Using TCPMP Media Player with the JLT System

Using Audio Flashcard Study SetsOptions and Settings

     The Audio Flashcards are a great way to study new words and prepare for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT), but with 16,000+ words at all four levels of the JLPT, you can't just dive in at random. The files have been divided into well-thought out study lists of (mostly) 50 words each, both E>J and J>E. You can start out at Set 001 for the appropriate JLPT level and, once you master that, move on, revisiting past sets occasionally to brush up. The newly revised JLPT now has five levels, but the vocabulary is the same and these files are still quite useful.

     The Audio Flashcards were originally designed to be used on an iPod: each study list is its own genre. It's an ingenius system, but it doesn't work on Windows Mobile devices--none of the available software I've found lets you sort files by genre, at least not with these files. So in the JLT system, you'd instead choose a study set as a playlist--each playlist is the same as the study set genre of the same name you'd access on an iPod, so none of the original work in putting the study lists together has been lost. I've found that TCPMP is the best program for using the Audio Flashcards with these playlists/study sets.

     Because some people may be using TCPMP with a Japanese interface, I've used the Japanese interface in the screenshots below, with the text from the English interface added as translation. This guide is about using TCPMP; for information about setting TCPMP up to work with the Edict Audio Companion and the Audio Flashcards on a Japanese Language Tools dictionary system, see the set-up guide. One hint, though: if the Region setting of the PDA itself is set to Japanese, then you can use either the Japanese or the English interface in TCPMP; if the Region setting is set to English (or some other language), then you must use the Japanese interface in TCPMP--otherwise the Japanese words will show up as gibberish in some parts of the program.

     Here's how you choose a playlist. First, in the File/ファイル Menu, tap Playlist/プレーリスト.

This will put you in the Playlist window. Now, in the File Menu in the Playlist window, tap Load Playlist/プレーリスト読込.

Navigate to the folder on the SD Card. One hint--this is familiar to many computer users but may not be obvious to others. To navigate up a level, tap the folder with the up arrow, as you see here:

In the Edict Audio Files folder, scroll down past all the folders and you'll see a long list of files with names like "ZZ JLPT 1 Set 049." The number following "JLPT" is the JLPT level (remember level 1 is the most advanced, level 4 the easiest). These are the playlists/study sets. Tap one to begin using it. The playlist will then begin playing. Tap Done you'll be returned to the regular Player window as the flashcards play. When you're done, be sure to tap Stop or Pause in the Player window--otherwise the list will continue playing, making it impossible for the device to be turned off (put to sleep, really) or to go to sleep on its own after a period of inactivity (however, usually you'll hear the files still playing after you think you've turned the device off, so there's little danger of them playing indefinitely and draining the battery).

That's all there is to using the flashcards. If you'd like to change the way the program works (including upping the maximum volume), see below.


First, you can change the maximum output volume. Some people find the volume of the Audio flashcards and pronunciations a little too low when played through the device's speaker. TCPMP lets your redefine the maximum volume--a very nice feature. Simply to to the Options Menu, tap Audio Options, and tap "Preamp Increase" once or twice (more than that and I find the sound from the speaker starts to distort). Obviously "decrease" brings the volume down instead, and "0 (clear)" returns you the factory setting. This changes the level in big steps; for finer control, you can change the Preamp level through the equalizer.

From the Options menu, you can also access the system settings.

Tap "Settings" from the Options Menu, and you'll then see the first page of the Settings, shown below:

Note that you must restart the program after you change the interface language: tap OK here, then Exit from the File menu, then start the program up again. You don't need to restart the program to make other Settings changes take effect, only when you change the interface language. To change other settings, tap "Select Page" to choose which settings you want to change. Here are your page options:

One key setting, discussed in the page on setting up TCPMP with the Edict Audio Companion and Audio Flashcards, is setting TCPMP to be the default player for MPEG audio files (i.e, when you or the system opens an mp3 file, it will automatically open in TCPMP instead of Windows Media Player or some other program). You can set the file formats for which TCPMP is the default player from the File Associations page.

Another useful thing to set is the Equalizer.

The "Pre-amp increase" and "decrease" in the Options menu change the level in pretty big steps. By adjusting the "Volume Normalization Pre-amp" in the equalizer, you can have much finer control.  Of course, you can also make all the other usual equalizer changes. And, you can enable and disable the equalizer by tapping Equalizer in the Options menu--great if you want the changed settings to work with Audio Flashcard files but not music, or when you're using the built-in speaker but not when you're using headphones, or vice versa.

     If your interface is in Japanese but you want to explore the other options and settings not translated, simple change the interface language to English. If on your system the Japanese in the Playlists shows up as gibberish when the interface is set to English, then change it back to Japanese when you're done.

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