The Sword and Laser discussion

187 views
Audiobook speed read

Comments Showing 1-50 of 81 (81 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

message 1: by Jason (new)

Jason Werner | 23 comments I like to start audiobooks at normal speed and crank it up a little every hour or so. Sometimes I can get to 1.5 before it starts to become unintelligible to me, depending on the narrator. I’ve heard people talk about listening at 2.0 and faster. Do any of you listen to them at that speed? I’ve tried, if I’m not laser focused on it, I can’t understand half of what’s going on. Even books I’ve listened to already.


message 2: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new)

Tassie Dave | 2263 comments Mod
Anything faster than normal speed sounds weird to me :-?


message 3: by Mattias (new)

Mattias (ximnipot69) | 1 comments I do 2.5 times speed pretty comfortably, but I've been "speed listening" for over a decade so I've had a lot of practice. It took me a long time to get to here, and I had to take a lot of small steps on the way. Find a speed you're comfortable with and stick with that for a while, then occasionally try to go a little bit faster for a bit and see how that works out for you.


message 4: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) | 923 comments My max speed so far is 1.25x, after that it would be weird like listening to an auction or something..


message 5: by Colin (new)

Colin Forbes (colinforbes) | 257 comments My default setting for audiobooks and podcasts is 2x speed. Occasionally have to drop that down to 1.5x if there's a particularly fast spoken narrator or guest on the program.

I wish that Audible had a bit more nuanced control of the playback speed - that's one of the features I love in the Overcast podcast app.

So much to listen to and so little time to do it ....


message 6: by Bill (new)

Bill | 73 comments I usually listen at 1.5x-2x. I actually find that listening at normal speed makes me lose focus and if I’m in bed puts me to sleep.


message 7: by Rick (new)

Rick | 2140 comments Colin wrote: "So much to listen to and so little time to do it ....
e..."


I'm curious - if time to complete is a factor, why listen vs read since the former takes a lot longer (assuming you read at an average speed)?


message 8: by Colin (new)

Colin Forbes (colinforbes) | 257 comments Rick wrote: "Colin wrote: "So much to listen to and so little time to do it ....
e..."

I'm curious - if time to complete is a factor, why listen vs read since the former takes a lot longer ..."


Oh, I do both. At any given time I'm usually in progress on one audiobook and two different Kindle reads. (Or, very occasionally, an actual paper book!)

Audio is for when you're commuting, gardening, at the gym, cooking, etc.


message 9: by Trike (new)

Trike | 4752 comments Listening to anything at faster than normal sounds like I’m hearing the minutes of the last meeting of the Lollipop Guild.


message 10: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (JohnTaloni) | 2559 comments I understand the Speed Narrator's Guild has put out a notification which says "We resemble but are legally distinct, from the Lollipop Guild, the Lollipop Guild..."


message 11: by Melanie (new)

Melanie | 32 comments 1.5 is my default, but 2.0 is usually too fast to follow.


message 12: by Melanie (new)

Melanie | 32 comments I do tend to increase the speed 2/3 of the way through most books, because I’ve acclimated to the narrator and want to see how the book ends faster.


message 13: by Tracey (new)

Tracey | 30 comments It depends on the narrator, but most of the time I listen at 1.5 speed. It matches the speed I'm reading out in my head for a physical book. If it's the narrators first or second book, they tend to read slower, not wanting to mess it up. This happens a lot with hollywood actors too, and I've listened to James Franco and Clare Danes on 2x speed or higher.

Also, I'll listen to light and fluffy books at a faster speed than dense books where I need to absorb much more information. It's a balancing act of getting through a book at a steady pace and not wanting the narrator to sound like Mickey Mouse.


message 14: by Rik (new)

Rik | 770 comments Always listen at least 1.5 speed. Depending on the narrator I sometimes crank it up a little higher. I've also been told a lot that I talk too fast. Listening at normal speed now makes me want to scream because of how . . . .slow . . . . . . they . . . . . . . . are . . . . . . . . talking.


message 15: by Jason (last edited Jun 13, 2018 03:01AM) (new)

Jason Werner | 23 comments Sometimes I feel like it’s easier to digest a book that I don’t really like if I’m listening to it instead of reading it. Like our current pick Circe or more recently Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology. If I had read the words instead of listening to them, my mind would have kept wandering or I would have started dozing off. Listening to it while working helps me focus a bit more. I’m not saying they’re bad books or anything, they’re just not my style, but I keep going because I’m trying to broaden what I read/listen to.


message 16: by Misti (new)

Misti (Spookster5) | 332 comments For me, I guess it depends on who's reading it or if I'm trying to finish it by a certain time. I'm listening to Circe at 1.25 speed. I tried faster but it seemed like it was skipping some words. The Bobiverse books I bumped up to about 1.5. When I was listening to The Name of the Wind, I think I had it close to 2.5, mainly because it was super long and I wanted to finish it before the wrap-up.


message 17: by AndrewP (new)

AndrewP (AndrewCa) | 2155 comments For Audible I usually keep to 1x unless the narrator is really slow or bad. For Overdrive and other mp3 books I am now using Bookmobile as it has a more granular speed setting. 1.05x, 1.1x, 1.15x etc.


message 18: by Ian (new)

Ian Seal (Rebel-Geek) | 75 comments I’m trying this for the 1st time listening to Anne Flosnik read Ship Of Magic by Robin Hobb. Her narration style annoys me, but at 1.25 speed it’s amusing & I’ll get through it a little faster. I loved the Farseer Trilogy & want to read/listen to all of her books, otherwise I would’ve skipped this Trilogy.


message 19: by Donna (new)

Donna Robbins | 5 comments I also vary the speed a bit depending on ambient noise as that can increase difficulty in deciphering words. For example, a given book might be perfectly understandable at 1.5 or 2.0 in the car, but if I’m mowing the lawn (with noise cancelling head phones) or in the shower, I’ll bump down to 1 or 1.25.


message 20: by Iain (new)

Iain Bertram (Iain_Bertram) | 554 comments Jason wrote: "Sometimes I feel like it’s easier to digest a book that I don’t really like if I’m listening to it instead of reading it. Like our current pick Circe or more recently Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology...."

It is the exact opposite for me, if I am not into an audio book then my mind wanders off and fifteen minutes I remember I am listening to a book :-)


message 21: by Trike (new)

Trike | 4752 comments Iain wrote: "Jason wrote: "Sometimes I feel like it’s easier to digest a book that I don’t really like if I’m listening to it instead of reading it. Like our current pick Circe or more recently Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology...."

It is the exact opposite for me, if I am not into an audio book then my mind wanders off and fifteen minutes I remember I am listening to a book :-) ..."


I do that, too, for narrative stories rather than informational books/podcasts.

The last time I tried a regular fiction book, I had driven nearly 70 miles before I realized I had no idea what had been going on in the book. It was the disc automatically changing that jolted me out of my reverie.

If I load up a variety of podcasts, though, it keeps my attention.


message 22: by Jen (new)

Jen | 121 comments I very rarely increase the speed of either audiobooks or podcasts.

A couple of exceptions:

One audiobook had a narrator I really didn't care for and was a slow speaker, so listening at 1.5 speed actually helped me get through it.

A few times I've been very close to finishing an audiobook while driving, so I increased the speed so I could finish it before my drive was over.


message 23: by Alex (new)

Alex | 67 comments I watch YouTube and listen to podcasts at 1.5x speed at all times. It’s so normal to me now that I’m annoyed places like Netflix don’t have a Speed scale for me to adjust xD

BUT I will say that S&L is the only podcast I listen to at 1x speed because it’s so short compared to my other podcasts and I enjoy it so much that I want to spend more time with it than I would other podcasts.


message 24: by Tracey (new)

Tracey | 30 comments Iain wrote: "Jason wrote: "Sometimes I feel like it’s easier to digest a book that I don’t really like if I’m listening to it instead of reading it. Like our current pick Circe or more recently Neil Gaiman’s No..."

I listened to the Circe audiobook and loved it, but read a physical copy of Song of Achilles and hated it, partially because every time a new name came up, and couldn't move on until I figured out how to say it out loud.


message 25: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 3644 comments Tracey wrote: "It depends on the narrator, but most of the time I listen at 1.5 speed. It matches the speed I'm reading out in my head for a physical book."

It's this way for me, too, sort of. I usually listen at 1.25x. It's not quite as fast as I can read using my eyes, but is a good compromise between being slowed down and the weirdness of listening to things "fast".

I started listening to books at higher speeds with Wil Wheaton as a narrator - he was my entryway. His voice was way too slow (for me) in the Scalzi books that I listened to, so he was the first one that I sped up. I actually go to 1.5x for him (and a select few others).

I listen to podcasts at 1x. Faster would be weird. Don't ask me how I'm ok with books at 1.25-1.5 and podcasts must be 1x. I never said it made sense. :)


message 26: by Pete (new)

Pete (PeteA) | 15 comments I've started getting both the ebook and audio book from the library.
Then I play the audio at 1.5-1.6x while reading the ebook.

This helps me stay focused on the book and I can look away from the ebook for a second without losing anything. I've finished long books this way.


message 27: by Tobias (new)

Tobias Langhoff (tobiasvl) | 136 comments I always listen at 2x. I went up gradually, from 1x to 1.25x to 1.5x etc, and it's amazing how quickly the brain acclimates. Now, 1x sounds extremely slow and weird.

What's also strange is that if I start the Audible playback while my headphones aren't connected by mistake (or while my Bluetooth speaker is connected instead of my Bluetooth headphones), it sounds like the Smurfs. I wonder why/how my brain is only able to parse the quick speed if it's coming from my headphones.


message 28: by Joseph (new)

Joseph | 1866 comments There's one podcast in particular that I always listen to at 1.5x, but I think it's because the individual episodes tend to be lengthy (2-3 hours) and the hosts talk on the slower side of the scale; now when I listen to them at 1x speed it juuuusssssst sooooouuuuuunds wroooooong.


message 29: by Dara (new)

Dara (cmdrdara) | 2184 comments The only podcast I listened to at a faster speed is Revolutions. He talks so slow and I can't pay attention otherwise.


message 30: by Trike (new)

Trike | 4752 comments I know that there is a compression algorithm out there that basically removes the gaps and pauses in speech and pitch-shifts voices down while speeding them up to give the illusion that the person is just speaking really quickly rather than huffing helium.

There was a lawsuit about it some years back from various radio talking heads who didn’t like that stations were using it to speed up their shows to fit a shorter time frame. The examples they gave were pretty impressive (despite using Rush Limbaugh as the example), and this was a good 10-15 years ago. I wonder why podcast apps don’t use it.


message 31: by Allison (new)

Allison Hurd | 193 comments Oh man, audiobooks without compression would be a nightmare! I thought YouTube used it, too? There are still digitally available audio pieces that do helium voice?? That sounds terrible.

I need the thing I'm listening to to speak as fast as I can comprehend or I can't pay attention. 1.25 is the speed I listen to things if I want to take it easy. Regular 1.0 speed, unless they speak as quickly as I do, does not mesh with my New England speed ethic or my inability to single task.


Michelle (In Libris Veritas) (Shadowrose) | 1 comments I am usually set at about 1.5 to 2x speed, depending on the narrator. I can read pretty quickly so the only way I can do audios is of its somewhere close to my reading speed, or I get too anxious to pay attention.


message 33: by Rick (new)

Rick | 2140 comments Trike wrote: "I know that there is a compression algorithm out there that basically removes the gaps and pauses in speech and pitch-shifts voices down while speeding them up to give the illusion that the person ..."

Overcast does and I think Castro also does (both iOS)


message 34: by Ian (new)

Ian Seal (Rebel-Geek) | 75 comments Ian wrote: "I’m trying this for the 1st time listening to Anne Flosnik read Ship Of Magic by Robin Hobb. Her narration style annoys me, but at 1.25 speed it’s amusing & I’ll get through it a little faster. I l..."

This worked out really well. I was listening on Libby. It didn't really sound weird at all (the pitch was correct). I don't plan on making it my norm, but I will use it on some.


message 35: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new)

Tassie Dave | 2263 comments Mod
Is life that busy that we need to rush through everything? :-?

Life is a lot more laid back and slower where I live ;-)


message 36: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 3644 comments Tassie Dave wrote: "Is life that busy that we need to rush through everything? :-?

Life is a lot more laid back and slower where I live ;-)"


Believe me, if I could find a job out where you live... :)

That said, yes. I'm an east coast (US) girl in every sense of the term, including the type A personality. I would never fit in on the west coast. They're way too laid back. :-P


message 37: by Richard (new)

Richard | 83 comments Tassie Dave wrote: "Is life that busy that we need to rush through everything? :-?

If I'm going to have any shot at reading all the books before I die, then yes.


message 38: by Rick (new)

Rick | 2140 comments See, I've never understood why, if you care about speed, you'd listen vs read (vision issues aside).

I can read most books in 4-8 hours or so depending on length. Most audio books are, what, 15-20 hours?


message 39: by Richard (new)

Richard | 83 comments Rick wrote: "See, I've never understood why, if you care about speed, you'd listen vs read (vision issues aside).

I read at home, listen to audiobooks when commuting and when I can get away with it while working.


message 40: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne | 45 comments For me, audio lets me "read" a book while I commute, do mindless housecleaning chores, run, etc. So they have greatly increased my amount read (and I totally notice that I don't get as many books read in the summer when I'm not commuting).


message 41: by Rick (new)

Rick | 2140 comments I keep forgetting about commute time... I've been working from home or at offices a few minutes from home for years. #everyonesnotlikeme?


message 42: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 3644 comments Rick wrote: "I keep forgetting about commute time... I've been working from home or at offices a few minutes from home for years. #everyonesnotlikeme?"

Or travel time. ;) My folks live about an hour away, my sister lives about 90 minutes away. And I travel a lot for work (including a marathon 29 hours of travel in early January getting from Dulles, VA to Kourou, French Guiana via CDG and ORY in France).


message 43: by Tasha (new)

Tasha | 101 comments Rick wrote: "I keep forgetting about commute time... I've been working from home or at offices a few minutes from home for years. #everyonesnotlikeme?"

I commute on the bus. Built in reading time!


message 44: by Iain (new)

Iain Bertram (Iain_Bertram) | 554 comments terpkristin wrote: "’ I travel a lot for work (including a marathon 29 hours of travel in early January getting from Dulles, VA to Kourou, French Guiana via CDG and ORY in France). ..."

Man someone has lost a map..... Slightly indirect


message 45: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 3644 comments Iain wrote: "Man someone has lost a map..... Slightly indirect .

The typical way to get from IAD to CAY is to fly to either Miami or Puerto Rico, then island hop through Haiti, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and then off to Cayenne, French Guiana (usually you stop overnight in Miami or Puerto Rico). However, when it is near Carnivàle time, it is very very very difficult to find flights. Since French Guiana is a "department" of France, there are regular direct flights to it from Paris. During Carnivàle, it's one of the only options. Or you can go through Suriname (not recommended) or Brazil (need a visa, as that typically ends up an overnight).

The flight to Paris wasn't bad. After landing in Paris, we cleared customs, switched airports, and then had 3 hours to kill before flying to CAY. The end to end trip was brutal. We should have overnighted in Paris, but the program manager didn't let us.

Back on topic, I'm reading Binti and listening to Circe. I think I just got to the point in Circe where I'm hooked, as I'm thinking about it even when I can't read.


message 46: by KevBayer (new)

KevBayer (SporadicReviews) | 500 comments I love the discussion of listening to books/podcasts at faster than 1x! Such passion on both sides.

I listen to podcasts at 1.3x. Works great until I get podcasts about music (e.g. The Soundtrack Show at HowStuffWorks!) and I hear familiar music faster than I'm used to.

If I go back and try to listen to regular podcasts at 1x speed, with certain podcasts I'm all "OMG spit it out! Get to the point!" : ) (not S&L!)


message 47: by Aaron (new)

Aaron | 215 comments Alex wrote: "I watch YouTube and listen to podcasts at 1.5x speed at all times. It’s so normal to me now that I’m annoyed places like Netflix don’t have a Speed scale for me to adjust..."

Same here. I do enjoy that VLC lets me change speed on dvds as well as audio files.

VLC also pitch-adjusts, so you get speed changes without chipmunking.

I rarely listen/watch as an exclusive activity. Nearly always while driving or working on something that doesn't need my hearing.
When I start a new show, I run it at 1x and decide whether to speed it up, usually maxing out at 1.5x. There are a handful that I do not want to speed up and a couple I managed to get up to 2x.
I rarely listen to books, as there is already too much to watch/listen to (and I will likely never get them up to my reading speed), but I tend to speed them up after a while.


message 48: by RB (new)

RB | 8 comments Well-recorded podcasts are 1.9x or so, but for books I find I like to stick around 1.5x.

I can't imagine 2.5x. I've tried 2x or so, but it just isn't as enjoyable to me for some reason.


message 49: by KevBayer (new)

KevBayer (SporadicReviews) | 500 comments Oh I forgot about videos... Yeah, I've watched Coursera videos at an increased speed. Some of those lectures/courses are unbearably slow...


message 50: by Christian (new)

Christian Petrie (ChrisWDP) | 21 comments Regarding the debate on audio speed, I think speed is up to what works for each individual person to enjoy. There is one example that the audio book does need to be listened at the correct speed. Brian Blessed reading his autobiography. The only way to enjoy that one is at his regular speaking voice.


« previous 1
back to top