Speed Listening

A blog by Grant Stephens

So by the title the idea is simple. Speed up whatever you're listening to so that you can get though it faster. I've been playing around with this a bit and found that I can quite easily listen to podcasts at around 1.5x but I'm slowly increasing the speed from there. Numbers around 4x have been thrown around on the web, so that would be interesting.

Anyway, whilst quickly listening to something the other day I was struck by the number of silences in the audio. I listen to talk show podcasts like TWIT etc and there are lots of pauses which seem to be more pronounced, or stand out more when the audio is speeded up. This got me to thinking- what if it were possible to cut out all the pauses. That way there would be no break in the audio and I could speed it up even more. Now a problem that I can see is that it would be difficult to decipher the difference between sentences and so a small audio cue might have to be put in place of the pauses. The reason for this is so that the sound stays at a constant volume as I have hunch that the jerkiness of fast audio is due to changes in the volume.

So where to from here? Well, I've started looking into editing audio and taking out the gaps automatically- ideally an app that did this on the fly would be ideal, but we'll have to see how it goes.

The whole thing came about due to me wanting to know more and more exists out there, but getting it in takes time and reading is not always an option, so maybe we can take in more like this, who knows?

Be Speed-Listening