It's been just over a month since TrainSignal switched to providing their courses only via an online model and binned the idea of shipping DVDs around the world.
Although they kept their plans under wraps fairly well (at least they did as far as I know), it shouldn't really have come as a surprise to anyone that they changed their model. You only have to look back another month or so to one of the UK's big high street names going to the wall to see further evidence that physical media is just not as popular anymore.
I had been planning to purchase one of TrainSignal's courses just prior to them making the switch. Good job I waited eh? But after giving it a week or so to bed in, I subscribed and I now have access to the whole training catalog.
Logging in, the dashboard (below) gives you the ability to browse and take courses, take practice exams, see what's new etc.
You can see my progress having a look at David Davis and Jake Robinson's “VMware vCloud Director Essentials” course. There's also a link that will let you download the Silverlight based offline player.
The offline player, as it says on the tin, allows you to download courses to view when you don't have an internet connection handy. It requires you to authenticate using your TrainSignal account and you'll need to connect the player to the internet every few days or so for it to re-authenticate. Once in, you can browse the course catalog and select courses for download.
The player's fairly responsive and I've had no issues with it… save one. As stated on their website, TrainSignal do not yet offer an offline player for mobile devices (e.g. iPads etc). For me, that's a bit of a detractor.
Overall, I like what TrainSignal have done. I can pick and choose whichever courses I want and hopefully the catalog will grow nicely. I do want an iPad app for it though!
Note: I didn't clarify when I first wrote this that TrainSignal have offered their courses online for some time but not as a subscription model. Thanks to Ricky El-Qasem.