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Speed Listening

I've heard of this before, but I'm not sure how I feel about it. There's a school of thought out there that speeding up the playback of podcasts results in more 'listening time' during the day.

Mathematically, I suppose it's hard to argue against that logic, but I have to wonder why the listener is listening to the podcast if it's all about cramming as much content into the day as possible.

As Twelve Black Code Monkeys says:

There are some downsides, but I don't think they are significant for most audio. One is that you have to pay closer attention, since drifting off a bit will mean that you will miss a lot more than you would normally, plus it just takes more concentration to comprehend everything at a higher speed

Right...so I need to focus all of my attention on the podcast. Seems to me that if I'm going to need all of my attention then I may as well watch video blogs, no?

Most of the podcasts I listen to fit into the entertainment category so I listen to them in the background. I think that listening to them 'sped up' would make them quite disruptive.

I guess if I was listening for education purposes, though, then being able to add more content to my day would be a benefit.

Tags: speed listening, podcasting

2 Comments/Trackbacks

Thanks for the pointer. There are a couple of podcasts I listen to that are more entertainment-based than info-based, and I think you are right in that they lose more - the cadence and so forth I mentioned in my entry. But mostly I think it's a matter of getting used to faster speeds. It's all a matter of perspective. After a while, you are just accustomed to that higher speed, and so it sounds more "normal" to you, whether it's for entertainment or info. Also depends on how much else you listen to at real-world speeds, I suppose. As far as concentration, I don't think it requires 100%, but because it requires more, you do know when you are too distracted to listen to something pretty quickly, and perhaps it's a good thing, since you might want to turn the iPod off and let yourself process whatever it is your brain needs to deal with :)

Thanks Levi,

In the end, I guess it's all about choice. I can see your point that when you become accustomed to the faster speeds that it's not a problem. I spent some time in the Navy and I can read flashing light morse code and signal flags just because I'm used to doing it. I suppose listening to speeded up audio just requires the same exposure as learning anything new.

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