I listen to a lot of podcasts, and now that my life is a bit busier than before, I have an idea that it would be helpful to play them back a bit faster and save some time. Podcast Addict is an app that says it will do that, but it doesn’t work for me. After a short exchange with the app developer, he tells me that it is a Fairphone problem, “This is a known issue of the Fairphone. Media file support isn’t great”.
What happens is that at any speed other than normal, the audio sounds like it be a recording of Pinky and Perky on Helium. Even playing it slower, it sounds like that, despite the actual playback being definitely slowed down.
What’s the problem with Fairphone that it does this - assuming the app developer is correct?
Most computational ways of speeding up audio appear to change pitch, which then needs to be corrected. Using the playback speed setting in VLC leads to higher pitch on faster playback, and lower pitch on slower playback. It may be that differences exist between apps in how this correction is performed (perhaps relying on HW acceleration on the chipset / a default library vs. providing an own solution). For example, for video, Dice player (doesn’t do audio, afaik) is able to adjust speed without affecting pitch, whilst in VLC pitch is affected in the same file when speed is changed.
In short, it should be possible on the fairphone, given the right approach.
Edit: VLC also supports pitch correction. It needs to be enabled in the VLC settings menu > Performance > Time-stretching audio. After this, changing the playback speed does not affect pitch. To change playback speed tap the bar at the bottom of the VLC screen that lists what is playing. The bar will move to the top of the screen, and three dots will appear on the right of the bar. Tapping it, and then the running man icon on the menu that pops up, will allow adjusting speed.
I just tried both speeding up and slowing down, and I can’t confirm. It works, and I specifically mention that slowing down does not pitch upwards.
I was actually experimenting a bit more earlier, and found that it is an issue with certain podcasts (or atleast one) but not others - for me at least.
The one I was having problems with is 5Live Investigates ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00tl99q/episodes/downloads ) but when I got into FourThought ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b010q0n0/episodes/downloads ) it works as advertised. If you were able/willing to have a look at the 5Live investigates one, it would be interesting to know if it is a problem for you as well.
I unsubscribed, re-subscribed, same problem. Uninstalled and reinstalled the whole app as well, but no joy there - I still had the helium effect for the Investigates one. The other when I subscribed worked first time.
I haven’t explored much more yet, so am not sure if I might come across others that have the same issue, but at least I can look at getting through some of these podcasts/backlogs a bit quicker, if not all of them.
Actually, scratch that - FourThought is doing it now too.
I just tried Four Thought, the current best of episode. Thanks for the tip, btw. As a continental, I don’t know the bbc programs, and this seems to be definitely worth while listening.
For me, it works if I download the episode. Speed adjustment doesn’t work at all if I stream the episode. I suppose you changed the speed in the playback screen?
I checked my settings, which I didn’t change after installation. There is an option Audio Effects, in Audio settings, wich specifically refers to speed adjustments. <instant_Chris_O’Dowd> Have you tried turning it off an on again?<>
No, seriously, try turning it off, hard rebooting, playback, turning it on again. Let’s see if this helps.
Oh, and I use the internal Podcast Addict player, as was the standard setting. Also, did you install other 3rd party apps, especially equalisers, or apps which come with an equaliser which might interfere with the system settings? I use vlc, and mx player, but AFAIR did not use their equaliser options, ever.