4 December 2019

Listening to podcasts at higher speeds

Brent Simmons, writing on Inessential, on why he listens to podcasts at 1x, and not at 1.5x or 2x:

While accomplishing things — or just plain getting our work done — is important, it’s also important that not everything go in that bucket. The life where everything is measured is not really a full life: we need room for the un-measured, the not-obsessed-about, the casual, the fun-for-fun’s sake.

So I’m in no hurry. I will never, ever be caught up on all the podcasts I’d like to listen to. So, instead, I just play whatever I feel like whenever I feel like listening.

I never really understood why someone would want to listen to podcasts at higher speeds. I understand the need to finish faster, the need to listen to more shows, the need to catch up on new episodes of your favourite podcast. Listening to an accelerated audio track to consume more content seems to me like the weirdest way to be more efficient at it, if not a bit like cheating.

For slower speeds, in case the hosts speak too fast, or if you try to learn a new language, I can understand why a company would want to offer the option to slow things down a bit, but personally, I find it much easier and more natural to just rewind, and replay the sequence or scene a second time.


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