One of the things I was hoping to do over my recent road trip was to catch up on my photography podcasts. With the move of my digital darkroom off of my PC entirely onto the Mac, I found a few applications that had difficulty moving. iTunes was one of these. The side affect of this delayed move was a backlog of podcasts that queued up without getting transferred to my iPhone and thus not getting listened to.
Well, as things like this usually work out, the road trip came and went and I hardly listened to any of my podcasts. Luckily, this week I had a business trip which included many hours of flying in the modern day luxury of airliners that are so cramped you can’t do you modern day activities like working on the computer (may it has something to do with my 6’4″ frame and the person in front of me who insists on reclining their seat for their own comfort at the cost of my crushed knees…but I digress.). So, I started catching up on my podcast listening. And this is when a happy accident occurred.
One of the great things about the iPhone is it’s simplicity of use. Most people never read the owner manuals because they can just figure out how to use it by using it. The downside to this is an entire set of hidden features that we sometimes never discover. Yesterday I discovered a podcast hidden feature on the iPhone (latest version of the iPhone OS):
When you are viewing the list of podcast episodes and you select one to play, you move to a screen that shows a person with concentric rings around them, play controls at the bottom and the podcast title at the top. Tap the grey area where the person icon is. Up will pop a slider that allows you to move through the podcast. But more importantly (to me at least) is a little button beneath this that allows you to change the podcast playback from normal speed to 2x speed or 1/2x speed.
Wow! What a discovery. Once I started listening to my podcasts in 2x speed, I find it hard to go back to normal speed. Especially when I just want to breeze through a bunch of old podcasts searching for nuggets of information. The playback mechanism does a great job of speeding up the podcast without too much negative impact to the quality (pitch) of the speakers voice.
If you have an iPhone try it out some time…you may find it hard to listen in normal speed too.
Aside: another hidden feature of the iPhone is the ability to delete items from lists. Next time you see a list (like in the email application), try placing your finger on an item in the list and sliding to the right. A delete button should appear. Stumbled across that one by accident too. Maybe I should see if there is a owners manual for the iPhone. 🙂