Handling audio files is another critical technology that we need to master for our Tikkun app. Our app must support user creation of audio content, and subsequent storing and sharing of that content. The audio files must be compatible with both Android and iOS devices, which is best accomplished by using the AAC codec with an MPEG-4 container format. We have started by first adding an audio recording and playback feature to our apps. Next, we will be using our Google Drive file storage and sharing code to store and share audio recordings.
Once we have worked out all the details for handling audio files, we will be ready to: (1) design the user interface controls for creating, sharing and playing audio files, and (2) develop our own file format for the study materials that users will create, save and share. These two work areas are intertwined. When a user creates a recording of a Torah passage (or of any other content included in the app), we want to capture not just the recording, but also the Torah passage (or other content) that was the basis of the recording, as well as metadata such as the date/time of the recording, who created it, and perhaps other relevant information such as the date of the Shabbat or other occasion for which the reading is being prepared, or notes about specific parts of the reading that need special attention. The additional data stored with a recording will provide for a richer user experience. For example, a user who prepared a reading once before would be able to search for that reading and find the information about it when preparing again to do that reading at a future date. Or a tutor could organize a collection of study materials for easy sharing with students. We will need to think about how to flexibly add metadata to recordings, without excessively burdening users with data input.