Speed listening trending as audiobooks, podcasts increase in popularity
FORT MYERS, Fla. . Podcasts and audiobooks are taking off in appeal with 67 million Americans listening to podcasts on a month-to-month basis and the audiobook industry bringing in $2 billion in earnings in 2016.
Software developer by day, author by night, Heather Smith loves to pay attention to audiobooks, but she doesn’t have a lot of downtime. To cram in as much material as possible, she cranks up the record rate. She’s speed listening, instead of speed-reading.
“I began listening at the 1.25 [speed],” she says. “And after that I bumped it up quite quickly to 1.5. And then quite quickly after that I chose I could listen to the full 2x.”
Accelerating audiobooks and podcasts is simple, thanks to a range of apps or functions currently built into your cell phone.
“There’s no factor that we can’t speed something up and get just as much out of it,” states Ray Pastore, Associate Teacher and Program Organizer of the Instructional Technology program at the University of North Carolina in Wilmington. He’s released numerous research studies on speed listening and discovered it can result in “more effective” learning in academics. But, the process can take some getting used to, he stated.
“We’re not used to hearing things quickly,” he discussed. “We’re actually utilized to hearing this 150 words per minute speech. When we listen to something faster, it takes a bit of training.”
How fast can you go? We found some apps using speeds 5 and even ten times the regular rate. But you might wish to place on the brakes. Pastore’s research shows there is such a thing as “too fast” if you want to remember exactly what you hear.
“If you set the speed too quick, comprehension decreases,” he stated. “In reality after about 1.5 times, understanding substantially reduces on a constant speed till we get to about 2 times where comprehension simply falls off the chart.”
As for Heather, she said she likes taking in her audio at about two times the speed. And says for her, fast is the new normal.
“It’s nearly uncomfortable to listen slow,” she says.Pastore stated a podcast’s subject matter can make a distinction, too. If you’re an expert in the topic being discussed, you may have the ability to increase the speed a bit higher and still understand what’s being stated. If it’s a brand-new topic, or a subject you’re not familiar with, you might want to reduce the speed, as it’s going to take more mental capacity for the fundamental principles to sink in.
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