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Dr Mike J Smith
Kingston University

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Podcasts for learning

Wed, 28 Mar 2012

Donald Clark wrote a good blog entry on the usefulness of audio, listening and podcasts for learning. Not least the ability to rapidly re-review, take notes and at faster playback. This all makes sense to me and I like catching up on audio shows, as well as TED videos, when on the move.

And a smartphone makes a lot of sense here in that you can subscribe to RSS feeds and download audio whilst on the move. You can even play back audio whist it is still downloading. On Android there are quite a few choices with BrightHub providing a good review although its a little out-of-date. Google Listen stands out for its search capabilities and integration with Google Reader. However it would appear adding the feature for increasing the play speed (a real time saver!) is more difficult for whatever technical reason. So much so that there is now a third party sound library that has this function called Presto. Several apps have added support for this feature and the Presto page lists some of these. I have been trying the current Beta (and free) ReadItOut Audiobook Player which adds the Presto library. If you just want something very lightweight and simple then you can't go wrong with either Podcast Player or Tiny Player.

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