Speeding up podcast and audiobook listening

My Sansa Fuze MP3 player has a cool feature that lets you playback podcasts and audiobooks at a faster than normal speed. You can easily understand the speech, but it also increases the pitch, although not to chipmonk-like levels. However, I would prefer to use my N95, but it lacks such a feature. The solution? MP3 Speed Changer from Crazy Boomerang Software. This nifty utility will speed up any MP3 and the pitch remains constant. People will just sound like they are talking real fast. The default 150% seesm to work well. There are only two choices for quality, but that's not really your goal and they are acceptable.

The cool thing about MP3 Speed Changer is that it can be called from the command line (ie DOS Prompt or shell command). I use Ziepod as my podcast catcher and it has a nice feature that lets you run a command line utility on the podcast file after it is downloaded. I automatically get sped up versions of all my favoriate podcasts!

It was difficult to find documentation on the command line parameters, but they appear if you run the MP3 SC with /help. There is no documentation on how to use the parameters though. I figured out that they run in sequence so you have to place them in the correct order. That is, load the MP3, set the settings, do the conversion, exit the program. My Ziepod command line looks like:

“c:Program FilesMP3 Speed ChangerMP3 Speed Changer.exe” -a “%f” -t 150 -o “c:_No_BackupMy Ziepod Exports” -c -x

The quotes are important since filenames and paths can have spaces.

Note, Ziepod does not seem to be in active development, but it appears to still be for sale on their site. Get it while you can!

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