Good language learners should always be on the lookout for new listening materials to add to their collection, and YouTube offers a huge, searchable database of all kinds of recordings.
It’s also very easy to grab the audio off a YouTube video to use it for 听力 practice. Just copy the URL of the video to YouTube Mp3 and off you go.
Annoyingly there doesn’t seem to be a straightforward audio ripper service for the Chinese equivalents YouKu and TuDou (although it is possible to grab audio from these sites if you have the technical know how). There are some dodgy looking pieces of software for download, but I’d put money on those including malware. Best to stick to YouTube for now.
One issue with YouTube, though, is that it’s not accessible from mainland China. Personally I’d say it’s worth getting a VPN for this and other blocked sites. Witopia is very good, in my experience (Google it - if I link here I might get harmonised, 呵呵).
Stuff to search for
Obviously the sky is the limit with YouTube videos, but some good search terms for finding listening materials include:
辩论 biànlùn debate
对话 duìhuà dialogue
热议 rèyì heated discussion
论战 lùnzhàn polemical debate
杂谈 zátán varied discussion
专访 zhuānfǎng exclusive interview
现场采访 xiànchǎng cǎifǎng on-the-spot interview
新闻 xīnwén news
讲话 jiǎnghuà speech
点评 diǎnpíng point-by-point commentary
Just combine these with whatever topics you’re interested in (政治, 足球, 科幻 etc.) and you should get a lot of good material.
I find it’s effective to listen closely once to new listening material, then passively listen to it several times after that. Once you’ve gone through it actively once, you can get quite a lot out of it just listening in the background. And the bigger your audio collection gets, the more you can use it to add to your immersion environment.