Blogger Confession: Listening to Audiobooks at a Faster Speed

Posted May 7th, 2014 by in Blogger Confession / 56 comments


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Listening to Audiobooks at a Faster Speed

Someone asked me the other day how I listened to so many audiobooks and the simple answer is: the only time I listen to an audiobook at 1x speed is when I am in my car.Β  I am going to share my tips for listening faster in Windows Media Player, iTunes (Quicktime), Overdrive (for PC), and Audible App.

As far as I know faster playback is not available for Audible on PC, Audible on Cloud, Overdrive App on Phone, Audiobooks.Com App on Phone

NOTE: Previous versions of Overdrive App on Phone (Android) and iPhone can change playback speed but Playback speed cannot be adjusted in OMC 3 for Android at this time.

NOTE:Β  Also Audiobooks.Com app does have playspeed adjust on some phones and not others. It doesn’t work on mine so I can’t write-up a how to (Sorry).

Windows Media Player

First, your audiobook will need to be in MP3 format.Β  I know that most audiobooks either come on CD or downloaded from the web. If you are doing it from CD, I suggest taking the time to rip the CD to your desktop. I take it a step further and merge the files into one file with MergeMP3 (very cool free tool)

  1. Open up Windows Media Player
  2. Load your Audiobook
  3. Right-click on the play button and select fast playback (you can also hit ctrl-shift-g)

Window Media Player

iTunes (Actually Quicktime)

  1. Open Quicktime (as far as I can tell this is not available in iTunes)
  2. Open your audiobook (you might have to switch file type as it defaults to movie)
  3. Hit Play
  4. Click Ctrl-K (Or click on Windows and show AV Controls)
  5. Playback Speed is in the bottom right hand corner



Audible Phone App

  1. Download the Audible App from your favorite app store (I think it is in all of them)
  2. Download your Audible Audiobook
  3. Hit play
  4. In the upper toolbar next to Now Playing you will notice a button that looks like a gas gauge. You can select .5x, 1x, 1.5x, 2x(what speed I listen to the most), 3x




Overdrive for PC

  1. Download Overdrive for PC (
  2. Download your audiobook from your library
  3. Press Play (I wait for all parts to download)
  4. In the bottom left hand corner you will see a button that looks like a gas gauge. Click that to change your play speed

Overdrive PC Console


Hopefully this helps y’all!

Felicia S
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Felicia S

Felicia is just your average gal from Texas that loves Audiobooks and Libraries with a passion! She can wine them, dine them, and love them forever. Her eclectic reading tastes include: Cozy Mysteries, Thrillers, Swoon-Worthy Romance of all kinds, Zombies, Urban Fantasy, Historical Fiction, and the occasional YA read.

During her non-reading time you can find her hanging with her rescue furr children named after book characters: Lizzie a beautiful cattle dog mix (Pound Pup), Cinder a beautiful Shep/Pitt mix (Pound Pup), and Minerva a beautiful Shep/Pitt mix (Foster Fail). Gathering with friends and family, attending conventions, watching movies/tv shows, rooting for the 49rs, and crocheting.

If you want to follow her DIY, Health, and Life adventures check out Mess to Best

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56 Responses to “Blogger Confession: Listening to Audiobooks at a Faster Speed”

  1. Jennifer @ The Bawdy Book Blog

    Great post! I’ve been listening to them on 1.25 on my Overdrive app (iPhone), but I was thinking of increasing it a little. I just want to be able to enjoy the narration too.
    Jennifer recently posted…The Sunday Post

  2. Vilia

    Nice and tricky πŸ™‚ I got burned with the last audio book I listened to because the narrator had a nasty habit of slowing down to emphasise serious things when I really wanted them to speed up to increase the tension. I wish I had known about this then.
    Vilia recently posted…Sunday Post #23

  3. Jeff

    I can perhaps see this for casual listening where my only concern is getting through the content. Although I can’t imagine listening to music or watching movies at 1.5X or faster and really enjoying it. As a word of caution, when I crank up the speed, the entire nuance of the performance goes out the window. I can’t legitimately judge the performance aspects of the audiobook. The same is true with a lot of the production elements. If I want to be taken seriously as a reviewer (by publishers and narrators), then I will listen at the intended speed of the performance. If I only desire to be a casual listener, then whatever works.

    • Felicia S

      We will agree to disagree. I don’t think I am getting any less out of the story or the narrators performance by listening at a faster speed. Their emotions and delivering of the story still comes through. I don’t do it with a new narrator or on books that a faster speed “ruins” the voices. However, since many of my readers are casual listeners/readers (and the audience that I am mostly talking too/want to reach), I think this article will work for them.
      Felicia S recently posted…DNF Report May 2014: It’s Me Not You

  4. Carmel @ Rabid Reads

    Those are some great tips from one of my go-to audiobook pro’s. I don’t usually speed up my listens, because already I find that I miss stuff & have to go back, but I’ll definitely keep this post in mind for the future. I’ve been listening more than I’ve been reading lately, so hopefully I’ll get the hang of faster speeds one of these days. πŸ˜‰
    Carmel recently posted…Question: Sex or Talk. Which Is More Important To You?

  5. Lucy

    Interesting! That is a good way to get through audiobooks faster. I’ve found that I can only go up to 1.5 speed max or the narrators just sound too weird to my ears. I don’t know if I’ve gotten the Overdrive for iphone app to work yet for speed adjustment…must pursue further!
    Thanks for this informative post!

  6. Anya

    I was so excited when I realized that I could speed up audiobook narration, but then I tried it and my brain couldn’t keep up, haha. I pretty much always listen in the car though, so maybe I should try when just walking? I take it that you find you are able to concentrate better and therefore follow better when not driving?
    Anya recently posted…Among Thieves by Douglas Hulick {4.5 Stars}

    • Felicia S

      I think the best way is to listen to an audiobook on regular speed for at least an hour (I always do) and then speed it up. I am already in the story by then and have the narrator’s pacing down. It just doesn’t work for all books though. Some are already pretty fast or the narrator’s voice is just not a good fit.
      Felicia S recently posted…DNF Report May 2014: It’s Me Not You

      • Anya

        I tried speeding up Dreams of Gods and Monsters and it worked great! I only have a few hours left on it and I’ve been feeling anxious to get through it, so this is the best solution. I already know that I love the narrator but had been thinking that it felt like she was speaking slower than previous books. This is going to help me so much to make some more progress πŸ˜€
        Anya recently posted…Dark Lords {Tough Traveling}

  7. Lupdilup

    Great tutorial Felicia! I was going to do this for a guest post from Jennifer for audiobook month, but you beat to the punch… LOL.
    You did a great job πŸ™‚
    My favorite speed is 1.5. It’s amazing the difference it can make when you adjust the speed, especially when you can hear the narrator inhale before every paragraph. I never use 2.0 or higher, I don’t feel it enjoyable past that point, the voices sounds to whinny to me.
    Great job πŸ™‚
    Lupdilup recently posted…Wraith: Hawaiian Shadows Audiobook by Edie Claire (Review)

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