Two Anki plugins to reinforce reviewing (updated)

by D_Malik 1 min read3rd Dec 201216 comments


This post is about two Anki plugins I just wrote. I've been using them for a few months as monkey patches, but I thought it might help people here (or at least the 20% that are awesome enough to use SRSs) to have them as plugins. They're ugly and you may have to fiddle for a while to get them to work.


1. Music-Fiddler

To use this, play music while doing Anki revs. (I also recommend that you try playing music only while doing Anki, as a way of making Anki more pleasant.) While you're reviewing a card, the music volume will gradually decrease. As soon as you pass or fail the card, the volume will go back up, then start gradually decreasing again. So whenever you stop paying attention and instead start thinking about all the awesome things you could do if only you were able to sit down and work, the program punishes you by stopping the music. And whenever you concentrate fully on your work and so go through cards quickly, you have a personal soundtrack!

To use this plugin:

- If you do not have Linux, you'll need to modify the code somehow.

- Ensure that the "amixer" command works on your computer. If it doesn't, you're going to need to modify the code somehow.

- Make sure you have the new Anki 2.0.

- Download the plugin.

- Change all lines (in the plugin source) marked with "CHANGEME" according to your preferences.

- You might want to disable convenient ways of increasing the volume, like keyboard shortcuts.

This plugin provides psychological reinforcement, but is not proper intermittent reinforcement, because it is predictable and regular instead of intermittent. I'm not sure whether this should be fixed; I haven't yet gotten around to trying it with only intermittent volume increases.


2. Picture-Flasher

After answering a card, this plugin selects, with some probability, a random image from a folder and flashes it onto your screen briefly. This gives intermittent reinforcement.

To use this plugin:

- I haven't tested it on non-Linux operating systems, but I can't see any obvious places it'll fail.

- Make sure you have the new Anki 2.0.

- Get pictures from someplace; see below.

- Download the plugin.

- Change all lines (in the plugin source) marked with "CHANGEME" according to your preferences. Be sure especially to put in your picture directory and the number of pictures you have.

To get pictures, I downloaded high-scoring pictures off of reddit. This script can do that automatically. You can use pictures of cute animals, funny captioned pictures of cats, or more questionable things.

The plugin could be made a lot more awesome by having it automatically pull pictures from the internet so you're not reusing them. I'm not planning on doing this anytime soon (because I have no internet on my main computer for productivity reasons), but if somebody else does that and posts it, they are awesome and they should feel awesome.

Update 4 Dec: Emanuel Rylke has created a patch for this plugin which removes the requirement to rename the pictures. It also moves the configuration options to the top of the plugin, making them easier to find. The new version is at the same download link

Update 16 June 2015: The plugins were deleted from the official list where they previously were, apparently because my AnkiWeb account was deleted due to disuse. So I've uploaded the two plugins on GitHub here: I also re-uploaded the plugins to the official list. Links on this post have been updated.