I've been searching high and low for Spanish videos and finally found a source with all the ingredients: Spanish TED talks with closed captioning. I highly recommend them. If anyone has other suggestions that meet most/all the below criteria please share.
I am an mid-advanced beginner and hope to find videos that:
1) Are spoken by native speakers at a slow/moderate pace with a "normal tone". Much of the beginner audio I hear does not sound authentic and I think "no way do people actually talk like that". I tried watching "Extra" and could not stomach it.
2) The topic needs to be engaging. I cannot sit and listen to "learn to speak spanish" lessons that are aimed at a novice heading to latinamerica for a vacation. For example, "In this lesson you will learn how to ask directions to the train station". I just can't do it.
3) The speakers enunciate. I will eventually want to understand street conversations, yet for now I want enunciation. Unpronounced syllables and slurred words greatly increase the difficulty and make it really frustrating. This is a very unmotivating factor for me.
4) Spoken in spanish and closed captioned in spanish. I want to hear spanish - the rhythm and pronunciation - and associate pronunciation with written text. The "automatic captions" are wrong about 15-20% of the time - enough so that I am unsure which words are translated correctly.
TED talks are the only source that have all of these features. The topics are interesting. The speakers are educated and speak clearly in a moderate pace. The subtitles are done by real people.
Other sources I have tried:
Extra and Destinos: Stupid and/or boring.
Telenovas: overly dramatic. Natives don't really talk with that rhythm and intonation.
Amazing Race Latinamerica and Espanoles in .. . . . . VERY engaging series. Both shows involve travel and interacting with foreign cultures. But, the subtitles suck. . . I will return when I am an intermediate.
Yabla: Pretty good. Yet, the clips often seem staged. The interface is awesome! Both English and Spanish subtitles. Rewind and a one-click dictionary. A paid service.
EasySpanish: Interesting conversations with natives. The pace is a bit fast and the subtitles can be poor.
Any other ideas?
That's a great idea, thanks for mentioning it.
Along the same lines, EdX and probably Coursera offer video course lectures, and many of them can be accessed at no cost if you don't need any kind of certificate of completion. With EdX, when you play the video, a transcript (human-generated, not voice recognition) is visible and scrolled in real time in sync with the video, so that you are seeing a paragraph or so of text, i.e. both behind and ahead of the speaker.
Excellent find, thank you very much.
I will add http://www.podclub.ch/fr/ . New 12-14 minute talk every two weeks. The site is in French but easy enough to navigate the website. The best part here is the fact that there is an active accompanying transcription. There is an essentially complete transcription on the left. What is unique here though is that the words/phrases currently being spoken are automatically highlighted on the left and the transcription even scrolls automatically and the reverse function on the audio also causes the highlighting to go back. And the reverse button corresponds to phrases that are highlighted, usually 3 to 8 words at a time. Very user friendly---not seen this degree of user friendliness even for pay. Of course you can download the audio for desktop/mobile devices as well as "imprimer le texte"