Posted by: digitalpelican | April 28, 2009

Lynda.com – Review

What a great site!  I first experienced training from Lynda.com in the late 90’s when I bought her book on web design and Dreamweaver.  Back then she used the line: HOT for seemingly all her books.  HOT stood for Hands On Training, nice touch.  The content was relevant, the course exercises interesting and well designed, and the illustrations were great.  That was before software training moved to screen capture/video tutorials.  Books included a CD with exercise files.  Enter today’s world with DSL and streaming video.

Surf over to Lynda.com and you’ll find an extensive library of streaming tutorials/classes available for different levels of consumption and cost.  I explored the library of tittles and found each course has some free sample lessons to get an idea of the content and style of the instructor.  I recommend exploring these before getting out the plastic.  The samples I watched looked good, so I went for the cheapest approach, paying $25 for unlimited viewing (no downloading) for one month.

After logging on and going through the payment process, I started with Final Cut Pro 6 – Essential Editing.  This title, and at least two more are taught by Larry Jordan, a training empire on to himself.  I believe the course was 7.5 hours in total.  I could watch a lesson, rewind to any part, go forward to another lesson, and come back as many times as I wanted.  It was great.  Jordan does a good job of walking you through the steps of the FCP application, the demonstrations are detailed and well structured, and he has a interesting way (humor) of keeping the student involved with the course.  During my month I viewed the following titles:

  • Final Cut Pro 6 – Essential Editing
  • Final Cut Pro 6 – Essential Effects
  • Switching from Windows to Mac OSX
  • Digital Video Principles
  • QuickTime Compression Principles
  • Podcasts

Basically, I consumed as much as I could for my $25.  All the titles were well done, some were more recent than others.  I did wonder sometimes about how up to date the information was.  Some of the topics I viewed, such as Digital Video Principles is changing slowly enough to have a reasonable shelf life.  The course on switching from Windows to Mac OSX will be fine until Mac updates their OS.  Stuff to do with the web is a different matter.  Some of the URLs presented in the Podcast title are no longer valid, although most still are.

Bottom line: Content and presentation I found to be consistently good, with some titles a bit better.  Currency of content depends on the subject matter and how quickly that field changes.  Anything to do with the web is going to be tough to catch and keep up with.  I’d recommend this site, and the $25/month deal to someone wanting a quick hit of quality information they can consume when they desire and at their own rate.  The other cost options (I believe they are $250 and $350) will allow you to download more information and have it available on your home machine.  For some, that may be important enough to justify the cost.

__DP

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