T Nation

Audio Learning/Lectures


I've tried to take MIT lectures and record them with Total Recorder and use them on my IPOD... the effect is explicitly lacking. Much of what they speak of is board or supplement heavy.

Does anyone know a source ala librivox that provides textbook material in an audio-learning format? I have a frightfully boring part time job this semester where I just stack things on shelves for hours on end...so listening to novels on IPOD has become a new hobby of mine.
Now I'd like to integrate some Science and Math done verbally onto my IPOD.


I recently posted on my facebook status wanting my psychology book read by Samuel L. Jackson in audio. I then got this video posted...


Some free classes here that I've listened to in the past:

Where do you live? Your local library may be an option. For example here in DC there are IPod compatible audio books for borrowing. There must be some science/non-fiction in there somewhere:

Project Gutenberg might have some:

Check http://www.archive.org as well.

For more current stuff your best bet is going to be piracy, since it'll still under copyright.


If I may ask, are you willing to shell out money for this audio learning experience? Or are you looking for free sources? Are you looking for specific textbooks in order to complete a certain course or degree program, or are you looking to improve your conversational knowledge in various fields?


math and science is extremely difficult to learn just audioly beyond a very basic level. Learning foreign language is much easier this way.


I am willing to shell out money for good stuff, but obviously free is good too.

Both 'conversational' and course of study.
I actually refer to it as 'enrichment' as I really could care less about proving to someone I do or don't know something that isn't my speciality.

In fact part of the reason why I am listening to audiobooks at work is to avoid talking to people, xD.

So as far as 'enrichment', I'd like to obtain these specific materials;
- Overview of Physics
- Overview of Electricity
- Philosophy
...other science...
- English language recordings on Sikhism and Stoicism
- Business/Financial Concepts

Most other things I'm interested in such as language, novels and poetry I have a good resources for, although any you might have would be of interest.

As far as course of study, my Major is Informational Technology Innovation & Economics w/ Minor in Russian & Spanish

  • Economics
  • Math. Any sort of 'verbal math' even if it just theoretical overview kind of stuff.
  • Computer Science
  • Formal Logic
  • Russian Grammar, Verbs, & Vocabulary boosters
    (I have more conversational Russian tapes than you can shake a ruble at)

That's about it. Anything would be appreciated.


I'm going to check my shelf of catalogues -- I have a BUNCH of audio-learning references that I'll send to you shortly, but in the meantime, have you checked iTunes U? Some of the offerings are taken from lectures that rely far too much on specific reading material, but at the same time there are a whole bunch of free lectures that are really excellent basic overviews of an enormous variety of topics. As an example, I just completed an audio lecture series from NYU that really explained the '3rd Century Crisis' that nearly ruined the Roman Empire before Diocletian took over. I didn't really have the time right now to find, purchase, and read books on the subject, and as this was a class aimed at lower-division university students (it was a few weeks from an overview of Roman history course), it was perfect for me.

You will have to do a bit of hunting, but not that much -- usually you can tell within a few minutes of the intro lecture whether or not something is right for you. It's on the iTunes main menu, second category from the right along the top row of general categories (with music, movies, books, etc). Everything is free, most of the lectures are from major universities, and it really is a gold mine of audio-visual learning. You will find multiple examples from most of your categories in iTunes U, it's just a matter of finding a lecture that you like.


I have some Richard Feynman stuff on audiobook, including the famous physics lectures, if you're interested.


Look into iTunes U.

I've downloaded EXCELLENT History courses in their entirety from there, and they are superb.

I just listened to 27 classes from David W. Blight about the Civil War - he's a writer and professor at Yale I believe.



This. I was just coming back to recommend this and other podcasts. There's a lot of good stuff out there.


If you want to get a good overview of physics I would suggest reading 'Thinking Physics' by Epstein, there is no real math involved and it poses a lot of simple yet very thought provoking questions that really help you understand the fundamental ideas.

An example question would be:

A physicist has been drinking a mug of coffee and grabs a spoon.

He taps the spoon on the side of the mug at 8 points equally spaced on the rim. A musical note is heard each time. When tapped at the points at 90 degrees, 180 degrees and 270 degrees from the handle, the notes are clearly all at the same pitch. When tapped at the 4 points in between these, the notes are the same (as each other) but all at a slightly lower pitch than first group.

Explain this.

Or another one (this is also a good party trick for making money out of bets):

"Explain how you can boil water in a paper or thin plastic cup, without the cup melting."