I like this article on People Who Listen to Podcasts at Super-Fast Speeds from BuzzFeed. Mostly, I like the fact that I haven’t fallen down the hole of feeling like I need to listen to podcasts at 10x speed or whatever, like these folks. I’m perfectly fine listening to them at 1x, and allowing Overcast to delete old episodes from my iPhone, even if I haven’t listened to them yet.
In the old days, I used to let podcast episodes pile up on my Mac, and I’d let myself feel a little bad if I didn’t keep up with them. Nowadays, I just have Overcast set up to keep the most recent 5 (or, for some podcasts, 10) episodes. If a new one comes out, and I haven’t listened to the oldest one yet, it just gets deleted regardless.
And I do sometimes use Overcast’s “Smart Speed” feature, which will generally speed things up to 1.1x or 1.2x without it being really noticeable. But, if I’m listening to, for instance, Judge John Hodgman, I usually don’t bother with Smart Speed, since I’m listening to stuff like that largely to relax, so it doesn’t make any difference if I get through an hour-long episode in 50 minutes or 60 minutes. (And I can relax a bit better if people aren’t talking too fast.)
I do sometimes wish I could jam more episodes of .NET Rocks into my head at a faster pace. There’s a lot of good stuff on that show, and it comes out 2 or 3 times a week. I wind up skipping a lot of episodes. Listening to it at high-speed would, I think, just result in me understanding even less of it than I do now, so I’m sticking with regular speed on that one.