Watching TreeHouse Videos Quickly

imageIn November, I signed up to be a mentor for Code Louisville.    It’s a program where people use TeamTreeHouse (as made available to anybody living or working in Jefferson County by Louisville Free Public Library) to study up on stuff, and work on projects, and if they need help, they can ask the mentors during their weekly class/lab.

For the first Two Months, I stayed current on all the videos, and quizzes, at TeamTreeHouse.  You can see that from my profile on the right.

Unfortunately, I do not have the 10 hours per week necessary to do this properly.   (Well, 5 hours for watching videos, and another 5 for working on a personal project). 

I still want to keep up (so that I know what the course is teaching the students, so I can help the students when they have questions), so now my mission is to stay up on videos, while not taking the quizzes that come after each video, in the most efficient way possible.   (Note: possibly Windows specific, YMMV):

Step 1:  Subscribe to the iTunes feed.

Every video lives somewhere like this: image

Go up to the “course” level URL instead: image, and there you will find the magic button:

image

The actual link address is something like this:

itpc://teamtreehouse.com/library/javascript-foundations.rss?feed_token=xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx

Which, if you convert it to http, and get it in a browser, looks like this:

image

I.E. It’s a plain old RSS feed.  However, the itpc:// causes it to open in iTunes as a podcast, where you get this:

image

Note. At first, you don’t get all the episodes – I had to tell it to “show old episodes”, and I had to click the little cloud icon to download each one .. there’s probably a way to do that easier.  I clicked on each one.  I was at work, so it downloaded fairly quickly.

Step 2: Watch them with VLC

Then, instead of watching the episodes with iTunes, I find them on disk, and watch them in VLC.  I go as far as to create a VLC playlist to get them in order:

image

Then, while I’m watching them, I can speed them up:

[ , ] Slower/Faster in 0.10x increments
If the speed gets higher than 4x, it cuts audio out
= Resume normal speed
Shift-Left-Arrow, Shift-Right-Arrow 3 seconds left or right

I find that watching at 8x, I can tell what the subject matter is fairly easily.  If I find something interesting, “=” + a couple of Shift-Left-Arrows, and I watch that at normal speed (or sometimes only double-speed).  

I just watched 3 hours of video in an hour.    And I don’t think I missed any detail.   Nice.

In another half hour, I can catch up to where the class(es) would have me be at.  

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