September 8, 2010

Video-learn 20-50% faster!

All L.A. conference has it's videos online for free I just love sucking in every new gadget, website or tip that allows me to learn emergency medicine faster than ever before. I believe e-learning is the field where we have gained the most from information technology and as such I believe that in year 2010 we are much better (informed) doctors than only 10 years ago.

I have recently discovered the wonderful world of video lectures in emergency medicine and it turns out there is amazing quality stuff out there which I plan to summarize very soon in a special blog post. It is just amazing to be able to sit in my living room or other convenient places and watch lectures about aorta dissection, ECG in pulmonary embolism etc. - just as if I was there. Never before have I wished as much to have consiptation - an excuse to sit in the WC with my Android all day long! As said, I will be back with those video sites but first this one small tip which will speed up your video watching by 20-50%.

VLC player in action VLC player is an amazing (free) software which has the goal of "playing everything you hit it with". It is not the prettiest but it a Swiss army knife of video players. I recently discovered a "play speed" feature which to my amazement worked just perfect since usually the audio will be too distorted to enjoy. This very probably can be done on other video players as well but I like VLC's way of allowing you to fine tune the playback speed, it's not only in steps of 50%, 150%, 200% etc but everything there between.
Then you can even jump back and forth through the video with keyboard shortcuts, making jumps in steps of a second, 3 secs, 10 sec or whatever you like. With this level of controls at your fingertips it is easy to step back when you feel you missed out some important part of the lecture. Also a great tool when you want to re-watch some lecture you have seen before for the sake of understanding it better.

This little tip has made it much easier for me to browse through my collection of 2-300 of amazing emergency medicine lectures I want to digest in the winter months (totalling to about 150 hours of video!).