Genuine Curiosity

Author Dwayne Melancon is always on the lookout for new things to learn. An ecclectic collection of postings on personal productivity, travel, good books, gadgets, leadership & management, and many other things.


Listen to Audio Books Faster

I just sat in the middle seat on a flight from Washington, DC to Salt Lake City. I wasn't on my regular airline (an irregular one you might say), missed my connection, and am spending the night in Salt Lake City. By the way - the airline's people in the SLC airport are much more helpful and friendly than they were in Reagan National.

Anyway, I was sequestered in seat 44E (check it out on Seatguru - it's not the best seat in the house...but it's better than row 45, at least). With the guy in front of me leaning back and non-optional physical contact with the folks on either side of me it wasn't looking like a productive flight. I couldn't use my laptop, was getting a stiff neck from trying to read, and the movie is that awful Steve Martin version of the Pink Panther (I've seen it once, and that was once too many).

So, I busted out my "middle seat" collection:

  • I have lots of audio books from on my iPod

    • Oh - and here is a tip for getting even more out of your audiobooks on your iPod (all of the models since the Mini, except the Shuffle):

      • You can change the speed of playback to "Faster" for audiobooks, and it will cut about 1/3 off the time that it takes to listen to the book. The iPod will adjust the pitch to make it sound mostly normal, too.
      • You can do this by clicking the center button a few times while the audiobook is playing and you'll see an option to set the playback to Slow, Normal, or Faster.

  • I always stash some Zone Bars for healthy snacks
  • I have a Nintendo DS Lite and some good games (my current favorites are Brain Age, Mario Kart DS, and Age of Empires)
  • I have earplugs in case I want to meditate or take a nap
  • I usually have a book and a magazine or two, so I can do something when all my electronics must be turned off

These all help pass the time on any flight, but are indispensible when you get middleated on a long flight.

What about you - any tips for passing the time in these situations?