Author Topic: Variable Podcast Speed  (Read 341 times)

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Offline Neutral Milk

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Variable Podcast Speed
« on: April 28, 2019, 09:09:06 AM »
I searched and surprisingly it doesn't seem like there's a thread to discuss this very important topic.

I started listening to podcasts back in 2006. As it became more and more a part of my life I would add on podcasts and eventually would have a hard time keeping up with what I regularly downloaded during the week. I discovered iTunes had a variable speed and while it was a struggle at the start I kicked it up when I needed to make sure I got through everything. Eventually 1.5 became my normal and 13 years later my sweet spot seems to be 2.3x although that's inching up and I feel like my comprehension is still pretty solid even at 3.0x. My podcast app (PocketCasts) only goes up to 3.0x.

Recently I've gotten a huge kick out of "accidentally" letting podcasts play where people can hear them at speeds like 2.5 or 3.0. Like getting in the car with someone and it starts up. I get a weird pleasure out of their incredulity and I've had several people test me by making me listen to something at 3x and then telling them what I just listened to.

Also my podcast app trims out the silence.

My stats since November 2017 (that's when I first downloaded pocket casts because apple's podcast app turned to disgusting garbage)
I've listened to 52 days 5 hours of podcasts
Skipped forward 13 hours
Variable Speed has saved me 91 days 23 hours
Removing Silence has saved me 7 days 14 hours.

Another note for myself: When I listen to audiobooks I usually slow it down. I hover between 1.5 and 2x depending on the book. Still can't listen at 1x.. just feels so slow.

Anyway.. what are your variable speed stories? Anyone venture beyond 3x on a regular basis? If so what app do you use? Any purists who feel like it's 1x or nothing?

Offline DevoutCatalyst

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Re: Variable Podcast Speed
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2019, 10:22:36 AM »
I love this post. I've never tried acclimating myself to a higher speed. In the past I've found a higher speed annoying. Based on your experience I'll give it a solid try and see if I can increase the speed as time goes on. Thanks. Pocket Casts it is, just installed it.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2019, 10:28:10 AM by DevoutCatalyst »

Offline Neutral Milk

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Re: Variable Podcast Speed
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2019, 12:43:27 PM »
I love this post. I've never tried acclimating myself to a higher speed. In the past I've found a higher speed annoying. Based on your experience I'll give it a solid try and see if I can increase the speed as time goes on. Thanks. Pocket Casts it is, just installed it.

Acclimating is key. I was at 1.5 for years and then 2.0 for a few more years. Comprehenion and retention are the biggest issues. You may understand the words but not be able to make sense of the content if you knock it up too quickly. You'll know right away if thats happening.

Offline Soldier of FORTRAN

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Re: Variable Podcast Speed
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2019, 12:44:24 PM »
I love those settings.

For conversation, 1.5x is very slow.  But for information, it's perfect. Like a security podcast talking about the mechanics of some new exploit. So I just use 1.5x across the board.
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Offline amysrevenge

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Re: Variable Podcast Speed
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2019, 01:25:22 PM »
It's all about the speakers for me. 

Nice professional audiobook narrators I start at 1.5x, and go up as high as 3x for the very best.  Rob Inglis reading Lord of the Rings at only 1.5x sounds so slow....

Joe Nobody the podcaster?  1x every day of the week.
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Offline Boßel

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Re: Variable Podcast Speed
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2019, 02:05:29 PM »
Have you found yourself annoyed by regular speaking speed, both in-person and on audio?

Also, have you found that you can retain information a little better at regular speeds?

Offline Soldier of FORTRAN

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Re: Variable Podcast Speed
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2019, 02:09:59 PM »
Have you found yourself annoyed by regular speaking speed, both in-person and on audio?

Ha, uh, yeah.  It's not great.  It's genuinely exacerbated my distaste for small talk. 
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Offline Neutral Milk

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Re: Variable Podcast Speed
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2019, 02:33:58 PM »
Have you found yourself annoyed by regular speaking speed, both in-person and on audio?

Only in audio exclusive. Like listening to npr on the radio or a podcast with friends in the car feels slow. Not if I'm watching TV or in person.

Quote
Also, have you found that you can retain information a little better at regular speeds?

Theres definitely a temporary retention dip but like I said as I get more practiced my retention at higher speeds gets to the point where it's as good as 1x. As I mentioned currently 2.3x is a sweet spot for me. Fastest I can go while maintaining sufficient retention. I haven't empirically tested retention but anecodtally I feel like I can recall podcasts I listen to at 2.3 or talk about them later. As an example my mom and I talk about the New York Times' The Daily every day and it's about 2 hours after I listen to it. At 2.3 I can remember all the details. At 3 less so.

Offline Ron Obvious

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Re: Variable Podcast Speed
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2019, 04:25:41 PM »
I must say, I'm rather surprised why anyone would want to listen to any podcast or audiobook at more than 1x. OK, to save time. I get it. But life's too fast as it is, and computers have vastly accelerated the pace of life to - in my opinion - unhealthy levels.

I suppose I'm old, but I enjoy savouring a good book or conversation and I don't want to live my life like a hypercaffeinated hummingbird.

Life's about the journey to me. It's not a race to the finish.

Rant over. As you were.

Offline Neutral Milk

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Re: Variable Podcast Speed
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2019, 04:27:49 PM »
I must say, I'm rather surprised why anyone would want to listen to any podcast or audiobook at more than 1x. OK, to save time. I get it. But life's too fast as it is, and computers have vastly accelerated the pace of life to - in my opinion - unhealthy levels.

I suppose I'm old, but I enjoy savouring a good book or conversation and I don't want to live my life like a hypercaffeinated hummingbird.

Life's about the journey to me. It's not a race to the finish.

Rant over. As you were.

From the data above you can see that I've had almost 100 hours as much of a journey thanks to variable podcast speed!

(It's fine if it's not your bag, I just get fulfilled by consuming lots of content)

Offline Ron Obvious

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Re: Variable Podcast Speed
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2019, 05:15:18 PM »
From the data above you can see that I've had almost 100 hours as much of a journey thanks to variable podcast speed!

(It's fine if it's not your bag, I just get fulfilled by consuming lots of content)

Yeah, I get that. I suppose I was thinking about the 9 year old daughter of a friend of mine who had recently watched the movie Aliens with her dad. I remember watching that movie back in the theatre and felt physically exhausted at the end, like I'd been on a roller coaster, and questioned the wisdom of even exposing a 9-year old to a movie like that. She thought it was boring and slow and didn't like it.  That's the times we live in, I guess.

Offline amysrevenge

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Re: Variable Podcast Speed
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2019, 10:30:46 AM »
From the data above you can see that I've had almost 100 hours as much of a journey thanks to variable podcast speed!

(It's fine if it's not your bag, I just get fulfilled by consuming lots of content)

Yeah, I get that. I suppose I was thinking about the 9 year old daughter of a friend of mine who had recently watched the movie Aliens with her dad. I remember watching that movie back in the theatre and felt physically exhausted at the end, like I'd been on a roller coaster, and questioned the wisdom of even exposing a 9-year old to a movie like that. She thought it was boring and slow and didn't like it.  That's the times we live in, I guess.

Haha I've told this anecdote before, but remember Beverly Hills Cop? Fast paced, laugh-a-minute action comedy from the 80s?

At one point Eddie Murphy pulls up outside a night club.  He parks the car, gets out, closes the door, walks up to the club, opens the door, and walks in - then it cuts to an interior shot with him coming in the door.  Takes about 30 seconds between the car stopping and the cut.  Or about 30 years, which is how long it felt to watch.
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Offline brilligtove

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Re: Variable Podcast Speed
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2019, 11:51:02 PM »
When I listen to podcasts with accents that I am unfamiliar with I slow down to 1.5x. My car speakers are poo, so 1.4x may be the max. Otherwise, I listen at 2x for basically everything. I'd *really* like a podcast app that detects music and reverts to 1x for the duraction.
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