How to Play Audio Faster

If your time is limited, it can be useful to play audio faster than at its recorded speed. This only really applies to audio books and podcasts, but can help save some time if you listen to them alot.

I’ve already spoken about how to speed up the actual MP3 (or other format) file using open source software (aka free) in a previous post, but fortunately, if you are using Windows, you don’t actually have to go to that trouble because some applications have the feature built-in.

This brief post shows you how to do that.

Windows Media Player

Windows Media Player logo

To change the playback speed, you can either use the mouse or a keyboard shortcut. Let’s start with the pointer.

Using a Mouse

Context menu for playback options

Playback menu for Windows Media Player

  1. Right-click on the playback window or toolbar.
  2. Choose Play, Play Speed, then one of Fast, Normal or Slow.

One selection of Fast makes a 20 second clip play in about 14 seconds.

Using Shortcuts

  1. As you can see above, press Control-Shift-G to go faster and,
  2. Control-Shift-N to return the speed to normal
  3. To slow down, press Control-Shift-S.

VLC (Full name: VideoLan Client — bet you didn’t know that!?)

VLC logo


Context menu for VLC playback control

Playback speed control in VLC

  1. Right-click in the main window.
  2. Choose Playback, then Speed, then one of Faster, Normal Speed or Slower.

What’s the difference between Faster (Fine) and Faster? Well, when you choose Faster (Fine), a 20 second clip becomes 18 seconds. With Faster, 20 seconds drops down to 13 seconds, or thereabouts.


  1. Press ] to speed the audio up or,
  2. [ to slow it down.
  3. Pressing = returns the playback to normal.

To make the playback occur 50% faster, you will need to press ] about four times.


iTunes logo

Sorry! You can’t. Can you believe that? Please see my article mentioned at the top of this one to perform a work-around.


Written by Stephen Moon
email: stephen at

Hey! Did you enjoy reading this? If you did and would like an email when I add new content, just subscribe to my list. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *