Listen to Podcasts in Half the Time

I listen to a lot of different podcasts. Some I listen to for enjoyment, some I listen to for marketing tips and ideas, and some I listen to for inspiration. Recently, I was involved with a meeting at American Modern Insurance Group, located in Cincinnati. I decided to drive, so I had 10 hours of driving time that allowed me to catch up on a backlog of podcasts. I call that productive drive-time!

You may remember that I announced a new podcast I have started, The Digital Broker, along with my co-host Ryan Deeds. The latest episode is “APIs and Why Your Agency Should Care.” If you’ve ever wondered about data connectivity between different platforms, then this will help you understand why I think APIs are important for your agency.

As I was driving and listening to podcasts, I realized I have used a technique for many years to listen to podcasts (or any audio recording) in half the time.

Speed Up Your Podcasts

It turns out there’s a sneaky way to “speed-listen” to podcasts (and audiobooks) on smartphones — speeding up the audio so you listen to them faster. I know some of you are thinking that when you speed up the audio, the person talking is going to sound like a chipmunk. That used to be the case. Today, podcast and audio apps can adjust the audio sound so that the person talking is speaking in a normal tone, just faster.

I have trained myself to be able to listen to just about any podcast at 2X speed. This means I can listen to a 30-minute podcast in only 15 minutes — a 50% savings of my time. Notice I said I trained myself to listen to 2X speed? Many people start out at 1.5X speed as it does take some time to adjust to faster speech. I do know a handful of people who have trained themselves to listen to 3X speed. I’ve tried, but can’t quite get to that speed level.

The reason this works is that your brain can absorb audio information faster than people usually speak. The only time I back off from 2X speed is if someone is speaking with an accent, which I find following along to be much harder.

I realize that many of you reading already know about and use this trick. I just wanted to make sure that if you are new to listening to podcasts, you can maximize your time. I continue to use the Apple Podcast App. I don’t like the changes in iTunes to manage Podcasts. It makes is much harder. Below are some common apps for both iOS and Android platforms. If you have a recommendation for another iOS podcast app, please leave a comment. I’d like to find something better than Apple’s.

Apps to Speed-Listen to Podcasts or Audiobooks

For iOS:

For Android:

Do you have any other tricks that you use to maximize your time when listening to podcasts or other audio recordings?

Steve Anderson provides information to insurance agents about how they can use technology to increase revenue and/or reduce expenses. He speaks professionally to hundreds of agents each year on the future of technology, the social web, and how insurance agencies can establish their Internet presence.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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2 thoughts on “Listen to Podcasts in Half the Time

  1. Great information, Steve! Do you mind sharing some of the really great podcasts you listen to? I would really like to know which marketing ones you are finding have valuable content.

  2. I use RSSRadio app on iOS and it works great for me. Have been using the free version and just upgraded to the premium version for $3.99. After I get some time with the premium version I will report back to let you know the differences and if it is worth the upgrade.