Podfasters: people who listen to podcasts at speeds up to 300% of normal


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/11/15/binge-listening.html


Yeah, 1.5 is about as fast as I can take, even…with…a…really…slow…speaker. Some audiobook readers are glacial.


I’m glad they mentioned Overcast. It is the one that I absolutely HAVE TO USE. Marco Arment’s smart speed is one of the best out there. Now for someone to figure out how to use machine learning to skip UMMMMMMs and all that.

Or figure out a way to do a ‘summarize this’ and skip the talky talky bullshit parts that add nothing.

Beyond just the Smart Speed feture of Overcast, one of the greatest things is that you can change the speed per show – if you have it set to automatically 1.5, you can have specific shows at 1x (i.e., anything with Jonathan Goldstein requires the exact pace he decides to give it).


I’ll have to check that out. Right now I’m using Mort for podcasts, but it doesn’t control speed. I’ve been having a hard time finding a reader that gives me everything I had from Rockbox on a Sansa. My habit is to create a playlist of randomized podcasts and listen to them that way, like a talk radio station. Finding all the tools to do this, like a player that uses customized playlists and a separate playlist editor with a randomizer like Winamp had has not been easy. I wish Smart Audiobook Reader loaded playlists.


It has some potential benefits besides speed – apparently higher tones are less likely to be masked by low-pitched street noises, HVAC or low-flying planes.

The podcast client I use maintains pitch when playing at higher speed. You aren’t listening to podcasts that sound like Alvin and the Chipmunks, are you?


Yeah, I came here to say just that. I use Beyondpod and
it does not change the pitch. I don’t think I could listen if it did.


All I’m saying is - these are not people you want to, um, share play time with.


I typically watch (non-music) youtube videos at 1.5x. A friend watches nearly everything at 2x.


Some years back when I thought I was going blind, I started listening to a lot of books on tape. (It was that long ago.) I finally broke down and got a proper tape player for the blind with a tape speed / pitch adjustment knob. It was amazingly better. Now, it’s all digital, and I gather they have something like this for videos as well as audio.

I always wondered about the big lure of multimedia. Going from text, quick and easy to absorb, to speech, slower and more awkward, to video, glacial and often impossible, never seemed to make any sense. For entertainment, I can understand it, though I often find myself yelling “cut to the chase”. That’s from the silent movie days. Maybe our new voice assistants will let us do so in the future.


I’ve been using Beyondpod for years. The Smartplay automatic playlist generator has the option to set the order to random, but I’ve never tried it. Android only.


Why is everyone in a hurry. Is the world ending soon and I am the last to hear about it?


The non playlist ones I tried a while back would reset the random list each time rather than keep it the same indefinitely. Ok for music, bad for podcasts. Perhaps there are ones that don’t but I gave up. The workflow to get what I want used to be easy, but when I went with the “single drive” option in Android for the SD card the synching from the PC got weird.

Haven’t you ever listened to someone in person and wished they had a “speed up” dial?


maybe if podcasts weren’t filled with a bunch of inane chatter by people of mostly average wit they wouldn’t need to.


You need better podcasts.


or the podfasters do


Me too, that’s why I bought a dozen Sansas before the price got bid up so high. Generally I like to listen to audiobooks at 1.2 to 1.3x normal.


I’ve always found reading a book while driving or biking or mowing the lawn to be just a trifle chancy.


I sat in my spouse’s car and she put on one of her podcasts and did this…I turned and decried “WHAT KIND OF A SICK MONSTER ARE YOU?!?”

She replied “I can get through a lot of podcasts this way.”

I countered, “Listen to less podcasts.” and then promptly turned off her radio.

Yes, this was how the fight started.

We’ve taken my car every time we’ve gone out together since.


How true. I had forgotten that people like to listen to stuff when they drive. I haven’t turned on a car audio system since the late 1980s.


I recently switched phones, and I couldn’t understand why the new book I was listening to was dragging so interminably. It got much better once I realized my 1.5x default hadn’t carried over.