December 1, 2005

Audio and Video Learning Around the World


So I popped on in to Google Analytics tonight to check on our stats and found the map of our vistitors fascinating. Each of the dots on the map represents a city from where at least 30 people came to our site in the last week. Where did we receive the most visits from? Taipei. 710 visits this week. Gives me chills just thinking about people in China firing up their web browser and listening to audio and video learning content, improving their English skills, etc.

I exchanged e-mails today with a sweet lady from China who explained to me how grateful she was to have found LearnOutLoud.com. Here’s a bit of what she said:

maybe its main idea is not to practise one’s listening, but obviously it’s a big potential benifit to english learner, especially who want to improve their listening.

The potential for audio and video learning and podcasting is amazing. It can open up new worlds for people in places like China. And there will be an incredible demand for ESL and other english language programs in these countries. Likewise there will be a lot of demand for programs to learn languages like Mandarin. A prime example of this is the fact that the third most popular podcast on Yahoo’s podcast directory is ChinesePod, a podcast out of Shanghai that teaches Mandarin Chinese through daily audio lessons.

The most apropros sign might have been the title that my new friend in China originally e-mailed me about. What was it?

The World is Flat

Yes, indeed it is.

October 28, 2005

Starting Fires

Caught this over on Brian Johnson’s blog:

“Education is not filling a bucket but lighting a fire.”
~ William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)
Irish poet, playwright & mystic, winner of Nobel prize in 1923

If education is lighting a fire then we here at LearnOutLoud.com are pyromaniacs. 🙂

Have a great weekend everyone!

(By the way, if you get an extra few minutes this weekend wander on over to Brian’s author page and download some of his stuff. It’s really good. Lately I’ve been particularly digging Quotes on Action and Quotes on Courage. Did I mention that it’s free?)

October 27, 2005

The Blue Flame


During my run today I was listening to Keith Ferrazzi’s Never Eat Alone (highly recommended by the way!). He talks about the concept of the “blue flame” which he defines as “a convergence of mission and passion founded on a realistic self-assessment of your abilities.” He goes on to talk about Joseph Campbell’s blue flame.

After graduation, (Campbell) moved into a cabin in Woodstock, New York, where he did nothing but read from nine in the morning until six or seven each night for five years.

Ferrazzi goes on to quote Campbell himself:

“If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living.”

Campbell was an amazing man. You can find all of Campbell’s audio books and DVDs on our Joseph Campbell Author Page. I watched the video series Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth a year ago and throughly enjoyed it. I’m sure you will too!

By the way, I listened to Never Eat Alone on the “Faster” setting today on my iPod which increases the speed by about 20%. It sounds a bit different but not as bad as I thought it would. Considering that you could get through a 10 hour book in about 8 hours, it’s something that I’ll probably be doing a lot more of in the future. Definitely good when you’ve got a book that’s heavy on information that you want to crank through.

October 26, 2005

Gandhi Out Loud


I’m proud to announce that we’ve posted Gandhi Out Loud, the first in our Out Loud Series. The Out Loud series is designed to bring together all of the available audio and video material for a historical figure. I’m not aware of any other resource on the Internet for this. You can find bibliographies for many people with extensive listings of relevant books. But no one has done the same for audio and video…until now. 🙂

We’re really excited to roll out a series of these with amazing people and great leaders such as Lincoln, Franklin, MLK, the Kennedys, Mother Theresa, etc. If you have any suggestions for people you would like to see us add to the Out Loud series, please send us an e-mail at suggestions@learnoutloud.com.

I had a lot of fun putting together this article on Gandhi. Particularly of note are his 1931 speech in London, his autobiography My Experiments with Truth and the 1982 epic film Gandhi starring Ben Kingsley. Amazingly, I watched that movie for the first time only a few weeks ago…

Enjoy learning about Gandhi through the resources we’ve linked to. He was an unbelievably amazing man and in today’s age of war, more people than ever need to hear his message.

October 11, 2005

Space Shifting

I heard another great phrase today which got me thinking. I’ve had to explain podcasting to more than a few people lately and one of the words I often use is “timeshifting” which is essentially the TiVo-like ability that allows you to listen to what you want, when you want. But for me that didn’t really do podcasting justice. There was something else there…

Then I heard the phrase “spaceshifting” today and it fell into place. You see it’s not just that I can listen to what I want when I want. It’s also that I can listen to what I want where I want. With my iPod my content follows me around. I can be at the office or in my car or out for a jog and I’ll still have my same audio books and podcasts with me. I think that’s one of the things I’m most digging about podcasting and audio learning in general.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for video learning. With video, in most cases, I’m still somewhat tethered. If it’s a DVD course I need to be at a PC or TV with a DVD player. Then I have to load up the DVD (usually takes a few minutes), figure out where I am, etc. It’s not the instant gratification that we’re coming to expect in our society.

Let me give you another example of this. I was checking out Integral Naked tonight and was a bit bummed that most of the content was video (I promised I would tell you why…). If all of the stuff was audio I think I would be stoked. I’d download it all to the ol’ iPod and that would be the end of it. But with video I honestly don’t know if I’ll find the time to sit down and watch all of it. The files are short and since I have to be at a PC I can’t just crash on my couch and watch it.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the potential for video learning. There are many things that are so much easier to learn when you combine video with audio. But we’ve still got a long way to go. I want to be able to load all my video content on a portable device and be able to watch it on the device anywhere I am or plug it in to my laptop, PC, TV, etc. if I want a bigger screen. Give me time shifting and space shifting and then it’ll be off to the races.

Of course that’s probably a ways off…unless Apple decides to go ahead and announce the new video iPod at their “One More Thing” event tomorrow. 🙂

October 10, 2005

Integral Naked


David did a great job of highlighting some good sites for MP3 downloads of great authors and teachers a couple of days ago. I’ll add one more to the mix: Integral Naked. It’s an interesting collection of audio and video self-development material with interviews with such luminaries as Deepak Chopra and Tony Robbins.

In Integral’s own words:

Integral Naked is a multimedia doorway to the world of integral awareness. Conversations, performances, live events—all involving the most influential, provocative, and important thinkers and leaders in the world. Often these are moderated by Ken Wilber, considered the most influential integral theorist today, and his colleagues at Integral Institute.

It’s a $10 monthly subscription which is pretty cheap considering the wealth of material. I was a bit bummed that most of it is video rather than audio (more on that later…) but it’s still a pretty cool collection of content. I listened to a couple of interviews that Ken did with Tony Robbins today and was pretty impressed by what I heard.

Definitely go check it out as you’ll have some more good stuff to stick into your iPod.

(Kudos to my buddy Bri for the tip on this one.)

September 8, 2005

Brian Tracy Wants You to Learn with Audio


From a recent Brian Tracy newsletter:

Your mind is your most precious asset. You must be continually working to increase the quality of your thinking. One of the best ways is to turn driving time into learning time. Listen to educational audio cassettes in your car. The average driver according to the American Automobile Association, drives 12,000 to 25,000 miles each year, spending 500 to 1000 hours that you spend each year in your car. That is the equivalent of 12 1/2 to 25 forty-hour weeks. This is the same as two full university semesters spent behind the wheel of your car each year.

If you did nothing but use that traveling time as learning time, this decision alone could make you one of the best educated people of your generation. Many people have gone from rags to riches simply by listening to audio programs as they drive to and from work.

Wow. I can’t think of a much better endorsement for audio learning. Think about it. If all you did is use drive time as learning time you would be one of the best educated people of your generation. Pretty powerful stuff…

And if you’re interested in following Brian Tracy’s advice who better to listen to than Brian Tracy himself. We have a complete selection of Brian Tracy audio and video material (100 titles!) at the following page:

Brian Tracy Audio and Video Titles

July 12, 2005

Bryan Kest’s Power Yoga


Little did I know when I moved to Santa Monica two years ago that I was moving less than a block away from one of the World’s best yoga studios, Bryan Kest’s Power Yoga. I had done yoga a bit back in Minneapolis but being in such close proximity to the studio has allowed me to go a lot more. And I’ll be honest. I can’t think of much that is so fulfilling on a mental, physical and spiritual plane.

If you’re interested in discovering Power Yoga I would highly recommend that you pick up one of Bryan’s CDs or DVDs. Over the weekend Seth put up the titles from their site so you can easily browse them at https://www.learnoutloud.com/poweryoga. Bryan is a remarkable guy and a great yoga teacher. He might not be as well known as the Rodney Yees of the world but we’ll do our best to put him on the map!

April 16, 2005

Resources & Content Are Up

We’ve got our Resources and our Content Up. You can check each section out at:




And it is just the start of those sections. They will expand infinitely in the next months to further meet your audio & video learning needs.

April 12, 2005

New Author Pages Up!

TomWolfeBlog.jpgIt’s been a busy weekend for me at the LOL HQ. I’ve been sweating and refining over a series of truly unique (and beautiful!) author pages. I’ve been reading alot of biographies and pouring over countless bibliography pages so you don’t have to. What’s the point of going to a retailer page and not getting a good idea of everything available by an author? We’re trying to remedy that at LearnOutLoud.com. You’ll find alot of different and varied authors such as one for the dapper fellow pictured to the right. This man is American Hero Tom Wolfe. Here he is pictured in one of his many awesome white suits (he must have a bright closet). I think he’s doing some gardening or something similarly austere while thinking up his next society-skewering opus. Go for it Tom, yeah!

Anyway, I hope you get as much from these pages as I have in compiling them. I’ve actually sought out many of the authors that have interested me here so I can assure you that these pages have practical value. If only I had had more of these when I was in highschool. I would have been a genuis alot earlier. Here’s the latest batch of authors; look around and tell me if I can add anything or am totally off base with my findings:

  • Bill Bryson
  • Douglas Adams
  • Eckhart Tolle
  • Stephen W. Hawking
  • Daniel Goleman
  • Tom Wolfe
  • Suze Orman
  • Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • Jim Rohn