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Can I speed up audio books?

14292 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Apr 25, 2010 1:57 PM by Rob Ryan RSS
rcook349 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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Apr 25, 2010 11:57 AM
I'd like to get into buying audio books from iTunes. But, can I speed them up when playing? At "normal pace" of speaking, it will take way too long to get through a book (compared to how fast I can read one and how fast I'd like to listen to one).

Thanks.
  • Chris CA Level 9 Level 9 (73,385 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 25, 2010 12:27 PM (in response to rcook349)
    (edit)
    Sadly, not with iTunes directly.

    It can easily be done with QuickTime Player & AppleScript.
    Open the Script Editor.
    Paste the following in and save the script as *Speed up playback* to username\Library\iTunes\Scripts\ folder

    tell application "iTunes"
    pause
    set my_track to location of current track
    set my_seconds to player position
    end tell

    tell application "QuickTime Player"
    open my_track
    set my_movie to first movie
    set ts to time scale of my_movie
    set current time of my_movie to my_seconds * ts
    set rate of my_movie to 1.5 -- starts playing
    -- set this to the speed you want to playback at. 1.0 = normal
    end tell

    Select the book in iTunes then go to the AppleScript menu and select the new script you created.

    (from -> Mac OS X Hints - Listen to podcasts at 1.5x speed
    iMac G5 (Rev B) ALS - 2 GB RAM, Mac OS X (10.5.8), silver mini, blue mini, silver shuffle, iTunes 9.1
  • Rob Ryan Level 2 Level 2 (485 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 25, 2010 12:46 PM (in response to rcook349)
    If you have an iPod Touch or iPhone, you have a double speed option there (as well as a 0.5x option). iTunes doesn't have that feature, but if you're determined to do so, you could use QuickTime 7 Player. I personally find the lack of integration sufficiently annoying that I wouldn't dream of using QuickTime 7 Player. But, if you're determined to do it:

    1. If you don't have QuickTime 7 Player, get it. If you've got a pre Snow Leopard (pre 10.6) version of the OS, you can download it from http://www.apple.com/quicktime . If you've got Snow Leopard, QuickTime X (mystifyingly) doesn't have AV controls, but you can get download QuickTime 7 Player for Snow Leopard here or find an article about finding it on your OS DVD here).

    2. And even then, to play in QuickTime 7, you have to control-click on the song in iTunes, select "Show in Finder", and then in Finder, control-click on the audiobook track, and select "Open With" > "QuickTime 7 Player".

    3. Once you have it open in QuickTime 7 Player, you can then go to "Window" > "Show A/V Controls", and control the speed there (between 0.5x and 3x).

    Personally, I just listen on my iPhone, so I've got 2x speed for books and podcasts, which is great. I don't understand why Apple doesn't offer that feature in iTunes, and, worse, why they took this great feature out of QuickTime X.

    Message was edited by: Rob Ryan
    MacBook, Mac OS X (10.6.3), iTunes 9.1
  • Jolly Giant Level 7 Level 7 (25,430 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 25, 2010 12:53 PM (in response to rcook349)

    go to your home screen and tap on the music icon. select one of your audio books and then tap the center of your screen. just under the right side of the scrubber bar and directly under the remaining time indicator, you should see a little box with 1/2X, 1X or 2X. tap that box until is shows 2X.


    JGG

    15"MBP SR/C2D/2,4 GHz/4 GB  Mini 3,1/C2D/2.26 GHz/2 GB , Mac OS X (10.6.3),  TC 'sim-d' 500 GB  AEBSn  2x AX (b/g)  ATV 40 GB  Touch 2G OS 3.1.3
  • Rob Ryan Level 2 Level 2 (485 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 25, 2010 1:29 PM (in response to rcook349)
    By the way, it has to be a book or podcast. If for some reason, it's in your library as music, just change the "media kind" to book and you should be good.
    MacBook, Mac OS X (10.6.3), iTunes 9.1
  • Rob Ryan Level 2 Level 2 (485 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 25, 2010 1:57 PM (in response to Chris CA)
    For a variety of reasons, that script didn't work for me in Snow Leopard & iTunes 9.1. This is a variation on the idea that did, though:

    tell application "iTunes"
        pause
        set my_track to location of selection
        set my_seconds to bookmark of selection
    end tell

    tell application "QuickTime Player"
        open my_track
        set my_movie to first document
        set current time of my_movie to my_seconds
        set rate of my_movie to 1.5
    end tell

    I saved that in the folder ~/Library/iTunes/Scripts and now I have a way to play stuff faster right from iTunes (admittedly, firing up QT, but now a single keystroke from iTunes does the job for me). Chris, thanks for pointing me in the right direction here.
    MacBook, Mac OS X (10.6.3), iTunes 9.1

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