More on listening to podcasts in half the time


Audacity logo
So, I casually browse the productivity sites, because from time to time they have really neat tips that can help make some process run smoother, better, or just more efficiently. One of these, I think, will be listening to podcasts in half the time. I’ve just allowed my podcatcher to catch too many things. Part of the challenge will be to cut out the things I just don’t listen to or really care about if I do listen. However, cutting podcast time in half will help out, too.

I read some of the tips “at Lifehack.org”:http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifehack/listen-to-podcasts-in-half-the-time.html and “Nev’s blog”:http://www.nevsblog.com/2006/06/23/listen-to-podcasts-in-half-the-time/ about speeding up podcasts without feeling like I’m listening to Alvin, Simon, and Theodore. (I liked their Christmas special when I was young, but I don’t want to listen to them constantly.) I have an iPod shuffle which I use with iTunes, and so the WMP(Windows Media Player) and iPod (not shuffle) tips really didn’t apply. Other tempo changers with pitch correction were too much money for the features that I would use (can anyone say Amazing Slow Downer?).

However, I found out that I had a solution all along! “Audacity”:http://audacity.sf.net is an intermediate-level sound editor that’s great for amateur podcasters and people who have casual sound-mixing needs, at the perfect price. (I use 1.3.0 beta, the stable version is 1.2.4 and I don’t know if it has the tempo changing/pitch correction feature.) I loaded up a ‘cast into it, selected the whole thing, selected *Change Tempo* from the *Effect Menu*, fixed my settings, and presto! I got a sped-up podcast!

Advantages:

* works with any mp3 player (or ogg, or wmv)
* works with any podcasting system
* free

Disadvantages:

* not “smooth” — a small console utility that could accept multiple files and process in batch would be very nice
* export to mp3 takes some time

As another note, you can use this in the opposite direction (_slow down_ podcast or music) if you are into transcribing, which is apparently what Amazing Slow Downer was originally intended to do.

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2 Responses

  1. I’ve used Cubase VST for a few years to record “music.” It’s got a MAJOR learning curve! But Audacity is REALLY simple but still with quite a few little features. I downloaded, installed, and was making mp3s in less than 20 minutes. Thanks for pointing me to this John!

  2. Audacity is great for making podcasts as well. I know Mac users get GarageBand for free, and I used the first incarnation of that. It was pretty good, but Audacity was better. However, Apple has improved GarageBand, so I don’t now if it is better now.

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