February 2009

Speeding up and slowing down audiobooks

by Michael Alderete on 2/10/2009 · 12 comments

Once your iPod or iPhone recognizes a track as an audiobook (see FAQ #1 for details), you have the ability to speed up or slow down the playback of the track. Audiobook Speed For people looking to power through a book (say, while driving to your book club), speeding up playback can be useful. For language learning, slowing down the playback can help to hear nuances of pronunciation and emphasis.

But the options provided by the iPod is not that great, just “Slower”, “Normal”, and “Faster”. Not a lot of control, and the speed change isn’t huge, in either direction. (And I find that it adds a nearly imperceptible but irritating clipping to speech). If you want to make an even bigger speed change, you need to turn to third-party tools that can process the tracks, and then sync the processed versions to your iPod or iPhone.

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Read me a story, Brad Pitt

by Michael Alderete on 2/5/2009 · 3 comments

It’s an older article, but Slate Magazine has a terrific piece about the importance of narration in the quality of audiobooks, from hard boiled fiction to urban sociology. Read Me a Story, Brad Pitt is subtitled “When audiobook casting goes terribly wrong,” and gives examples of the three most common — and easily avoided — mistakes that audiobook publishers make. I always recommend that you listen to the audio sample provided at Audible.com or the iTunes Store before making a purchase; audiobooks can be expensive, and mistakes add up to real money fast.

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