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Experiencing media in 2x speed

edited August 2013 in Everything Else
I have a number of podcasts that I listen to, and not enough time for them all. Then one day I noticed a 2x speed button on my ipod player. Out of curiosity I pressed it, and my life has never been the same again.

I started to listen to every podcast at accelerated speed. Voices maintained the normal pitch, but were just much faster. There was no sacrifice in speech comprehension, as my brain can still easily understand everything. In fact, I found that I actually preferred listening this way. I was finally able to keep up with everything I wanted to listen to.

This did not stop here, why should it? I next experimented with watching anime this way. Time is my most limited and valuable resource and I have a huge growing list of shows I want to watch and not enough time. Watching them at increased speed worked incredibly well. I basically doubled my precious time reserved for shows. Things at the back of my list that I normally would never get to were now getting watched. I have also been watching live action shows at increased speed as well. The episodes of Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Walking Dead and Dexter flew by. Where I normally only get to watch one episode before it's time for bed now became two.

You might think this could potentially throw off the pacing and make the shows less enjoyable. However, pacing is relative; when everything is at 2x speed your brain adjusts and it will become unnoticeable. Even if there were drawbacks, the ability to save half the time it takes to watch anything greatly makes up for it. Watching a 26 episode anime is roughly 9 hours. Imagine if you could have watched that season and magically got 4.5 hours back to do anything you want.

So, is this weird? Does anyone else do this? Everyone I've told this to thinks its the dumbest thing they have ever heard and call me an idiot. I think people overestimate how fast 2x speed is. It does not make it any harder to follow and, in my opinion, any harder to enjoy.


  • I do this occasionally with anime.
  • I've not done this with anime or podcasts, but with video lectures of university course.
  • It's like speed reading. You sacrifice a good amount of recall and comprehension.
  • I've never done this with anime (though now that you mention it, I will), but I do this all the time for audiobooks. I pretty much can't stand to listen to them at anything slower than 1.5x.
  • I'm curious how well it works with comedy or with spoken word where there's gravity and inflection that's really critically timed.
  • For non-narrative content, I could see why this is good. For narrative content, where timing of humor and dramatic moments is based around a shared cultural context of "beats" and such, I can't help but think this would be, at best, distracting and, at most, an insult to the creative competency of the writers and directors. However, this is entirely without experiencing narrative media at 2x speed, so take it as you will.
  • Information overload! All the electronics around you poisoning the airwaves.
  • It's like speed reading. You sacrifice a good amount of recall and comprehension.
    Yeah, the way I listen to podcasts I barely recall or comprehend them anyway. I'll be working or playing a game and have no idea what the show's current topic is because I zoned out when it was introduced. I imagine I'd be even more lost at 2X speed.
  • The only time I don't do this is for comedies. I think the speed does decrease the humor. However, for everything else it is great.
  • Ohmans, guys, I just noticed that Sony Vegas has an option to do this. For clip harvesting (AMVs, panels, what have you) this is super useful.
  • I've done it for audiobooks a couple of times and it was fine. It didn't seem that much faster, just higher pitched. I don't think I could do it with anime or tv shows though. I thing video being sped up that much is a lot more noticeably than just audio is. With audio it just sounds like a different person is reading it but with video you can actually see it.
  • What audiobook player did you use? With the Audible player, it has the exact same pitch, but with all the pauses removed Zero Punctuation style.
  • I'd only ever consider doing this with podcasts. With anything else, I'd feel like it was an insult to the art.
  • What audiobook player did you use? With the Audible player, it has the exact same pitch, but with all the pauses removed Zero Punctuation style.
    Just the audiobook section on my ipod touch. One I listened to was Harry Potter and the Philosophers stone read by Stephen Fry, and it sounded like a completely different person. I'm not sure if it removed the pauses or not, but it mostly just sounded like someone with a much higher voice.
  • edited August 2013
    I listen to some podcasts at either 1.5x or 2x speed depending on a few factors. I almost always listen to Comic Geek Speak at 2x because their shows tend to be long and their intros repetitive, so it helps me get to the meat of their episodes faster. GeekNights I'll listen to at 1.5x if it's an episode I've already heard. Everything else I play it by ear based on how long the podcast is, how many other backlogged shows I still have to get through, and how much time I have right at that moment to listen.

    As for other media, I really don't like to watch sped-up if I can help it. Movies and TV have more comedic and narrative timing that could be messed up at those speeds. The only times I'll really do it is if I need to watch a film for class in a hurry. Doing that is not too bad for, say, silent films, where there's no spoken dialogue to worry about sounding weird. For more modern films, though, it can ruin the building of mood and whatnot. Like, I really, really need to re-watch Blue Velvet at proper speed sometime. I got the basic structure and story of the movie, but got the sense that it had a very deliberate pace and mood that I was fundamentally altering by speeding it up.

    EDIT: Oh, I don't know if you'd include it as part of what you're talking about, but I play games like Pokemon at ridiculously high speeds on emulator, as high as the thing will let me go. Repetitive games like that, you really need it if it's not your first time playing.
    Post edited by Eryn on
  • I remember one time I was stuck on the train home from college with a PSP that I had loaded a not particularly interesting WWE Pay Per View onto. The show was boring but I needed to have something keep me busy while I was riding, so I watched it at 1.5 or 2x speed or so and it made the whole thing far more enjoyable. I don't usually do that with things I watch, though.
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