Note: This post was migrated from my old blog software. It hasn't been cleaned up yet (and might not ever be). Don't be surprised if the formatting, links, images, etc... are messed up.
Our brains can process the spoken word faster than we tend to
speak. An idea for a new service based on that is to take podcasts
and digitally speed them up for people. With digital audio editing
it's possible to speed up clips without making them sound like the
chipmonks. This means you could listen to more podcasts in a given
time. A basic setup would be a web site that people would go to and
simply enter the URI of the podcast they are interested in along
with the amount of adjustment to make. Say, 5, 10 or 15 percent.
I'm not sure what the real numbers would be and it would need some
experimenting to see at what point the speed becomes too much, but
you get the idea. The web site would then simply return a new
podcast URI to use instead of the original one. At a given interval
the site would check for new show on the original podcast and if
there was one, download it, apply the speed adjustment and update
the client feed to inform them of the new show. Since this is all
automated, you could also drop in a short ad at the front and back
of the clip. A "this podcast was speed up to save you time by
fasterpodcast.com and is sponsored by Joe's bait shop." I'm not
sure what the rights issues would be, but since the web site is
really nothing more than a filter for content, it might be all
right. Of course, I'm sure there would be lawyers invovled at some
point. If someone does this and makes a ton of money, please just
throw a little my way.