LINGUIST List 14.2680

Sat Oct 4 2003

Media: NYT: Speeded-up Audio Still Understandable

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>


  1. 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

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