When podcasts and YouTube took over the online world, and especially during pandemic times, I panicked a little about how much time people will spend talking, instead of typing. Is my online world going to turn into audio now?
For people who have hearing loss (like me, due to a childhood illness), audio can be challenging. Even with improved and advanced digital technology these days, some people who struggle with hearing sounds and words often just shy away from the option to listen to something.
Of course there are headsets, which can help to some degree. People like me prefer actual headsets as opposed to earbuds, to listen to music for instance. Mine is a wireless one, which I love.
I rediscovered Roxette, the duo who rose to fame in the ’80s and ’90s. Two (among other) songs, It Must Have Been Love, and Listen To Your Heart, hit the number 1 spot on US charts. I alternate listening to them and Def Leppard (Hysteria, Animal) with my wireless headset while cooking, for instance. If that makes any sense to you. 😛
Anyway, I can hear the music fine without the headset on my head, but I live with teenagers and they have different taste in music so… 😛
One day a friend sent me a YouTube clip of this guy who was doing tarot readings. I may have mentioned him before in one of my tarot posts. I tuned in to listen to him and for the most part I was able to follow along with my headset on. But, when he got excited, he talked really fast and I found I was missing stuff he was saying.
So I clicked on the little CC icon hoping that YouTube was auto-generating captions.
But they don’t seem to be doing it for everything. I thought okay there’s got to be another way short of having to turn the volume even higher which doesn’t always help when you’re struggling with hearing loss. Especially not if the speech is spoken fast.
I clicked around the YouTube screen and came across something that I wasn’t familiar with: playback speed.
To get there, click the three little dots at the top right of your screen. It will open up a menu.
Alternately, click on the settings icon if you don’t see the dots. (It has to be open in youtube I believe for it to show up like this.)
The menu should look something like this:
Do you notice how it says captions are unavailable on the screen? That’s unfortunate but not the end of the world (for me). Underneath you can see the playback speed is set to normal.
You can adjust normal to slower speed:
I tested the 0.75x at the 0.5x, and liked the first option.
So I made a little 33 second video for you to try. Play it at normal speed, then try it at .75x speed.
Edited to add: in WordPress reader the captions are auto-generated, when I tested this on mobile. 🙂
When I brought this up to my kids at the dinner table once they both looked at me in surprise.
“Mom that’s common knowledge,” one of them said.
Perhaps. But I never made the connection that slowing speed down would help me to hear and understand better.
So if you struggle with hearing but would like to listen to podcasts or YouTube videos that don’t have captioning I urge you to invest in a good wireless headset and to play around with the playback speed. It worked very well for me and I hope it works well for you too.