A while back I wrote a post on getting Chinese-language videos onto your phone. I have an update now. Again, this is aimed at Mac users, though I’m sure if you use Windows it will be really easy to find relevant information, and if you use Linux you probably already know how to do this. 🙂

There’s a really handy program called MacTubes that allows you to browse YouTube without visiting the site. I don’t really know what the point of that is, but that’s not important. You can browse to the video you want within the program (the interface is somewhat like iTunes), or you can use the URL and open the video directly.

The program will let you download the video in FLV, MP4, and other formats. After that, you can open the video in QuickTime, export, select “audio only”, and you’ll have an m4a file with the audio. Sweet. So I’m loading my phone up with audio from TV shows, along with the video files for when I have time to watch, or if I want to refer to the subtitles for a difficult section.

I’m trying to fit as much native material into my life as possible. I have 死亡筆記本(第二冊) on my desk right now, for example. If I’m not in class, studying 文言文 or Thought and Society, or asleep, I intend to have either a book in my hand or headphones on my head, getting as much exposure to real Chinese as possible.

Fortunately, there’s a new class being offered at MTC which might be right up my alley for this, too. From what I’ve gathered from my current teacher and one of the secretaries in the office, the course material is simply current newspaper articles, clips from news shows, etc., all chosen by both the teacher and students. Everyone is assigned the reading/watching to do at home, and then you discuss it in class. The course is called 中高級口語訓練, so the focus is on speaking practice, but obviously there’s also a heavy dose of reading.

Anyway, personal ramblings aside, hopefully this will be helpful for some people out there. Portable native content is always a good thing.

Edit: In the comments section of my previous post (linked above), ichigolin gave me a really useful link to sugoideas, which is an outstanding source of Taiwanese TV shows. Many of the shows are hosted on YouTube, so bonus! Beware though, some of the shows contain English subtitles, which I’m not a fan of anyway, but sometimes they even cover up the Chinese subs. Doubleplusungood!