Here I discuss how I got audio samples working in Anki (for Mac OS X) and AnkiDroid (for Android).
Mac OS comes with a text-to-speech utility,
say. Say supports a few voices,
many of which are tailored to specific languages. I ran:
$ say -v "?" | grep zh_ Mei-Jia zh_TW # 您好，我叫美佳。我說國語。 Sin-ji zh_HK # 您好，我叫 Sin-ji。我講廣東話。 Ting-Ting zh_CN # 您好，我叫Ting-Ting。我讲中文普通话。
It looks like
Ting-Ting is the best match, since I want to render audio with a
mainland Chinese accent. So we can render and save an audio sample with:
/usr/bin/say -v Ting-Ting "拼音" -o ~/path/to/output
I wanted to avoid the cost of converting the generated audio file, since there
would be as many unique files as there are flash cards. I used
.flac since it
was the only format which
say can natively render on Mac OS X and which
Android (and, by extension AnkiDroid, running on Android) can open.
Saving to Anki
Anki looks for media at a path which
Since I’m on Mac OS X, I need to save my samples to
~/Library/Application Support/Anki2/User 1/media.collection/<file>.flac.
In Anki, you can use the special embed syntax
[sound:<file>] which renders a
system-native audio player. If the field containing that embed is on the front
of a card, it will play when the card first appears; otherwise it will play when
the reverse of the card is revealed.
I ended up writing this behavior directly into
pleco-to-anki, which now
generate the audio samples, save them to
Support/Anki2/media.collection, and generate a
.csv with a column containing
embed syntax as specified above. You may need to adapt this workflow for your
own platform and card/field format.