Redeeming the Drive

Swiss Army Knife GEEK ALERT: today’s post might be a bit “techie”… you have been warned. Yesterday, I found out that a friend was in the hospital, 100 miles away. This meant that I’d have quite a bit of time on the road to get there and back again.

I decided that I’d try and use that time as best I could, by listening to Scripture (instead of radio programming).

The problem wasn’t getting the audio files themselves: just Google “free bible mp3 download” and you’ll find lots of links for legal downloads of the Bible. What I discovered, however, was that the audio recordings took a LONG time… due to all of the dramatic pauses, I’m sure. The book of Luke, for example, was over 2 hours in length, and I just didn’t have *that* long of a drive.

So here’s the geek component of the post: I made the files SHORTER in time, without changing their pitch… in effect, I got the reader to talk faster!

There’s a wonderful software tool called SoX (Sound eXchange)… it’s referred to as “the Swiss Army knife of sound processing programs.” (hence the picture)

After I downloaded the bible sound files in mp3 format, I made them faster with this command:
sox Luke.mp3 fastluke.wav stretch .5

For all you non-geek readers, that means “run the sox program, and take the Luke.mp3 file, and “stretch it” by half… making it half it’s original length, and call that new sound file fastluke.wav.

I did this with all my bible mp3 files, and created fast versions of them. Why do this? Because the human brain can understand the spoken word at a much higher rate than the average person can actually speak it. (Does anyone else remember the Micro-machines commercial with the guy speaking REALLY fast?)

So, by increasing the speed at which the words are spoken using the SoX program, I was able to listen and comprehend on the drive yesterday:
Luke
John
Acts
Romans
1 Corinthians
2 Corinthians (up to chapter 10).

When was the last time you were able to read that many Bible books in one sitting? I know it’s been a while for me!

Grace and peace to you all… KFJ – Ed

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