What happens when you steadily ramp up the speed at which you listen to podcasts

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/01/28/pinter-be-damned.html

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YouTube also has a speed up / slow down playback feature. Because I am trying to be objective (challenging) about the Senate impeachment trial, I listened to Ken Starr at 2x speed. He was just as sanctimonious as at 1x speed.

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My standard audiobook speed setting is 1.8x. I’ve not put it to 2x yet, as it requires more focus and I generally listen to an audiobook and do something else at the same time.

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There is no speed at which you can hear Ken Starr ask “Where did this culture of Impeachment come from?” that doesn’t make you want to stab him in the face.

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1.4x is my sweet spot. The problem is that when I speak with people IRL, I want them the speed up. :wink:

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I’ve been listening to audiobooks and podcasts at faster rates for years and have only recently pushed beyond the 2x barrier for normal listening.
Protip: If you want to listen to youtube videos faster, hit F12, then open the console and type in document.querySelector(‘video’).playbackRate=3 to listen at 3x. Or put in any other value. 2.2 to 2.4 is where I like to keep mine while I’m working.

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But do you stab him in the face 1.5x or 2x?

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I want that feature plus a ‘pause’ button so I don’t wet myself while you finish your little story.

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Maybe I’m just dumb or I just listen to super-technical podcasts, but I find that even at the normal 1x speed I frequently have to rewind the podcast and listen to sections two or three times to really understand the details of what’s being said.

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The speed I listen at depends entirely on what podcast I’m listening to. Some shows that would otherwise be downright boring get a 2x or occasionally even 2.5x if they’re especially drony.

McElroy family shows typically get a 1.5x, but since they all talk so quickly and on top of each other it becomes hard to understand them past that. Same goes with Blank Check, Griffin in particular talks too fast for speed increases.

Meanwhile any podcast about music (Song Exploder, Punch Up the Jam, etc.) MUST be listened to at 1x, as speeding up a music breakdown just feels wrong.

A recommendation for iPhone listeners, Overcast is the best podcast app I’ve tried for speed adjustments as well as feed/playlist organization. It does .5x all the way up to 3x with many increments in between, and it has Smart Speed that shortens long stretches of silence.
PS I know this sounds like an ad at this point but I’m actually just trying to get the app popular enough for them to make an Android version.

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i’ve been watching youtube videos at 1.25 or 1.5x, but most podcasts i just let roll at their normal speed. i do skip through the ads, though, which helps me get through them faster.

But do you stab him in the face 1.5x or 2x?

Yes.

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Unless it’s music, I virtually never listen to anything slower than at least 1.25x these days, with 1.5x being more common, and frequently 1.75x. As said, though, the emotional connection definitely decreases as the speed increases. (Although I find SNL much funnier at 1.25x than actual speed—and, no, I’m not an SNL hater and that’s not meant to be a jab, just a comment on how pacing for an audience isn’t necessarily the same as for someone watching on a screen later.) Since a lot of the stuff I watch on YT are instructions or sports history, I don’t really need a lot of emotional attachment.

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for them to make an Android version.

“They” won’t. It’s one guy, and he has stated on his podcast (of course he has one) that he has zero interest in an Android version. It just isn’t how he works.

I do agree it’s a good app though. I like that when you combine base speedup (I usually use 1.9x) and its “smart speed” audio gap removal, it tells you, in realtime as the podcast plays, the combined effective speedup that results. I usually end up just over 2.0x combined speedup, and it has ruined my ability to listen to recorded audio at 1.0 anymore. Everyone sounds beyond lethargic, positively drugged.

I have pretty severe ADD and I do the same thing with both podcasts and reading.

Sometimes there’s just a sound or something that makes me break focus and I’ll have to skip back and re-listen/re-read three or four times. If I can’t lock-in after five times I move onto something completely different because I know my brain is rejecting it.

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It’s taken me several years to work up to 3x, and that’s still only for certain narrators reading books with relatively straightforward narratives.

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How disappointing. Guess I have to keep my old iPhone until somebody else makes an Android app that compares.

I got as far as 1.2x, and that’s the speed I stayed at. A few podcasts were doable for me at 1.3x, but I decided not to switch back and forth. I have heard from several podcasters that they are dismayed that people listen at anything but normal speed, with Justin McElroy and Jesse Thorn in particular occasionally ranting against speeding up their podcasts. I understand their position, I guess, but…you want me to listen, or not? You made it, you don’t get to dictate how I listen.

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I have been using 1.4X for over 30 years.
I use 3X when I have video and can see the person’s mouth.
20 years ago, while working at Boeing, I recorded 40+ meetings and posted them on the internal Boeing web at 1.3 X for everyone to listen to, It greatly reduced the need for people to commute 50 miles each way for 1 hour meetings. 180 minute often ==> 20 minute as the person only had to listen to the portion of the meeting of interest to him/her. The posting included still images of the participants, graphics used, etc.

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I usually listen at 2x. They sound drunk at 1x now. Sooooooo slowwwwww…

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