How to Listen to Audio Books Faster

I’ve listened to many books that I would never have enjoyed apart from, first, my iPod and these days my Droid. I love audio books.

The iPod let the user listen to podcasts at what Apple called 2x. It wasn’t really two times as fast, but it was nice. Although it only worked on podcasts, it was useful if you could fool your iPod into thinking audio books were podcasts.

If you want your Android to play audio faster than 1x, there’s a paid app for that. But once you’ve had something for free, it’s tough to pay for it. So, to listen to books at an accelerated pace, I actually re-rip the mp3 files at a faster rate. How do you do that in bulk?

Enter Audacity.

Here’s how to re-rip your mp3s to listen to them at a higher tempo on any device.

  1. Download and install Audacity.
  2. Run Audacity (Clicking to the main screen, if necessary).
  3. Open the folder with all the mp3s in it and select them all, dragging them all onto the Audacity screen.
  4. Select Edit / Select / All from the menu bar.
  5. Select Effect / Change Tempo… (This helps prevent the squeaky sound / duck sound produced by speed changes.)
  6. Select the tempo you would like. I usually use 33%.
  7. Let Audacity adjust the tempo of the multiple tracks.
  8. When it is finished, select File / Export Multiple
  9. Fill in the blanks as you wish and let Audacity export the files to a new folder.

If a book would normally take 15 hours to listen to, you’ve saved hours of time.

Oh — give yourself some time to get used to listening to audio at a higher tempo. You’ll be surprised at how well you can hear it after just a few minutes.