The Dark Reaches of the InterWeb
Okay, I admit that this is a “no news” broadcast. Still, some of you might be interested. Not long ago, whilst stumbling on eBay.com, I came across an offer for a pair language courses, both of which bore the trade-name Playaway©, and which appeared to be a pre-load mp3 or mp4 players. I found one of the two particularly intriguing as it was a copy of Pimsleur Spanish. Playaway Pre-Loaded Language-Learning Programs
Searches of eBay, Amazon, and AbeBooks by this tradename yielded hundreds of similar offers, including those for language courses and popular audio books. A visit to the company’s website revealed that their current offerings include over 400 language learning programs in over 90 languages from: Berlitz, Living Language, Mango Languages, Michel Thomas, Penton Overseas, Pimsleur, Routledge, and Transparent Language.
Playaway Language Programs
Clicking on “click here” downloads a list, in PDF format, of the company’s catalog of language courses.
Playaway (from Wikipedia article)
Playaway is a brand of portable media players designed for circulation in libraries by Findaway World, LLC, based in Solon, Ohio. The format is used in institutional lending, such as in public and school libraries. Playaway's library website states that it is currently available in over 25,000 schools and libraries. The format is used in military libraries and gives troops access to digital media overseas, where they might not have access to electricity to otherwise read or use a computer.
Playaway Light is a solid-state prerecorded audio player introduced in 2005 and redesigned in 2016. About the size of a deck of playing cards and weighing 2 ounces, it can store up to 80 hours of audio. As of March 2010, the audiobooks are all produced in high definition audio. The digital content (audiobook or music compilation) is preloaded at the factory and cannot be changed or copied by the end user. A 3.5 mm stereo jack provides output to earphones or an external amplifier. Playaway Light was specifically designed to use most commonly available cassette adaptors and FM transmitters. Power is provided by a changeable 1.5V AAA cell, which the manufacturer claims allows it to operate approximately 20 hours before battery depletion, 30 hours for the newer versions. There are approximately 15,000 titles on Playaway, generally priced in-line with the publisher's suggested library pricing for the CD equivalent. As of 2013, the newest Playaway versions come complete with HD Audio and high-definition sound. These new units enable users to lock the keypad and slow down reading speed. In 2016, Playaway added a backlit LCD screen with more details and simplified the button layout.
Playaway Launchpad is a modified android tablet pre-loaded with games and other educational apps. Each tablet comes pre-loaded with several apps that have a shared subject. They come in either Orange (for Children) and Black (for Adult and Teens). There is no way for end users to add or remove apps
Playaway View is a portable video player. Content is pre-loaded and cannot be modified by the end user. Selections include popular movies and TV shows for kids and adults, documentaries and educational content
Has Anyone Tried These Products?
I would imagine that most members of this forum prefer generic devices for storing and accessing their digitized language courses. Still, some of you might have tried the Playaway products. Care to talk about it?
All about language programs, courses, websites and other learning resources
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- Black Belt - 2nd Dan
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