MindTracks, from the Sydney-based business iMinds, are 8-minute general knowledge ‘mini-lectures’, that you can download to your MP3 player or computer.

iMinds began in September this year, launching with 72 individual tracks, and at the time of writing that number is up to more than 180.

The MindTracks cover 12 main categories of interest: Ideas & Concepts, Politics, Law & Business, The Arts, History, People & Places, Medicine & Inventions, Sports & Action, Crime, War & Conflict, Pop Culture, Science & Nature, Culture & Religion, and Mystery & Conspiracy. Examples of individual MindTracks are: D-Day Invasion, Bermuda Triangle, Nature vs Nurture, Iron Curtain, Mahatma Gandhi, Stockholm Syndrome, Film Noir, Aurora Borealis and Rosetta Stone.

Having listened to a few tracks they are interesting, if nothing else you’ll pick up a few new factoids, or you could even use the information as a stepping stone for deeper research into a topic that interests you. The reading is clear, if a little monotone, and the background music on first is a little ‘whalesong-hippy-tree-huggy’ – you’ll learn to filter it down as you listen to more tracks. These two would be my only criticisms – they result in the delivery of the knowledge being a little lifeless. This of course is my critique – how we like to be educated is very subjective. One person’s favourite teacher could be another’s teacher from hell.

Price and availability

MindTracks can be downloaded from LearnOutLoud.com, Audible.com and Apple’s iTunes Store (under audio books). Individual downloads are 99 cents, a set of six tracks is$3.99), 12 tracks $9.99, 36 tracks $14.99 or 72 tracks for $24.99. Please note these prices are in US dollars, and that downloads from Audible and iTunes will contain digital rights management (DRM) software.

Downloads are also from the iMinds website for $1.69 each (Australian dollars) and are DRM-free.