posted by oldgabe on April 15, 2015 | 34 comments
Are the sites and only accessable with a premium account?

They produce error messages for me:

Error: The requested address '/account/subscribeShows' was not found on this server.

Error: The requested address '/account/iTunesFeed' was not found on this server. - See more at:

If they are, they should probably link to the 'upgrade to premium'-site, I would guess.
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白水 on April 16, 2015 | reply
I'm also having this problem. I actually can't access quite a number of features on the site (the Firefox plug-in, exporting vocabulary, adding words to vocabulary from search, among others).
trevelyan on April 17, 2015 | reply
Hey Gabe,

The vocab export should work now. I'll see about adding words from search which was reported below as not working either....

I'm not sure where you are still finding the iTunes subscription link, since we changed the way that works with the last upgrade.

Basically, setting up iTunes was a major pain for people and we would get emails from Android users asking us whether we supported non-Apple products, so while the personal RSS feed is still technically an option, we just switched to having the archive downloadable from the lessons page.

oldgabe on April 17, 2015 | reply
Well, thanks! Now, about your implied question... on the main page there is this picture of a girl looking a tad disappointed as to why my Chinese is still so bad and why am I not already studying? I could totally be better if I studied right now!

Naturally shame and guilt drove me to click on said picture and I was taken to a page with three links, the second one leading to an iTunes-related page. And when you dutifully click on the image that actually says 'click here' you'll get to the missing page. I think the first link need a bit of fixing or removing as well.
trevelyan on April 18, 2015 | reply
Thanks for the explanation -- I've fixed up that part of the site so no-one else gets confused. As far as the photo goes, that is Apple and I remember the shoot went down something like this:


"You need to look more wistful," we told Apple. The sun was setting over Houhai and there was only another twenty or thirty minutes of usable light.

"I'm just so disappointed...."

"Disappointed? We've had a good day and we're about to go get dinner." From somewhere in the back, Brendan grumbled something about the fact that she was getting paid. He had a talent for keeping his opinions on the cusp of comprehensibility.

"Well," Apple hesistated for a moment, "the problem is Gabe, because he just isn't making the sort of progress that he should and I can't stop thinking about it...."

oldgabe on April 18, 2015 | reply
Yeah... I'm very sorry about that. But I'm really eager now and I trust that the picture will gradually change to reflect my progress.

On a related note, I've encountered Apple again, next to the Frequently Asked Questions, and she seems rather pleased about the fact that there are only two: number 2 and 3. Of course we all know that the Chinese start counting at 2 but for the uninitiated this may seem like some kind of unimportant oversight that's not even worth being mentioned.

Also there are references to RSS stuff again which may or may not be outdated.

To illustrate my train of thought in regards to Popup Chinese I have prepared this brief timeline, imagine some kind of rollercoaster graph labelled 'excitement' to go along with it.

t=0 : I have no idea what any of this is but I'm somewhat excited.

t=1 : nice podcast, I should totally give them all my money. How exciting!

t=2 : broken links, broken functions, I should totally keep my money. Bummer.

t=3 : nice response times, I should totally give them some money. I'm excited again, let's make a corresponding graph and describe it vaguely instead of actually showing it.

t=4 : they're likely to be linguists or something like that, they probably don't have any idea how graphs work. This was a waste of time.

So here we are. I'm considering upgrading to premium whilst keeping enough for rent and food. It's not ideal, I know, but meibanfa.
oldgabe on May 7, 2015 | reply
Well, I noticed that there are 3 questions now. That's good.

So I did actually upgrade to premium because I have too much money and/or want to support you because I enjoy your work. After I entered my billing information it just went back to the main page without any kind of confirmation, the URL suggesting that there should be some kind of "thank you" site or text displayed?

The upgrade still worked, though; just wanted to mention it.
aagnisb on April 18, 2015 | reply
I seem to get an error message when I try to go into /progress on my account? I just recently joined; whenever I take one of those tests with 5 questions and don't answer everything correctly I can't go into the study centre (or smth), because I just get an error message :(

however, the lessons seem to be amazing! :)
oldgabe on May 8, 2015 | reply
As a proud premium user I downloaded the packaged files and noticed that a lot of the 'fix' files are incorrectly labelled as "Popup Cantonese". Now I don't mind the occasional cross-contamination and can certainly fix this myself but maybe it's something to look into.
oldgabe on May 10, 2015 | reply
Also, it wasn't that easy to fix.
trevelyan on May 16, 2015 | reply
Thanks Gabe, will take a look and rearchive -- probably a typo in one of the scripts we use to generate the file. We should obviously have them correctly named.

rainbowonrainbow on September 23, 2015 | reply
I really like the popup Chinese feature and would like to use it on outside Chinese content. However, no matter where I try, I cannot find it for either Chrome or Firefox. What gives?
oldgabe on September 26, 2015 | reply
Hi trevelyan! As a premium user I can download the mp3 archive. It has always saddened me that they didn't include any "lyrics" (or transcripts) but hey, you can't have everything.

But now I've just read somewhere that apperently in the good old times when there were still itunes feeds and stuff that those were included in the "private feed", whatever that may have been?

Soo... do you still include transcripts but put the "free feed" mp3s in the download archive by mistake (or malicious intent) or did you stop including those?
trevelyan on September 27, 2015 | reply
I will have to look into this. The premium files should have the transcripts tagged in the actual mp3 files.
oldgabe on June 30, 2016 | reply

Hi there! It's me again. Have you looked into it (like you said in your mail)? Because, you know, still no progress on the transcripts front! Now, I don't want to seem like an entitled bastard playing the 'paying customer'-card but I am one of those and I do give you really lots of time to reply. Not even to fix things, just to give a status report. Would be really nice if you did that...
oldgabe on April 23, 2016 | reply

Hi there!

I know it's been a while since I asked but I'm still missing the transcripts embedded in the mp3s (they still says "Subscribe for transcripts and much more:").

And, by the way, there are still quite a few of those mp3s mislabelled as cantonese.

I realize that you must be busy with other stuff but it would be nice to know if you even plan to get around to fixing this stuff. Would spare me the trouble of having to download the files again and again.
oldgabe on October 14, 2015 | reply
Pretty please?
oldgabe on October 1, 2015 | reply
Great, thanks. Would you let us (me) know? It would be a bit of a hassle to download GBs of data just to confirm.
oldgabe on November 4, 2015 | reply
Okay, I'll just keep trying.