Friday, January 25, 2008

Adjusting the Speed of Audiobooks - the Sony MX-20

I must admit that I am sometimes frustrated with the speed of audiobook narrators vs. my reading-with-eyes pace, especially when I am plowing through listening to a 14-hour epic. But I guess I'm not the only one. Audiobook speed control on an iPod was featured in this week's brief "Personal Tech" Tip of the Week in the New York Times. I do long sometimes for the good old days of books-on-cassette-tapes and my workhorse Walkman with the simple adjustable playback speed control. With that baby I was able to increase the tape speed up to 25% faster without the dreaded "chipmunk effect."

Imagine the joy when I read the instuction manual of my new SonyICD-MX20 digital voice recorder. I can use it to load my ripped audiobook CDs just like an MP3 player - and it has a varible speed playback! I can use the Sony MX20 as my audiobook player - and zip through titles way faster! Not something I would do for titles I am evaluating, but definately something I want to do when I am caught up in the breathless action of Douglas Preston's "Blasphemy" The edge-of-your-seat excitment has me cranking the speed as I am racing through the science/thriller. Only 3 more CDs to go!

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