Recently video lectures are becoming a popular resource as many large institutions are now filming their best lecturers in the classroom. Academic Earth launched in beta in January 2009 and has since created quite a buzz in the online world. Recorded lectures from Berkeley, Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Stanford, and Yale are available to view and in some case download. Downloadable lectures are compressed in quick-time MP4 format which maintains a very manageable and portable file size, which means the files could even be viewed from mobile devices.
I downloaded one of the lectures titled, The Origins of the Financial Mess by Alan Blinder from Princeton university. The file was 94mb and took about an hour to download. I did not have a media player that could handle an MP4 file. I need one so recommend one if you can! I ended up converting the file to an AVIusing a video converter that I had called All Converter. This was senseless however as once I had converted the file it ballooned to nearly 4 times its original size.
Video quality was not too bad, and the audio quality was fair. The video itself was great. It cycled from an image of Blinder delivering the talk to his PowerPoint slides as they were delivered. It was an enjoyable experience and I actually learned a little more about the US financial crisis!
More recently, in March 2009 www.youtube.com launched YouTube EDU which is a directory of video lectures from more than 100 schools. The big difference here is that the videos can not be downloaded without some sort of third party tool. The video needs to be streamed requiring an internet connection. I believe that youtube just created the Edu portal and tagged any video which could be considered educational. That is why they have so many videos available. It is a very diverse set of content, from Advanced Finite Elements Analysis to How to Properly Slice Onions!!!