FasterMarch 22 2016
I first discovered podcasts last year when, on a whim, I started listening to The Talk Show with John Gruber. It’s a funny, informative and very casual conversation about technology that comes out semi-weekly - and it’s still one of my favorites. A few weeks later, I started listening to ATP and eventually graduated to staples like This American Life, RadioLab, and of course Serial. I even started making my own podcast, called “Soul What?” – which is still in production but undergoing some substantial changes.
As much as I listened last year, though, I desperately wanted to hear more. So I made an audacious goal this year to consume a thousand hours of podcast material. It’s almost April and I’m well on my way, just shy of 200 hours. And although I’ve listened to hundreds of episodes I haven’t spent exactly 200 hours of my time with headphones in.
Instead, I use the 1.5x in my podcast player (Overcast) to jump through those episodes a little quicker. This has literally saved me hours of time. And in case you’re dubious, here’s a sample:
That’s audio sped up to 1.5x. It’s just as intelligible as normal speed to my ear, but only 23 seconds where the original is 32.
Here’s the original for comparison:
It did take some time for my ears to grow totally comfortable with the faster pace, and this tool sounds lousy if your podcasts include any background music at all. But if you enjoy simple, spoken-word podcasts like me, I highly recommend it.