Audiobook is read too fast.
April 2, 2011 10:47 AM   Subscribe

The audiobook I'm listening to is read too fast. How can I slow it down?

I'm listening to The Wordly Philosophers. It's a CD set from Blackstone Audio that I have ripped to my iPhone. The reader goes too fast. When I tell the iPod player to play it at half speed, it echoes. Is there a technological solution to this?
posted by neuron to Technology (7 answers total)
This is the best I can come up with:

1. Download Audacity on your computer.
2. Open the data files you've got for the CD rip with Audacity.
3. Change the tempo of the audio file using Audacity's change tempo command

That may work better as a speed changer than the built in iPhone effect. You'll also get control over how fast/slow the book should be read. Hope that helps.

I'm surprised there isn't an iPhone app that lets you play files back at variable (not necessarily 1/2x) speeds.
posted by jz at 11:04 AM on April 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

iTunes/iPod will let you choose "slow", "medium", or "fast" for a file that it recognizes as an audiobook, but not for just any mp3/mp4/aac file (which it treats as a song). Assuming it's am mp3, you can convert it to Apple's "m4b" format. There are free programs to do this that you can download. Here are some instructions from LibriVox (source of free and sometimes-decent audiobooks).

If that doesn't work for you, you can actually slow down the sound itself. You might be able to do that in Audacity or another audio-editing program, but it will be more work.

I didn't think The Worldly Philosophers was worth expending much effort to read but I suppose that's a matter of taste.
posted by Chicken Boolean at 11:04 AM on April 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

I clicked through to recommend the same thing JZ said.
posted by deadmessenger at 11:15 AM on April 2, 2011

Oops, I didn't see that you already tried the iPod solution. Try using something mp3wrap to automate the process of joining your mp3 files together, then use Audacity to slow down whole book at once, then (if you want) you can use mp3splt to split it into multiple files again.
posted by Chicken Boolean at 11:18 AM on April 2, 2011

VLC player gives you an option of slowing down audio.
posted by leigh1 at 11:34 AM on April 2, 2011

SoX will do this for you very nicely. It's command-line-only, but it's cross-platform.
posted by harkin banks at 12:09 PM on April 2, 2011

I'm a year late, but for posterity: are you sure it's not a sampling rate issue?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:49 PM on March 21, 2012

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