Speed listening — efficient, blasphemous or just nutty?

Excerpt from this article:

That’s why I’m an enthusiastic user of the accelerated playback option for podcasts and audiobooks. Modern digital compression software allows me to listen to, say, an hourlong episode of “This American Life” in just 30 minutes, with the pitch of the voices normalized to eliminate the “chipmunk” effect. I can now listen to a book as fast as I can read it.

Listening at double speed — the 2x setting on your device — gives me all the information and entertainment in half the time. And it gives me an extra half-hour in which I can enjoy more podcasts, read, watch TV, practice the fiddle or chat with my wife, Johanna — a conversation sure to be pleasant as long as I avoid this particular topic.

Johanna knows very well how meticulously the producers of many of today’s best podcasts work on pacing their shows, carefully mixing the audio elements for maximum effect. And to paraphrase her argument, she considers 2x-ing them to be as artistically blasphemous as 2x-ing a symphony or speed-reading a poem. You miss so much!

Yes, I counter, but you miss even more when you listen at 1x because of all the podcasts you never have time to hear because you’re … sitting through … dramatic … pauses.

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