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.


Oh Be Careful Little Fingers What You Text…

Today I listened to Blaine Workman’s podcast: Learning to Speak TOBOG. He was speaking about our speaking — the words we say. He noted that if Paul were writing to the Ephesians today, he might say words like this:

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouth or flow from your fingers. Texting, twitter, facebook, blogs — they are all helpful tools for communicating in our digital age, none of them good or bad in and of themselves. But the rotting verbal garbage that some Christians are willing to post in texts or online is just appalling. It has no place  among God’s people. In some weird inexplicable way, talking to their electronic device somehow frees people to spew the most vile and corrupting talk in ways they’d be ashamed to do, speaking face to face with the real person. And brothers and sisters, the anonymity of cyberspace is no license for corrupting talk. If your brother sins against you, Jesus says, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. Today, we go tell the whole world in an anonymous post in a blog somewhere… ~Pastor Blaine Workman

That’s a bold thing for a pastor to say. It’s especially bold today, because it’s a quick way to be unfriended in social media.

Take a listen to Pastor Blaine yourself. Maybe you could post it on your own facebook or other social media page.

I dare you.

Creating New Header Images…

You’ve probably noticed that a row of televisions in a store can all be the same brand — and even be adjusted the same way — but the image displayed on the screen is different. Sometimes radically different. Sometimes subtly. It’s the same way with computer monitors. When you are on one computer, a image looks one way, then when you move to another, the image is a shade different. Different monitors display color differently.

This week I installed Eye-one on my PCs at the house. Eye-one is a monitor calibrator from xrite that makes sure your color is right so when you work with images what you see is what most others see. And what you see is what you print — or at least close. After calibrating the monitor, I created my own header images for my blog here.

A couple things:

  1. To see a different image, press F5 to refresh. There are about thirty of them, displayed randomly.
  2. I think I did a little overkill with the color. But I was having fun. Oh — and I was learning new software.
  3. I don’t think my Holy Land images are as good as the headers from England that I created. They are on this blog (at the top of this page, displayed randomly). Perhaps I do better with city images than country ones.

As always, your thoughts are welcome.