Am I the only one who finds the audio portion of the lessons to be unclear at times? Have to put the volume on high. Even that isn't always helpful.
Yes, it is very unclear. I remember listening to one section over and over. Finally asking my Brazilian husband to listen and even he couldn't make out what was being said. 0.o But you do get used to it.
I do notice that the audio in the Portuguese is worse than the other courses. Sometimes it's choppy and it butches a vowel or a consonant here or there but once I got used to it I could usually understand what it's saying. Once in a while I'll stumble across something that sounds wrong and then I'll check it on Forvo, which is a great supplemental resource:
Overall though I've found that even with the slightly crappy computerized audio, I've been able to learn pretty decent pronunciation.
I think Portuguese is a hard language (at least for English speakers) to learn to hear and pronounce. It's my fourth language, my third foreign language...I first learned German then Spanish, and it was much easier for me to hear both of these languages. I had at least as much time trying to understand native Brazilians speaking Portuguese, initially, as I did the computer voice. Now, when I listen to clearly enunciated Brazilian Portuguese, like on the radio, it sounds clearer / crisper than the computer voice, but I think a good portion of my trouble was the fact that the language itself was a little less intuitive to me. There is a lot of elision between words, and there are a lot of sounds that are quite different from English.