The Great Courses & Audible: all the knowledge in the world, for cheap
This may already sound like an advertorial, so I’ll start of by stating that I’m not not getting paid to write this post, which also lacks any referral links. I merely found out about something I wish I had known about earlier myself, and figured I might as well share this.
You may already know about Audible, the subscription-based audio book service by Kindle. It’s great. (The fact that you have to purchase both the audiobook as well as the Kindle version of a title (both full-price) in order to read both simultaneously and keep your progress synced on all versions is a sham, though.) After having discovered podcasts, I quickly transitioned to predominantly listening to audio books some years ago, as I like to listen to non-fiction books and learn about all kinds of stuff while commuting or folding laundry.
When browsing through the Audible library in search of something interesting to read/listen, I sometimes came across titles published by ‘The Great Courses’, and decided to try one out. (If you don’t know about The Great Courses, have a look at their website. They invite award-winning scholars to record lectures on pretty much any topic available.)
There’s one problem with The Great Courses (sold by title, and independently from Audible, I mean), though: these courses require a considerable investment. This year, I’ve listened to a couple of courses, which typically consist of a couple of dozen lectures of about half an hour each. Here’s what these titles would normally cost:
- Your Best Brain: $29,95
- Practicing Mindfulness: $129,95
- Buddhism: $129,95
- Consciousness and its Implications: $89,95
(I’m just exploring one specific field of interest at the moment — there are courses on Business, History, Health and many more. And they’re really high-quality, too: the course ‘My Favorite Universe’ is narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson.)
That’s a whopping $ 379,80 for four courses. They are probably worth every dime if you pay the full price — but still prohibitively expensive for most of us, especially if you want to indulge in binge-listening.
That’s where Audible comes in. Audible is subscription-based: as a Platinum member, I’m paying $22.95 a month, for which I receive 2 credits (the regular subscription price is $14,95 a month for 1 credit). And I discovered that the entire collection of The Great Courses is available on Audible.
Here’s the thing: although each ‘Great Course’ is about three to four times as long as the average regular book (and would normally be three to ten times as expensive, if purchased separately), each of these courses only cost 1 measly credit — which means I’m paying only $11,48 for a course that would normally cost up to ten times as much, or even more.
Feel free to try it out on Audible.com: the first month is free (again: not getting paid for this).