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Up to 1.4 is not a big deal, somewhere around 1.5 or starts to get a little strange. Since I generally have technical or industry related podcasts going while doing other things too high a speed becomes a hindrance.

Try out rubberband. I find that with rubberband and mpv I can get close to 3x and still understand many (but not all) speakers. It depends on their particular accent/annunciation/cadence though. Some accents, like RP, are very clear to me at 1x but degrade more rapidly (for me) than others at high speeds.


What is improved by using Rubberband rather than the internal playback speed setting on mpv, which keeps pitch the same?

Good question. By default mpv will automatically insert the 'scaletempo' filter to adjust pitch when speeding up or slowing down audio, and it does a reasonable job at modest speed changes. And it's fast; very little CPU load. However at more dramatic speed changes it starts to sound choppy with parts of words getting cut out which limits how fast it can go while maintaining comprehensibility. Scaletempo sounds choppy at high speeds because the way it works is by playing small snippets of the audio stream at 1x, skipping ahead past some audio to keep pace with the sped up video. There is also some blending of those snippets, but in principle it's a very simple approach that generally works well enough.

How precisely rubberband works is something I've not looked into deeply, but the end result is increased CPU load and less choppy audio at high speeds. If you throw together a little script to switch back and forth between rubberband and scaletempo in realtime, I think the difference is pretty dramatic.

Ah thank you. Some good info here: https://github.com/mpv-player/mpv/issues/4418

With the exception for CarTalk, which I run at 1x because it's more about the joy of listening than the information, I tend to playback at between 1.6x-2x depending on the podcast. Occasionally listening to a podcast at 1x, live or whatever, sounds like the hosts are stoned :D

I agree, 1x sounds so slow. I've played it for others and they say it sounds normal.

I never needed an adjustment period that I recall to be able to skip right to 2x. That's how I watch any video like Linus Tech Tips or others where it's mainly just talking these days. YT doesn't go any faster but I wouldn't be surprised if I could push it even more.

You can definitely go faster, here's the api: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/API/HTMLMediaEl...

Try going up to 2x for a minute then down to 1.5 again and it will sound fine.

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