All of us are short on time. We try to cram about 36 hours of day into a 24 hour day. Something has to give. Or, we have to find better ways to improve our daily productivity.
For example, what if we could listen to the radio faster? Or, watch TV faster? Or, listen to music and podcasts in iTunes faster? Necessity is the mother of invention, Mac users. Behold—your prayers for productivity have been heard. But by whom?
Just Click To Listen Faster
Doing things faster is the bane of 21st century life. My DVR cuts out the 20 minutes of commercials in every hour of a TV show. Is it possible to extend that wonderful fast forward technique to my Mac?
My Mac has multiple to-do list managers, just in case I forget something.
I’ve practiced speed reading on my Mac so I can skim through more web pages. Until now, I haven’t been able to actually listen to my many regular podcasts or iTunes music any faster than real time.
Think about the possibilities. If you can use a DVR to fast forward through mindless commercials on TV, why not have something that speeds up the listening process on your Mac?
Enter Speed-Up, a simple Mac utility that does what you think it does, even as silly as it sounds (and it sounded silly to me, too, both in concept and in reality).
No matter what you think, there’s some merit in the simplicity of Speed-Up. With the click of your mouse whatever music or podcast you’re listening to on your Mac can be listened to, well, um, faster. Really. It just speeds up what you hear.
I’m being serious. It works.
Speed-Up speeds up music from .25x to 3.0x with various steps in between.
That means the music you hear and the podcast you’re listening to actually speeds up. More music, more podcast, less time. If a podcast was 20-minutes, now it’s 10-minutes or 15-minutes, which saves you time, and gives you more information.
The same effect holds true for music.
Why listen to 14 songs per hour in iTunes when you can listen to 21?
Actually, when you think about it, the whole concept behind Speed-Up is rock solid and an excellent way to save time. Except for one teeny weeny little problem.
Chipmunks On Helium
Most of what you listen to sounds like chipmunks on helium. If you enjoy music for what it is—soothing or entertaining—then singing chipmunks are probably not high on your list of musical acts to love. Yes, you can speed up music, but some of why you listen to what you listen to gets lost in the acceleration.
Efficient music listening is not where it’s at.
Podcasts are a slightly different story. Speeding up a podcast interview, for example, gets you time savings, and even at 1.5 x to 2 x regular speed, you can still understand what is being said. However, some nuances in the voice disappear entirely, which may diminish communication and understanding.
But, you’ve saved a lot of time, right?
Alas, Speed-Up is not the time saving tool for the rest of us, but it may have a place for podcast listeners who need to shave 20-percent or 40-percent off a 30-minute podcast.