You are welcome to contact our Customer Service by phone: 1800 801 545 (within Australia) or +61 (3) 9542 6666.
Q: Does Sparkup work with any book? What are the limitations?
Sparkup conveniently clips to board books, hardcover books, and paperback books wider than 7″. Sparkup camera technology recognizes pages by pictures and works well with many children’s picture books. Currently it is not suited for books for older children that contain mostly text. Sparkup engineers are constantly expanding the gadget’s abilities, and you can benefit from future software upgrades for free. Sparkup will grow as your children grow!
Q: Do I have to buy special books?
No! There are no special books for Sparkup. Sparkup works with usual books you have at home.
Q: How difficult is it for a child to use Sparkup?
It is very easy! A very young child may only need adult’s help to attach Sparkup to the book. Press the power button, flip the pages and Sparkup will follow!
Q: Do I need a computer to record books?
No, you just need Sparkup, Sparkup records your voice as you read the book.
Q: I added some pages and now Sparkup does not recognize this book at all. What should I do?
A: Did you press the record key while the book was closed? Then you probably replaced a book cover.
You will have to re-record this book.
Please see below how to add pages (or just watch the video!)
To add pages to an existing recording:
– Turn the Sparkup on with the book closed.
– Wait for the Sparkup to play the title.
– Flip to the page you want to add (do not press any key yet!)
– When the book is open on a new page, press and hold the record key.
– Start recording after the tone.
Q: How many books can I record?
As many as you want! Sparkup’s internal memory holds up to 50 books with 250 minutes of recording space. When you fill the internal memory, just move some books to your computer and continue recording. Sparkup doubles as a regular flash-drive, there is no need to install any software!
Q: How do I delete a book I recorded?
A: If you would like to re-record the same book, just turn the Sparkup on, wait it to read the title, hold the record key and follow the instructions. Your previous recording will be deleted.
You can also delete a book by deleting its file. Connect your Sparkup to computer (Sparkup doubles as a flash drive), find the book file, and delete it. To identify which file contains your recording, press the center key on Sparkup several times until you hear the title (Sparkup needs to be connected to the computer all the time).
Q: Why won’t Sparkup play the book I attached?
A: Please make sure you close the book to let Sparkup see its cover.
Q: We left Sparkup alone for a few minutes and it turned off. What should we do?
Just turn the Sparkup on again, and it will start from the same place you left off. If you were recording, turn the Sparkup on, wait for it to play that last recorded page. Flip to a new page, press the record key, and continue as usual.
Q: I recorded a few books. When I attach Sparkup to one of the books, Sparkup doesn’t always play it. Why?
A: The Sparkup cannot just switch books. If you want to read a new book you need to turn the Sparkup off then switch books, then turn the Sparkup on again!
Q: The center key light fades in and out as the voice is playing. What does that mean?
A: Your batteries are running out. Please change them.
Q: How can a child choose who reads a book to her, as Fiona does in your video?
A: Each relative can record his or her favorite book for the child. Currently there is no easy way to record several voices for the same book, but stay tuned – we are working on this feature right now! Please send us a message if you are interested: we will notify you once software update becomes available.
Q: I added some pages, and now Sparkup does not play the rest. What should I do?
You need to finish your recording session first. Close the book, or hold the center key for two seconds. Then turn the Sparkup on again, and it will play all the pages, including the new ones you’ve just added.
Q: I closed the book, but Sparkup did not turn off. What should I do?
Hold the center key down for two seconds.
Q: I recorded a book, but now I checked the SPARKUP drive, and it’s not there. What happened?
If somebody starts to re-record the book, but cancels the previous recording before recording a single page, the book will be deleted.
Please back up your previous recording to your computer. Then you will always be able to restore them, even if they are accidentally deleted.
You can also mark a book file “read only” (see the instruction manual). This will prevent it from being re-recorded.
Q: Sparkup says that the pre-loaded “Shrek!” book is read by Meryl Streep, but it is not!
A: You are absolutely right, the book is narrated by Stanley Tucci.
We are sorry for this confusion. The audio we initially received from the publisher contained this mistake and unfortunately made it to the first batch of Sparkup. We have spotted and corrected this problem since then.
The rest of the recording is correct, only the title contains mistaken announcement. In the case you would like to receive the corrected file just leave a message to our support stuff.
Q: How do I record another narration of the same book?
A: You can keep as many recordings of the same book on your computer as you want. However, you should only have one version loaded onto the Sparkup. If you want to record another version but keep your previous recording, move it first to your computer.
We are working to allow a child to choose among several people reading the same book, so stay tuned! Please send us a message and we will notify you once a software update becomes available.
Q: How long do the batteries last?
Sparkup is powered by 3 AA batteries, which enable up to 30 hours of active usage, and 3-4 months of shelf life. For example: by using Sparkup for one hour each day, you will need to replace the batteries about once a month. (Note: included batteries are for demo purposes only and may not last as long).
Q: I made a mistake, can I correct my recording?
Sure! You can easily re-record any individual page, a whole book, or add missing pages.
Q: Sparkup says “I do not recognize this book”. I am sure I recorded it before…
Make sure you attached the Sparkup correctly; the same way you attached it when recording this book.
Everything is correct, but it does not recognize the books.
Try to change your position, or to move to a different place. Sometimes strong reflections blind the Sparkup or strong shadows confuse it.
Check if the books is recorded. Connect Sparkup to the compter using the included USB cable and turn it on. If you recently recorded this books search for it by pressing the center button while Sparkup is connected to the computer.
Press the center button until you hear the book title.
If you already renamed the book file previously, check that the correct file is on the SPARKUP drive.
Q: We left the Sparkup for a few minutes and it turned off.
A: Just turn the Sparkup on again, and it will start from the same place. If you were recording, turn the Sparkup on, wait for it to play the last recorded page. Flip to a new page, press the center key, and continue as usual.
Q: How many books / pages can I record?
A: Sparkup can store up to 50 books with up to 250 minutes audio in its internal memory. You can record up to about 100 pages per book. When you fill internal storage, simply connect Sparkup to you computer and move some files to your hard disk. (Sparkup doubles as a usual flash drive, there is no software to install!)
Q: I closed the book, but Sparkup did not turn off.
A: Hold the center key for two seconds.
Q: I added some pages, and now Sparkup does not play all the rest.
A: You need to finish your recording session first. Close the book, or hold the center key for 2 seconds. Then turn the Sparkup on again, and it will play all the pages, including the new ones you’ve just added.
Q: I flipped the page, but Sparkup did not play it.
Try to flip the page back and then back to this page again.
Still nothing happens?
Make sure nothing moves in front of the Sparkup’s camera. Sometimes there is too much motion around…
Try to change your position. Sometimes strong reflection blinds the Sparkup, or strong shadows on the book confuse it.
Recording (continuous mode): I was recording in continuous mode and the recording stopped. How do I continue?
A: Turn to a new page, press center key. Continue as usual, turning pages and waiting for the tone before starting to read each new page.
Recording (page by page mode): I flipped a page, but there is no tone.
You need to press the center key after each page, and press it again to record another page.
It goes like this: 1) flip page; 2) press center key; 3) speak; 4) press center key; 5) listen (continue with all pages of the book); 6) flip to the last page; 7) press center key; 8) speak; 9) press center key; 9) listen; 10) close book to finish. Voila!
Recording (page by page mode): I made a mistake while recording a page.
Don’t worry! Press the center key to stop the recording then hold the record key and re-record the page.
Recording (page by page mode): I closed the book, but Sparkup did not tell me, “The book was successfully recorded” and it did not turn off.
Hold the center key for two seconds.
Recording (page by page mode): Sparkup is telling me it’s in “Continuous mode…”, but I want to record in “page-by-page” mode. What should I do?
Press the record key shortly after it says, “continuous mode”. Sparkup will switch to the page by page mode, and tell you it has switched.
Recording (page by page mode): I recorded in the “continuous mode”, but now I want to add pages in page by page mode.
We’re sorry, but you can switch recording modes only before recording a new book, or when re-recording a book.
We suggest you start recording a dummy book (say, “dummy book”!), and then delete this dummy book by using your computer.
Recording (continuous mode): I was recording in Continuous Mode, and Sparkup stopped recording and started playing the page. How do I continue?
Just flip to a new page, and press the center key. After one tone, record the new page. Flip the page to continue adding pages. Remember to wait for the tone each time.
Recording (continuous mode): I flipped a page, but there is no tone…
Flip back to the previous page, and then flip again to return to this page.
Still no tone…
This page is probably too similar to the previous page. You can continue recording, these two pages will be played together.
If you want to play them separately, you can attach a sticker at the top of the page in the middle, just below the Sparkup’s camera, to help tell them apart. Then record these pages again.
Recording (continuous mode): I did not flip a page, but there was a tone.
Flip to the next page and continue recording.
When you are finished with the book, come back to this page. Hold the record key, and re-record the page. To prevent this from happening, try to minimize motion following simple guidelines:
- let the book lie still on the desk during the whole recording.
- after flipping a page, hold it with a hand at the outer corner to prevent it from moving.
- make sure there are no strong shadows on the pages.
Recording (continuous mode): I closed the book, but Sparkup did not tell me, “the book was successfully recorded”, and did not turn off.
Hold the center key for two seconds.
Recording (continuous mode): It says to me “page by page mode”, I want continuous!
Press the record key shortly after it says “page by page mode”. Sparkup will switch to the continuous mode, and tell you it has switched.
Sparkup and your computer: How do I find a file with a particular book?
Sparkup records new books to files: BOOK0001.SPK, BOOK0002.SPK, etc… You need to first connect Sparkup to your computer (use the USB cable provided), and turn the Sparkup on. Open the Sparkup drive to see the book files. Then briefly press the center key. Each time you press the center key, Sparkup will read for you the title of each book (in your voice), and its number.
Like this: “Book one: A Cat in the Hat”. “Book two: Where the Wild Things Are”.
Sparkup and your computer: But I do not hear my book!
Maybe you already renamed the file? Sparkup will only read out the books that have not been renamed. Once you give a meaningful name to the book, you can identify it just by its name.
Sparkup and your computer: My child renamed all the books on my SPARKUP drive! What can I do?
Rename them to BOOK0001.SPK, etc… (make sure not to overwrite existing files). Now you can press the center key and Sparkup will read the book titles for you.
Sparkup and your computer: Sparkup accidentally turned off while connected to the computer.
Make sure the USB cable is inserted tightly on both sides. Turn the Sparkup on again.
Note: if you hold the center key, or disconnect the USB cable, Sparkup turns off automatically.