20 June 2009

New Apple software saves time!

I am only just starting to get to grips with the latest version (3.0) of the software for the Apple iPhone and iPod touch but I am already seriously impressed.

Things like the large keyboard on all applications are cool and useful but what I really like are the changes made to the music player, after all listening to podcasts is the main use I make of my iPods.

At a Gurteen Knowledge Cafe in April this year I made the comment that one of the advantages of using audio to transfer knowledge is that you can play it at different speeds to suit the immediate need. Apple listened.

The symbol below the time remaining in this picture says that I am listening to the podcast at 2x speed. This may sound silly but it works very well.

The speeding up (or down) is done with software so you do not get the Pinky and Perky effect when playing speech fast, though it does make rather a mess of The Archers theme tune!

I listened to several podcasts at 2x speed on the journey back from Sheffield on Friday and it was a great experience. I was able to listen to a lot more that I would otherwise have been able to and the enhanced pace of the programmes made them more compelling.

I did a few timing checks and it looks as though the 2x speed is a guide rather than a promise. Most of the 30 minute programmes that I listened to were reduced to 20 minutes. That's not 2x but it is still a serious time saving.

I have around 60 unlistened to podcasts at the moment but now that does not seem such a daunting number.

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