Stanford Professor James Sheehan’s History of the International System is a fascinating overview of the history of the 20th century, with a focus on the emergence of our current international system. However, Professor Sheehan’s lecture style is to speak v e r y s l o w l y. This is probably an advantage for undergraduates taking notes, but I found myself growing impatient with his glacial delivery.
Happily, there is a technological solution for iPod users. It involves using software to convert the lecture audio files to “audio book” format. In addition to iTunes, you will need a conversion utility such as the free MP3 to iPod Audio Book Converter. Here are the steps:
- Download the lectures to your iTunes software.
- Locate the lectures in your iTunes library, and highlight them. Click on the “advanced” menu and choose “convert selection to MP3.”
- Locate the new MP3 files in Windows Explorer. ITunes can help. Right-click on the file and choose “show in Windows Explorer.”
- Highlight the file names in Windows Explorer, and drag and drop them into your converter utility. Click “convert.” The new files will be in audio book or m4b format.
- Drag your new audio book files into iTunes.
- When you want to listen to the files, go to the settings menu on your iPod and select “audio books.” Now select “faster.”
For me, the sped up tempo was a bit weird at first. But then I decided I liked it, because it eliminates Sheehan’s long pauses. If you’re impatient like me, you might enjoy it too.