem, the play back of my recorded speech has a strange broken up quality with an echo like effect.  All the other playback is fine. It does vary quite a bit when I try the same phrase repeatedly - sometimes not too bad sometimes almost incomprehensible. 
I have windows 7 , the Chrome browser and I am using the computer's front microphone jack. I have tried changing the microphone distance but that doesn't help. 
I also logged out of rocket and did the hard refresh that you suggested.
Maybe I should take this to support, but I wanted to find out if anyone else has this issue.
New Rocket Languages release!
Peter--252 March 12, 2018, 10:35 am
Hi Jason,

There may be a problem in the "Write it" test.  
It appears that sometimes it doesn't give you the correct answer & rating, but displays a previous answer (& no rating).
I haven't done a thorough statistical analysis but it seems to happen about half the time.
It might be that I have the habit of pressing the Return key rather than clicking the "Reveal" button occasionally, which possibly confuses the software, but this worked perfectly in the previous releases.
Haven't experimented with Play it or Know it.

I've come across this problem both in Rocket French and Rocket German.
New Rocket Languages release!
Mickyboy March 12, 2018, 12:19 pm
A note for "sfpugh"
 I experienced a similar problem with the previous iteration. I eventually traced it to the fact that I had another USB device plugged in to a different USB port. It was causing a conflict. I unplugged it, cured the problem. (Windows 10, with Chrome). Maybe a red herring ? but thought I'd mention it
New Rocket Languages release!
Dan-H24 March 12, 2018, 12:49 pm
Jason: I had a chance to begin working through lesson 18.3 this morning. I do like how the Play It is integrated into the lesson itself.

The Record button is working properly for me now. Not sure what changed to fix it, but it works.

However, I am still experiencing intermittent, extended lag times when I press the play button on a new phrase. Sometimes it plays immediately, other times it takes up to 10 or 15 seconds to begin playing. I wonder if others are having this problem, or if there is something on my laptop that needs to be changed? Advice recommended!
Thanks,
Dan
New Rocket Languages release!
sfpugh March 12, 2018, 1:23 pm
Thanks for the information "Mickeyboy" I don't think this is my issue as I am not using a USB mic.

Jason
I have tried recording myself on a free internet voice recorder via chrome and flash and the voice recording was fine.

Simon
New Rocket Languages release!
undermanager March 12, 2018, 1:39 pm
'Hear it say works' to start with, then stops working - it stops automatically playing the next phrase. I have to click 'Reveal' to reveal the phrase, then record the phrase, then rate it, then do the next one. But I cannot hear the actually phrases, even when clicking on Play.
New Rocket Languages release!
undermanager March 12, 2018, 1:40 pm
On the plus side, I like all the changes you have made, especially the ratings system, which just found very annoying before - now it is just mildly annoying.
New Rocket Languages release!
Mickyboy March 12, 2018, 1:47 pm
Hi Jason
Just came across what I consider a retrograde change.  There used to be a drop down list of completed phrases, (in flash cards at least), which I found particularly useful to go back to. Its gone!

Also, and this might be a picky observation, but if the screen position of the "HARD" and “EASY” buttons in flashcards were to be reversed it would mean less negotiating with the mouse, (or finger, if using a laptop pad), to click each time.
New Rocket Languages release!
GurdeepS March 12, 2018, 2:02 pm
On the app, all my completed modules are listed as "Good" when they should be green. All is as it should be online though. 
New Rocket Languages release!
yademas March 12, 2018, 2:05 pm
I'm only about 45 minutes into this new format, but I got to say--I'm liking it!  
I never use the app--only my laptop--and I'm generally irritated when things appear to be "dumbed down" to accommodate apps--but these changes don't feel that way at all.   
Good job, you guys!
New Rocket Languages release!
sfpugh March 12, 2018, 3:11 pm
Further information on my playback issue for recorded sound.
The problem is also present on my Windows 10 laptop, so different computer and OS from the same location in London UK.
New Rocket Languages release!
jason-oxenham-ceo March 12, 2018, 6:52 pm
Hi all - Most of these issues seem like they are due to caching. I could offer an explanation about how that works but suffice to say that for some people/systems it can take some time for the new release to fully propagate and work as it should!

To see if it is a caching issue the easiest thing to do is to login to your account via an incognito/private browser. If you get the same issue then it highlights that there is an issue for us to look at!

Hi Mickyboy - Good idea re reversing the ratings. I will see what is involved in that. With the FlashCards you don't have the option of redoing any phrases that have been rated Good/Hard, or do you mean the actual list of those phrases?

Hi Gurdeep - Is this on the Android app?
New Rocket Languages release!
Sū shān March 13, 2018, 12:04 am
Hi Jason,
Thank you for all the improvements!
There is one thing that doesn't seem to be working right for me. I am unable to override the system rating from "easy" to "good".  "Hard" works, so does "easy", but not "good". 
I hope this can get tweaked.
Thanks,
Sue
New Rocket Languages release!
jason-oxenham-ceo March 13, 2018, 12:28 am
Hi Sue - Do you get the same thing happening if you use an incognito/private browser? If I understand what you are describing then it works fine at this end.
New Rocket Languages release!
Sū shān March 13, 2018, 12:54 am
Hi Jason,
That works! Thanks so much. I'll use the private browser from now on.
Sue


 
New Rocket Languages release!
jason-oxenham-ceo March 13, 2018, 12:57 am
Hi Sue - You will only have to use a private browser until the cache refreshes, which should only take a day or two!
New Rocket Languages release!
sabinehirt March 13, 2018, 1:40 am
Hi,
I am actually fairly disappointed by the recent "upgrade". The play-it feature was better before. I liked to see it when I went through the different "levels." The animation is now also pretty distracting.  Further, blanking out every second word is rather arbitrary. Why not doing that more selectively e.g. to test the use of prepositions, verb forms etc (in addition, maybe, not instead of) the current blank out algorithm? That would help a great deal more. 
The flashcards: I had spent quite some time and added my own images for better recollection. Now they all seem to be gone. And there is no way to add new images anymore. Why?
Cheers, Sabine
New Rocket Languages release!
jason-oxenham-ceo March 13, 2018, 1:48 am
Hi Sabine - Thanks for your feedback. I am sorry to hear that you aren't a fan of the new Play it. We are definitely interested in hearing members suggestions about how it could be improved. We ended up going for a solution that was flexible, while maintaining a degree of simplicity.

Regarding the FlashCards; the image uploading system was being abused and was requiring extensive moderation at our end, so we decided to cut our losses with that. The uptake wasn't particularly high either. I am sorry that your time there was wasted to an extent.
New Rocket Languages release!
GurdeepS March 13, 2018, 6:45 am
Hi Jason, yes this is on the android app
New Rocket Languages release!
sfpugh March 13, 2018, 7:34 am
Hi Jason
This issue with custom flashcards was resolved by clearing the browser cache, however the stuttering playback of recorded speech is still present.
New Rocket Languages release!
jason-oxenham-ceo March 13, 2018, 7:36 am
Hi Gurdeep - There is a new version of the Android app out now. However, it may take 48 hours to propagate to all users!

Hi Simon - That is weird as we cannot replicate that. Is there anyone out there having a similar issue with the playback of Play it?
New Rocket Languages release!
sfpugh March 13, 2018, 8:23 am
Jason I have found something new that may help.
I find that the first time I record, the playback is OK but if I record the phrase again the problem starts and may get worse if I go on repeating the recording.
However if I start a recording and stop it prematurely so that no playback is offered, and then rerecord the playback is OK. But the problem comes back on subsequent recordings.
So... I think somehow a ghost of a recording remains and can influence subsequent recordings. But by stopping recording prematurely it clears the ghost.

I found this effect on my windows 7 PC and my windows 10 laptop.

The quality of the playback is actually excellent the first time round.

I should add that clearing browsing data does not clear the issue in the way aborting a recording does.
New Rocket Languages release!
Dan-H24 March 13, 2018, 12:24 pm
I am happy to report that everything is working well for me now. 
Dan
New Rocket Languages release!
sfpugh March 13, 2018, 1:47 pm
The behaviour of record playback seems to have changed from when I last posted.
Starting record and then aborting it prematurely no longer clears the ghost. In fact the old recording remains. This is also the case if I record something completely irrelevant which the speech recognition cannot recognise.
In addition if I move on to record the next phrase, I can go back and replay the old phrase as well as the one I just recorded. In fact I can go on to a third phrase and the previous two remain playable and so on.
This is cleared by clicking the page reload button chrome. Hitting the reload button also clears the ghost so that the next recording is good.
It is all very puzzling.
 
New Rocket Languages release!
jason-oxenham-ceo March 13, 2018, 6:22 pm
Hi Dan - Glad to hear it!

Hi Simon - We will look into that!
New Rocket Languages release!
philip-m34 March 13, 2018, 11:27 pm
Hi Jason,
 I´m with Mickeyboy regarding  the drop down list of completed phrases on the ´Hard Good Easy´ buttons of the Reinforcement and also flashcards. Plus the number in each category (that was written on the button) was useful also.
New Rocket Languages release!
sfpugh March 14, 2018, 8:25 am
Further information on the record playback problem.
I tried record again this morning and I got the broken echo effect the first time I recorded something, which is something I hadn't expected. It was cleared by a page reload.

The last time I used rocket record was yesterday and the computer was restarted since then. I can only assume that something remained in the cache from the earlier session. 
Simon
New Rocket Languages release!
sfpugh March 15, 2018, 8:23 am
Jason
I think I have isolated the problem with Rocket record to The Norton Identity Safe v 5.2.2.17 browser extension. A bit annoying as this provides a password vault.

I will contact Norton support about it, you may want to look into it too. I am pretty sure it was messing up the cache in someway resulting in old recordings interfering with new ones.
New Rocket Languages release!
lesieur200 March 15, 2018, 11:59 am
The Write It test is glitching. I will write the phrase and press reveal, but it will not grade me. It also shows the first word I wrote instead of the actual phrase I just did. I tried leaving the lesson and then going back. That helped for a couple of phrases, but then it glitched again.
New Rocket Languages release!
MichaelB75 March 15, 2018, 4:42 pm
Hi Jason,
I agree with sabinehirt:
"I am actually fairly disappointed by the recent "upgrade". The play-it feature was better before. I liked to see it when I went through the different "levels."
But what actually really bothers me, is that i cannot use the app on my iPhone for the "play it" feature anymore. Why would you withdraw the old version before the new one is fully functional on all devices. As i will be travelling to Japan in a few weeks it is really annoying to be interrupted with learning through this new release.
New Rocket Languages release!
philip-m34 March 15, 2018, 9:27 pm
Hi Jason, 
 Yes , I agree with previous posters :
"I am actually fairly disappointed by the recent "upgrade". The play-it feature was better before. I liked to see it when I went through the different "levels."
   For example , in ¨Play it¨  the current lesson I am doing showś 100% , but thats 100% of the current settings, which are actually hidden. So what 100% am I aiming at... turn everything off and learn it all off by heart? Or turn everything on and read it out aloud?
  You actually have 3 options of on/off - Spanish,  Every second word, English... which means 8 different options in total - when previously there was only 5 (poor, bad, so so, good ,easy) so itś been made more complicated! Is that the rationale behind the ¨upgrade¨?
 
New Rocket Languages release!
jason-oxenham-ceo March 15, 2018, 10:35 pm
Hi Simon - It may have something to do with the likes of Norton slowing down your computers processing speed. Slow processing is the sort of thing that causes the choppy/ghost audio.

Hi Lesieur - This sounds like a caching issue. While it should have resolved itself by now, if you continue to have this problem then please try an incognito/private browser. If you still get the issue then let customer support know.

Hi all - Regarding the changes to Play it; the idea behind the changes was to simplify the layout while improving the flexibility of how it can be used. The Rocket Languages philosophy has never really been on prescriptive learning, we are more about letting learners discover what works best for them.

I have been using it extensively myself and find it superior to the previous version...Read More
Hi Simon - It may have something to do with the likes of Norton slowing down your computers processing speed. Slow processing is the sort of thing that causes the choppy/ghost audio.

Hi Lesieur - This sounds like a caching issue. While it should have resolved itself by now, if you continue to have this problem then please try an incognito/private browser. If you still get the issue then let customer support know.

Hi all - Regarding the changes to Play it; the idea behind the changes was to simplify the layout while improving the flexibility of how it can be used. The Rocket Languages philosophy has never really been on prescriptive learning, we are more about letting learners discover what works best for them.

I have been using it extensively myself and find it superior to the previous version. I would encourage members to try it for a couple of weeks and see what the difference is with your speaking ability after that time. 

Also, personally, I have found using it with just the English displaying has been very helpful. While of course the eventual aim is to not translate directly, I feel my understanding of the sentence structures and recall of vocab has improved markedly.

Regarding the app/s; Yes, sorry, the timing could have been better with regards Play it. Unfortunately, with iOS devices, Apple takes 5-7 days to approve a major update, and if anything isn't quite right it comes back and has to go through the whole process again. So, we hope to have the "new" iOS app live at the end of next week. 

Once that's done the next cab off the rank is getting Play it onto the apps asap.

Thanks for your patience!
New Rocket Languages release!
sfpugh March 16, 2018, 7:12 am
Hi Jason I am pretty sure that my audio issue is not due to processor speed. The problem is not with Norton antivirus, it is with Norton Identity Safe which is a separate program and is basically just a password manager although presumably it must do other stuff too.
The previous incarnation of NISafe did not cause a problem and I don't think that reloading a page would clear the issue if it was just processor speed. I do not have audio playback issues with any other application.
It must be some kind of conflict. I have contacted Norton about it but am awaiting a reply.

Incidentally I cannot be sure if the problem is with the new Rocket update as the new Norton was installed before the Rocket update and I  hadn't used playback after  installing it until after the new update.
 
New Rocket Languages release!
JamesP25 March 20, 2018, 7:14 pm
With the recent update to the flash card system, I can't easily see a dropdown list of the flash cards under each category anymore (hard, good, or easy). I used to be able to at any time see the number of cards in each group and click a drop down to read them all quickly. This was extremely helpful in the following ways: 

1) It allowed me to get a very good measure for how well I knew the material by seeing a quick distribution between the multiple categories, and 
2) It let me very quickly review the Easy flash cards without going through the whole list. This is great to occasionally confirm I still understand all of the phrases and refresh my memory.

Can you please add that drop down functionality back? I don't mind having only 3 categories instead of 5, but removing those drop downs is definitely not an improvement...Read More
With the recent update to the flash card system, I can't easily see a dropdown list of the flash cards under each category anymore (hard, good, or easy). I used to be able to at any time see the number of cards in each group and click a drop down to read them all quickly. This was extremely helpful in the following ways: 

1) It allowed me to get a very good measure for how well I knew the material by seeing a quick distribution between the multiple categories, and 
2) It let me very quickly review the Easy flash cards without going through the whole list. This is great to occasionally confirm I still understand all of the phrases and refresh my memory.

Can you please add that drop down functionality back? I don't mind having only 3 categories instead of 5, but removing those drop downs is definitely not an improvement.
 
New Rocket Languages release!
philip-m34 March 20, 2018, 7:57 pm
I agree with JamesP25 with regard to the drop down list on hard, good easy categories
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Dan-H24 March 23, 2018, 12:00 pm
Has anyone else experienced lag time between when you press the play button on a phrase and when the playback begins? I am having intermittent problems with it. 2 days ago, serious, yesterday pretty good, today on and off.

Is the trouble in my set? (for those old enough to remember the TV announcement)
New Rocket Languages release!
Anthony-O3 March 31, 2018, 1:53 am
Where do I download the new release/upgrade?
New Rocket Languages release!
jason-oxenham-ceo March 31, 2018, 4:15 am
Hi Philip/James - We are looking into this. However, any change will be a little while away as it will require some significant design changes.

Hi Dan - Perhaps it's worth setting up another call?

Hi Anthony - All new releases/upgrades are automatically rolled out to all members!
New Rocket Languages release!
Mickyboy April 1, 2018, 9:52 pm
Hi Jason
Flash card functionality

Just to add to JamesP25  comment which I totally agree with, this is what I was talking about in my previous contribution two weeks ago.  (There used to be a drop down list of completed phrases, (in flash cards at least), which I found particularly useful to go back to. Its gone!) Someone from a programmers perspective probably found it easier to get rid of it but it is definitely a retrograde change.

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Matthew-H68 April 11, 2018, 10:57 pm
Dan, I am having the same lag time in playing the teacher's recording; I contacted support and they said to send them an email with a screenshot of the problem, which I can't seem to do though I am using a Macintosh with chrome 7 and an integrated front mic on it. Maybe you can send them a screenshot of the lag time on your computer?
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JamesP25 April 17, 2018, 12:59 pm
First, I want to recognize that you guys added back the dropdown menus to the flashcards from within browsers, which is very helpful.  Thanks for listening to feedback!

As has been mentioned on other forum topics, the app flashcards aren't currently usable since you can't "repeat hard phrases". But seeing how Rocket responds to feedback I'm confident they will get that fixed so that it's useful again shortly. Until then the browser version of flashcards are great again. 

Thanks again!
New Rocket Languages release!
philip-m34 April 17, 2018, 9:15 pm
Hi Jason, 
 yes - many thanks, and well done, for putting the dropdown menus back in.  Your response to this has been fantastic!
Saludos
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jason-oxenham-ceo April 18, 2018, 12:28 am
Hi James/Philip - Yes, it will be reinstated on the apps as well. Unfortunately, I can't give a timeframe for that but hopefully not too far away!
New Rocket Languages release!
Erubar April 19, 2018, 6:37 pm
I think I too agree with sabineshirt. I liked how there were the 'levels' before. I also liked how it was in the middle / down a the bottom. I'm doing Chinese.
Erubar黄  (I really like yellow)
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Steven-W15 April 21, 2018, 6:12 am
I'm finding that the new "Play It!" functionality and its positioning throughout the lesson has proven to be incredibly helpful. Getting each phrase down then practicing them in the context of a simulated conversation has significantly improved my understanding and retention. Great job Rocket Languages for these ongoing improvements.
 
New Rocket Languages release!
sfpugh April 23, 2018, 9:37 am
Like Steven W15 I have found the new "Play it" very useful and a great improvement.

There one very minor issue to do with the "omit very second word" check box.
If it is checked in one lesson and you move on to the next lesson, the the "omit every second word" option is remembered but the check box is not ticked. I you want the full text, you have to click on the check box and then click again. So it appears that the option is remembered but not how the checkbox should look .

A very minor point

 
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