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hpr1831 :: Are speed listening and slow background music compatible?

is there room for background music in podcasts for speed listeners?

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Hosted by A Shadowy Figure on 2015-08-10 is flagged as Clean and is released under a CC-BY-SA license.
Speed Listening. 5.
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Duration: 00:06:52


This is A Shadowy Figure speaking to you from southwest Florida on Hacker Public Radio,

Brought to you by An Honest Host Dot Com where you can Get a 15% discount on all shared hosting with the offer code HPR15 thats H P R one five. Better webhosting that honest and fair at An Honest Host Dot Com.

Not only do I mention An Honest Host Dot Com out of commitment, but also out of respect. I've listened to the interview by Ken Fallon of the man behind An Honest Host Dot Com Josh Knapp not long ago, and came away with a certain amount of appreciation for what Josh does. Which is basically keeping Hacker Public radio alive, along with the many other things he does. Thanks Josh, your generosity does not go unnoticed.

I've been listening to HPR for about a year now and just recently purchased a Blue Yeti Microphone off of Ebay which turned out to be misrepresented and not in the condition it was claimed. As a side note, the day I received the Blue Yeti in the mail, I found the same microphone brand spanking new on for the same price as the used one I purchased on ebay. At one time I would have been disappointed by such a situation, but if theres anything I've learned from experience, no matter how hard you punch the wall, the train still left at 4 o'clock If I were to devote an emotion to every real or perceived injustice I come across, I wouldn't have time to devote any emotions to the things enjoy.

Anyway, My computing background goes all the way back to the original TRS-80. The experience of writing basic for 4 hours to create a pathetic facsimile of the game pong turned me away from computing until the graphical user interface of windows 3.11 came along. I was alright with the direction of where computing was moving along once windows matured, but I never had any love for microsoft products, Mac's were prettier, but a lot more expensive, and had great hardware to boot, but I never caught the mac addiction either.

Slackware caught my interest, but wasn't ready for prime time, and red hat was a bit more complicated than I was comfortable with in the mid 90's

since 2006 I've been using debian based operating systems exclusively, but still keep a macbook pro and a windows 8.1 laptop nearby for specific tasks I don't want to taint my linux box with.

KDE plasma has been my desktop of choice since 2010, and I don't use google, facebook, twitter, or any other corporate tracking devices. Including cell phones. Smoke signals and email are about the best way to get a hold of me, and smoke signals have been notoriously ineffective in the past.

Moving alone,

My day job includes leadership training, which was a big step up from my old job in one of the most reviled professions known to man, yes that's right, I used to be a used car salesman, (you thought I was going to say lawyer didn't ya?) no, but I date a lawyer, but I try to keep that a secret.

So now that I've tainted my reputation for good with the hacker public radio audience, I may as well plow forward and see what other damage to my reputation I can do. You can think of my handle A Shadowy Figure as damage control for all the stupid things I end up doing by mistake. (like buying things of ebay).

Anyway, I thought I'd share with the HPR audience my experience as a listener, and what I feel I can do to contribute. I love the mission statement behind HPR, and feel the need to do my part to see to it HPR continues to offer something of value to the hacker community.

Like many listeners and contributers to HPR, I listen to dozens of podcasts each week. Many of which belong in their spot of most downloaded podcasts, but I find a certain amount of charm in the grass roots nature of HPR.

Much like the Norwegian trend of engaging in slow media content. As mentioned in a recent hpr episode, I actually found myself hypnotically engaged in 5150's whats in my pickup toolbox episode. I found myelf cheering on 5150 to come up with a pair of lugnuts to an unknown vehicle.

I was looking for solidarity there, being as for some reason, my prior toolboxes always seemed to have a couple of unknown parts, or even broken tools that should have been thrown out years ago, like 5150's wire strippers.

I have to admit, Ken Fallons Amazing life hack episode of how to tell your left earbud from your right, lived up to its claim of setting a low bar. Ken has given some terrific episodes in the past, but this one fell a bit short of his standard of excellence. But I must admit, his goal was achieved. As I listened, I said to myself, even I can top that! And thus, Ken inspired me to step over that low bar of quality he set, and record my own episode.

After reading up on the procedures for contributing a show, I came across the advice to not use bedding or background music, due to the diverse listening style of many HPR listeners.

One of those listening styles Im vaguely familiar with was listening to podcasts speeded up. Somewhere I read about some people really really speeding up their recordings to the point most people can only hear a rapid fire series of blips and clicks. I don't know if that is typical, but I'm inclined to think that is something found on the fring, and that most speed listeners fall in the range of 2 to 3 times normal rate.

I'm also aware of a trend of some people to listen to music slowed down to the point of being one long drone that changes pitch every now and then.

Perhaps in the future, depending on what sort of feedback I receive, I'd like to experiment with combining the two.

Basically, recording Normally recorded vocal content, with an ultra slow music soundtrack that would balance out with speed listening. In essence, hacking the audio, to provide speed listeners with a soundtrack.

On the flip side, one could hack the audio to appeal to slow listeners, speeding up the soundtrack, and changing the pitch of the vocals to account for slow listening. But that would probably kill some speed listeners with weak hearts, so I'll steer away from that unless there is enough demand to justify that.

It seems like a concept that's destined to fail, but it's something I was pondering and would try if there were an audience for it.

If there were any interest, what I'd need to know is how fast do speed listeners listen to their audio. Which is probably all over the map, making any effort futile.

But it's just a thought I thought I'd throw out there, along with introducing myself to the HPR audience, and saying thanks to all the people who make HPR possible.

This is a Shadowy Figure signing out.


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Comment #1 posted on 2015-08-10 01:40:09 by Jon Kulp


That's how fast, although if music is actually the focus of the show I'll listen at original speed. I do this for The Bugcast, for example. Almost all other shows are 1.7x.

Comment #2 posted on 2015-08-10 15:08:27 by Kevin O'Brien

1.7x works for me

I routinely change the speed on all of my podcasts to 1.7x. so far, it hasn't really changed my ability to absorb background music. I think you just get used it.

Comment #3 posted on 2015-08-10 15:25:23 by A Shadowy Figure

Thanks, now I have a starting point

Thank you Jon, I very much find your contributions both entertaining and informative. (royalty free) Music really isn't generally what I'd like to focus on, but rather some sort of ambiance for the background to add something to the entertainment value of the presentations. or even transitional segments that include a musical or some other form of non-vocal cue's between "thoughts"/ segments. In essence, adding some "color" to the "audio" presentation. (think radiolab or This American Life, etc.) I personally feel, adding these sorts of elements may encourage casual (hit and run) listeners to "tun in" again not only for the educational content, but for entrainment as well. Thanks again Jon

Comment #4 posted on 2015-08-17 18:42:04 by Windigo

Normal - 1.5x

I've started speeding up my [aud/pod]casts at work, and I keep it to 1.5x, although I've heard there are some who go as far as 2x.

Comment #5 posted on 2015-09-07 07:09:49 by folky

It depends

It depends on the language and the recording quality. Germanspeaking podcast go between 1.5-2.0, swedishspeaking between 1.5 and 1.8 and english between 1.0 and 1.5 but mostly 1.3. Musicpodcasts always are going by 1.0.

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