LINGUIST List 14.2680

Sat Oct 4 2003

Media: NYT: Speeded-up Audio Still Understandable

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>


  • Karen Chung, Media: NYT: Speeded-up audio

    Message 1: Media: NYT: Speeded-up audio

    Date: Fri, 3 Oct 2003 08:38:19 +0800
    From: Karen Chung <>
    Subject: Media: NYT: Speeded-up audio

    There's a piece in the Technology section of the October 2, 2003 issue of the New York Times online entitled:

    Now Hear This, Quickly by Douglas Heingartner

    Some sample paragraphs:

    "We call it the 66-second minute," Laura Gaines said.

    Ms. Gaines is the vice president of Prime Image, a maker of devices like the Digital Time Machine that shorten audio and video recordings by up to 12 percent with "no discernible results." Micro-editing, as the process is called, created a stir last year when some broadcasters were reported to be using the technology to squeeze more advertisements into the same block of time. ...

    The new software programs, DVD players and phone services rising to this challenge all take advantage of the human ability to comprehend speech much more quickly than the typical spoken rate of 140 to 180 words a minute. How many times as fast? "I've heard of instances where people go to 4X, and they still want it to go faster," said Blake Erickson of Telex Communications, which makes "talking book" audio players for the educational market.

    The URL:

    Karen Steffen Chung