Large List of Podcasts that teach you something

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 11, 2006
Updated • May 22, 2013
Music and Video

Mp3 players are pretty common nowadays. Not necessarily in the form of standalone devices, but integrated into smartphones that everyone seems to use nowadays.

While they are primarily used to play music, they can also be used to play podcasts and audiobooks. The best way to explain podcasts is to compare them to radio shows. Some hosts talk about certain topics, you listen to jingles, to music sometimes that is played during breaks.

Not all podcasts are like radio shows of course, some are like audio lessons, like university courses without the classes. And this is what I will be talking about now.

I found a great website that has three large lists of links to websites that offer podcasts that teach you something. That something is either a language, culture or university courses. It is up to you of course to decide what you want to learn and hear, just download all the podcasts you like and transfer them to your mp3 player.

All podcasts are encoded in mp3 format which makes it possible to have even large lessons take up just some megabytes.

Let us take a look at the three possibilities:

Languages: Links to podcasts that teach you 14 languages including German, French and Japanese. Most of the courses are for beginners, I suggest you read the explanation at the website that compiled the list before you download the podcasts.

University Courses: A compilation of links to colleges and universities (US) that offer free podcasts of some of their lectures. You find a wide variety of courses such as law and social sciences.

Culture: Many links to interesting podcasts and even audio texts. Concentrates on art, pop culture and media. Great.

Update: With the rise of smartphones and tablets came new opportunities. You can naturally transfer and listen to these podcasts on those devices as well. Basically, if it supports mp3, you are good to go.

Update 2: The Open Culture website has additional lists available now that you may want to browse through. This includes free audiobooks divided into fiction, poetry and non-fiction and a lot of other listings that you find in the top navigation toolbar and right sidebar.


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. Anonymous said on August 1, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Why not make use of the mplayer.conf?

  2. Mike J said on August 1, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Huh, I have never even seen this “font cache” pane; videos play at once for me, using VLC & XP SP3.

    1. Martin said on August 1, 2010 at 3:39 pm

      Mike, in theory this should have only been displayed once to you, at the very first video that you played with VLC. The time this window is displayed depends largely on the number of fonts in your font directory.

      1. Mike J said on August 2, 2010 at 2:30 pm

        huh, I lucked out for a change?? Amazing!!
        Apparently VLC keeps this info through version updates, but I didn’t see this message after a fresh OS install about 8 weeks ago, & a new VLC.

  3. myo said on August 1, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    yes, yes, i have the same problem. sometimes, VLC crashes when it is playing .mov file.

  4. Kishore said on August 13, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Buidling font Cache pop-up


    Open VLC player.

    On Menu Bar:


    (at bottom – left side)
    Show settings — ALL

    Open: Video
    Click: Subtitles/OSD (This is now highlited, not opened)
    Text rendering module – change this to “Dummy font renderer function”


    Re-open – done.
    Progam will no longer look outside self for fonts

    Source –

    1. Martin said on August 13, 2010 at 3:10 pm

      Great tip, thanks a lot Kishore.

  5. javier said on August 14, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    @Kishore, I’ll try your tips, but does this mean it will no longer show subtitles either?
    I do use subtitles, but the fontcache dialog box pops up (almost) everytime I play a file.

    Could this be related to the fonts I have installed? Or if I add/remove fonts to my system?

    I’ll try to do a fresh install also, if your tips does no work. I’ll post back here later…


  6. Kishore said on August 15, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    @ Javier, The trick i posted will show up subtitles too. If not,

  7. Kishore said on August 15, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    @ Javier, The trick i posted will show up subtitles too. If not,Dont worry, VLC is currently sorting out this issue and the next version will be out soon.

    No probs @ Martin !! Its my pleasure

  8. Ted said on October 22, 2010 at 3:57 am

    Try running LC with administrator privileges. That seemed to fix it for me

  9. Evan said on December 8, 2013 at 1:48 am

    I am using SMplayer 0.8.6 (64-bit) (Portable Edition) on Windows 7 x64. Even with the -nofontconfig parameter in place SMplayer still scans the fonts. Also, I have enabled normal subtitles and it is still scanning fonts before playing a video. Also, it does this every time the player opens a video after a system restart (only the fist video played).

  10. Mike Williams said on September 6, 2023 at 1:26 pm

    Does that mean that only instrumental versions of songs will be available for non-paying users?

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