A good intro to the German language. I would have to agree that the first lesson or two may be a tad annoying, but it tries to build on what you already know (yes, American is Amerikaner, but later you learn Deutscher, so you can infer Norwegian is Norweger, someone from Holland is Holländer, etc.). It then takes that and builds upon. Personally, here's my experience.
I took two years of German back in high school a long time ago (let's just say it was in the 80s). I actually made it to Germany for the first time a few months ago, and found my absolute weakest point was my conversational skills. Few of the reviewers here know the stress of actually being in that situation. (Let's even assume you're in Köln and they speak the high German you learned and not some dialect, like Bavarian or Swiss.) Trying to comprehend what someone is saying is the easy part. Trying to convey what you want to say is the hard part. You first have to understand what they're saying, think of a response, form it in German and they speak it, all while the native speaker is standing there waiting for you. It puts you on the spot. Then of course there's stickler things like the very different word order, pronunciation (the speakers on these CDs are "perfekt"), word gender, which preposition to use (which are entirely different from the literally translated English) and of course the many many many German idioms. (For example, the answer to "how goes it" is "It goes to me good".) It's useless to just learn the individual words if you have no idea in a pinch how to form a sentence. That's what these CDs do. If you want to learn vocabulary, grab flash cards. If you want to learn how to actually use the language in conversation, get these CDs. Even seemingly simple things like "I don't understand you when you speak too fast" can be complicated (It literally translates to "I understand you not, when you too fast speak"). Having to think of this in a conversation puts you on a spot. With these lessons, they make it second nature, and when you learn more words (get the flash cards!), you just put the new words in place of the ones you learned on these CDs. They make the stickier things easier, so you can concentrate on what you need to say, rather than how to say it.
Also they tend to concentrate on some of the more stickier parts of the German language, most notably how gender is used in different cases (although they don't explain in great detail why, a written course can help you out with that, but it's more helpful to start by giving examples and then explaining it in technical terms later on), and get it in your head to just thing "die Strasse ist...", but "...ist in der Strasse", instead of having to think "this word is feminine, but also the subject so therefore in this case I must use die". (Traditional courses are horrible for that.) Also they concentrate on idioms, such as "How are you?" is "How goes it to you?" and the answer is "It goes to me good." (That's just for starters.) My point is they concentrate on phrases and structure, rather than on individual words. In the case of a conversation, it takes too long to think every single word out. These help you master the structure so you'll be much better in a conversation.
Also, there's the format themselves. Being on a CD, you can take them anywhere, especially on a commute. (I was taking a class every Saturday and had a two-hour commute each way... it made a very productive way to recapture that two hours.) It helps to get you in that "immersion" mode, and the instructions ramp up to where most all of them are in German. Without that immersion, your learning will take forever. Books are limited to times you can read, and I wouldn't recommend it while driving, plus you don't hear how it's actually used. (Since I originally learned German in the 80s, I had no idea Euro was actually pronounced "oy-ro".) CD-ROMs require you be at a computer, so they're even less portable. These lessons can be done almost anywhere. There's immense value in that.
The only reason I gave it four instead of five is because of the price of the full versions. They're a touch high, but you definitely get a lot out of them for the money. I highly recommend them. You won't become a master by buying any one product, but these will get you on your way quickly.
Learning vocabulary is the easy part. Actually using it is hard. That's what these lessons help you do.