Listen to More Podcasts by Increasing the Playback Speed

| October 31, 2010 | 0 Comments

Rather than listening to music, I have begun listening to podcasts while traveling for work. Long trips in the car are ideal for listening to podcasts since you already have limited options, so you might as well learn something useful during your drive. The secret to making the most out of your podcast-listening experience is to increase the playback speed.

I happen to have an iPod Touch, but the playback speed is also variable on other models. If you are using an iPod Touch, make your podcast selection and wait for the playback controls to appear on the screen as your podcast begins. Located below the title of the podcast, you will notice the playback time slider and a real-time display of the remaining time. Below the remaining time is a blue box which indicates the playback speed of the podcast. Touching this box will cycle between the options of .5x, 1x and 2x playback speeds. See the example below, which shows a screenshot of my iPod while listening to Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income podcast.

Podcast Screenshot

Screenshot of the Smart Passive Income podcast playing at 2x speed

Notice the blue box displays “2x,” indicating I am listening to the podcast at “2 times normal speed.” As a result of this setting, it took me only 21.5 minutes to hear the entire 43 minute podcast. There is 21.5 minutes of my life back, which I could use to listen to another 40+ minute podcast. As I write this, I just finished a 4+ hour road trip, during which I listed to podcasts the entire way. I consumed the equivalent of someone speaking for an entire work day in just 4 hours!

The increased playback speed has minimal (if any) effect on the voice of the podcaster. Changing the speed does not create the “chipmunk” voice effect that you may be imagining. However, if the podcast uses poor recording equipment, or features a guest calling in on a phone line, it can become more difficult to understand at 2x speed. Outside of that single drawback, the 2x play speed is the ideal way to listen to podcasts.

Let me know your podcast tips in the comments!

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Category: Productivity

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