Free Buddhist Audio

FBA Site Improvements

On Tue, 6 November, 2012 - 16:17
viriyalila's picture
We are always looking for ways to improve the site: refining search engines, improving our uploading system, providing talks in more languages, considering use on mobile devices, remastering talks so they sound better, providing transcriptions of talks in our text archive, and indexing talks for easier access to content, and more. It’s amazing how much work happens behind the scenes, or behind the screen, as it were.

We have a host of volunteers who support Free Buddhist Audio by helping us with of transcribing and indexing talks. The work of indexing is a lesser known task which actually plays an important role in how our search engine works. Indexing is when a talk has been remastered and split into tracks, the first step being breaking the talk up into outline form by selecting a 3-10 minutes section of the talk, naming it and describing it’s content in a few words. It’s these words that then feed into the search engine providing better access to our vast quantity of Dharma talks available online.

So, for example, if I type in ‘Amoghasiddhi’ - the green archetypal Buddha in the North - into the search engine now, there are four talks with that word in their title, and then there are an additional 6 talks where ‘Amoghasiddhi’ is in the indexed track descriptions, and so appears in the same search. With over 1500 talks available by 200 speakers we are pretty confident Amoghasiddhi’s been highlighted more then ten times!

Of course having talks tracked also makes it easier to just listen to a portion of a talk, much like you would browse a book. I may be doing some specific study and would like to hear what someone has to say about the Bodhicitta arising, or about how receptivity is an important aspect of spiritual development. By searching for these topics I can scan through the audio archive in much the same way I would a book on the shelf.

Here are some talks that have recently been remastered and indexed:

Loving What Is by Vajrapriya

The Alchemy of Happiness by Kulaprabha

The Awakening Heart by Parami

Ksanti - Patience by Satyaraja

Many thanks to all of our volunteers for your efforts. Your contributions help many people around the world access the Dharma with greater ease and accuracy. Thank you!

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Viryabodhi's picture
Great and lovely to read. A few words jumped out: ‘considering use on mobile devices’. That would be great, and/or an app. Have you put that out to the larger community, asking if there is someone with the know, time and willingness to do work on that? There might be someone. Not me I’m afraid. ;) With metta, Viryabodhi
Candradasa's picture
Happily now, at least, Apple’s iOS system for iPhones, iPads, etc. can handle the zip file downloads you get from our site. You just need an app installed that can handle zip files and play audio tracks (mp3) inside them. The app ‘USB Disk’ is recommended for this. You can also play our preview versions from any talk page through your web browser on these kinds of devices. We’ll work on ways to improve the overall mobile experience though for sure - any help gratefully received!