There’s tons of great content video content online and it’s also a big time-sucker; it’s extraordinarily easy to start watching watching one video on YouTube and find yourself still on the site an hour later.
I recently got introduced (thanks Tom!) to the wonders of double-speed and it’s proving to make a big difference to how I consume video content.
YouTube natively supports double-speed, providing you opt into their HTML5 trial. Once that’s done, you’ll see a new speed selection option on the video player controller:
For other video content, you can use the ‘Inspect Element’ feature commonly found in modern browsers, or use a browser extension, to fetch the .flv or .swf file. Save it to your disk and then open it up in VLC where you’ll be able to increase the speed up to 31x (although anything beyond 3x becomes incomprehensible).
You can use the same method to speed up podcasts and other audio files (using something like Audacity). It’s especially nice for listening to someone who’s sharing some great information but has a very boring and slow speech. Enjoy!