Can I use mp3 audio pronunciations in a mobile app?

Hi there,

I have a mobile app which helps people to memorize English words. Now I would like to add high-quality human pronunciation, and Oxford Dictionaries' audio seems really good.

What I would like to do, is to download a few thousand mp3 files via API (I see there is a free plan allowing 3k requests per month, this is enough for me), make a zip archive with them and make it downloadable for the app users.

Now the question is: is this legitimate? I've seen a paragraph about caching locally here, but it is not quite "caching locally". If this is not free, should I keep paying every month while my app uses these audio files, or paying for 1 month, while I download the files, is enough? Please, explain your terms in more details.

Thanks in advance and have a nice day!



  • SimoneSimone Administrator admin

    Hi @poas_apps, interesting idea!
    Let me ask here internally and get back to you on this - bear with me :)

  • SimoneSimone Administrator admin
    edited October 2017

    Hi @poas_apps
    Apologies for the late reply.

    You might already have got a similar reply from one of my colleagues when you contacted them by email, but this is what I got regarding your query:

    "The audio files are free to access and use, but if you are hoping to cache them, please be aware that caching is allowed only on our paid plans, and permission is granted on a case by case basis.
    However, as your usage is small for the moment, that would be fine for now in your case.

    However, it would be worth mentioning session caching as a preferred option so that usage of the API is in balance with use of the content (this does not impede performance whilst within a single session). If you are also offering text-to-speech, for which I presume most of your usage will be online, the downside of loading all of the sound files in one go is that it will be a large drain on the user’s local memory.

    Also, since the sound files themselves are publicly accessible and do not need to be retrieved from OD API (which only provides a link to the correct public location), you could potentially re-create the sound file URLs to retrieve the relevant files without actually caching any data, or he could limit the amount of data cached by only caching the URLs."

    I hope this is helpful, but do let me know if you need any more information on anything specifically.

  • poas_appspoas_apps Member

    OK, this sounds great, thank you very much! You helped me a lot! :)

    P.S. I created this thread after waiting for 7 days and getting no response to my second email, in which I provided the needed info, such as the estimated number of API requests.

  • SimoneSimone Administrator admin

    Ah, I'm glad it helped @poas_apps!

    Do let me know if you need more information on any particular point around this - I might need to go and ask internally again (not an issue I'm familiar with), but I'll do my best!
    And also if you have any other questions at all - I'll get busy and find out who should be able to reply, if it is something out of my scope :)

    (@joughtred - Jo, I'm copying you in here so you know I've replied to this.)

  • joughtredjoughtred Member, Administrator, Moderator admin

    Thank you @Simone and please accept my apologies @poas_apps for not responding to you more promptly.

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