Take your listening skills to the next level with the Smart Repeat app

I just came across an app for listening to foreign language audio which is so cool that I just had to share it.

I listen to a lot of audio when I’m learning a new language, and there are always bits of a dialogue that are difficult to break down.

Picture the scene: you’re listening to a dialogue of some kind on your smartphone and there is one bit that you just can’t get. It’s just a bit too fast. It’s only 2 or 3 seconds, but you sit there moving the scroll bar back and forth on that tiny screen, usually overshooting the mark by about 20 seconds, and just sitting there waiting for the bit you want to hear to come round again. You lose concentration, forget to listen to it, and you have to do it all over again.

Not any more.

This little app deals with just this problem. It’s so simple that a screenshot alone tells the story (click to enlarge):

smart repeat audio app foreign language listening

How cool is that? 🙂

The app is called Smart Repeat and is available for Android in the Google Play store. There’s a free version, and a paid version. The free version contains ads, and the paid version doesn’t. For $2.49, I’m happy to pay to get the ad-free experience!

iPhone users… sorry! It’s not available for iOS, but there is a similar app called Speater, or SpeaterLite for the free version (thanks to Kevin for the tip!). I haven’t tried this one out myself, so if there’s another app out there you know about please leave a comment below or send me a tweet and I’ll update the post to include a link to that!

Hopefully your listening experience will be a little less painful from now on!


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  • Kevin Richardson

    Having read about this, I looked for an iOS app with equivalent functionality. I’ve just started using SpeaterLite. I prefer the UI of the Android app you reviewed, but once I’d figured out how to set an A-B loop on SpeaterLite, I was smiling at how much this is going to help me. It even works with video 🙂

    • Nice one, Kevin! I knew you’d come through with a great idea! 🙂

    • Cool Kevin – I’ve updated the post with your suggestion! Thanks again

  • Will

    Memrise just featured http://www.stepup.io which allows you to chop up and look video from youtube too. Would value your thoughts Olly.

    • Oooh.. I will check it out! Thanks Will, you’re my main source of cool new language tech!

  • Here’s a great tool for Windows, iOS and Android that’s also worth checking out: http://www.povalyaev.com/

    (Thanks, Mariusz!) 🙂

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  • Hi Olly — found your page here from your post on “developing an awesome accent” on Luca’s blog.

    I just wanted to let you know I made something similar which I offer on my site for free: http://sebpearce.com/come-again/
    It’s nothing special but handy for listening to really tiny chunks of audio.

    Still not fully tested at this point so if anyone has any problems with it, please let me know what browser/OS you’re running and I’ll try to address it.

    • Hi Seb – great piece of software! The feature I use most on Smart Repeat, actually, is the defined loop – is that something you’d consider adding to the tool?