Slow down music like a record (reduce pitch) no robotic sound, using VLC or web browser devtools or addons

Bands that play live usually play their own songs a bit faster, and some cover songs are at a completely slower speed and different style

If you have ever changed the playback speed on a computer and used a slower speed, you’ve heard the timestretch pitch matching effect. It works incredibly well when increasing speed, like for a podcast (not something I do, but some people save hundreds of hours doing it), but slowing down is like a robot, a very distorted sound with gaps, pauses and other issues in the output.

Hearing this garbage, it’s no wonder people never try a slower speed ever again, it sounds awful or annoying. Well, VLC is basically the only cross-platform (desktops and smartphones on all major operating systems) that actually offers the option to allow the pitch to go down with speed.

I thought the feature was removed when I reinstalled vlc on one of my devices, but looking through all settings, I finally re-discovered it in advanced. This is a horrible place to put this option, there’s no good reason not to have this visible where the speed slider is.

In advanced, turn off timestretch.

Turn on save playback speed, in the audio settings menu.

Start off near normal, with minimal adjustments and test that a while, then as you adjust to the slower pace, try slower settings. You’ll eventually find a speed that seems too slow for just about all music, so in between that and normal is where you should experiment. Find the speeds you enjoy for a particular song, and try another. You will find songs you enjoy possibly more, or at least as much, played slow.

Would anyone be interested in a thread, similar to “what song are you listening to”

What song & speed are you listening to?

What would be a good thread title?

You’ll be quite surprised what you find once you give this a try for a while, and I hope I can convince you to share this idea wirh others. Explain what a vlc is, what the timestretch effect sounds like (by playing a song with it enable at low 0.75 or 0.5 speed) and why it should be disabled to experiment with a slower song speed

Another idea is to play a song around family and friends that you all know, bht play it at a speed you thinj works better. This works in the 2-9% range, after that the pitch reduction is quite noticable.

If the other listeners don’t pick up on the drop in pitch or speed, just play the same song again at normal and wait for their reaction. I think it’s a fun experience and quite a unique one. I also hope this idea spreads quickly, so all music listebers can benefit.

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Changing speed of youtube / online music videos, and allowong pitch to change

Maybe just buy music from artists you really enjoy.

But if you don’t have a local copy, and the artist provides ways to listen to their music for free, using youtube to control playback speed is very unique musical experience.

Open dev tools on a video website

Use mouse selection to select the video element. Right click the highlighted block in the code, and choose “open in console”

The console is a small hieght for firefox, it may be easier to see if you make it larger

Type in

.preservesPitch = false

then change the playback speed. If audio remains smooth, you’ve accessed a hidden option. Now enjoy some music at 25% lower speed.

There are addons that allow custom speed, and youtube also allows custom speeds I think, but limited to .10

Addon that does this with speed slider

Have you ever heard an advertisement played slower, you can now!

I don’t like the name, but the code in the following addon is clean and simple:

Also the url for a website with the same code. It says soundcloud as an example but I haven’t gotten that to work.

The next update to this thread will be on how to modify both preservesPitch as well as speed even if it’s not shown as an option, so even for web-based spotify, pandora (usually good song selection), and many other music sources on the web. I’m still learning, so it might be several months, and it will definitely be a manual approach, not an addon, unless one is developed by someone else.

Change audio speed for streaming music on a web browser

I figured it out for streaming audio.

Press F12 on a page that has a song loaded. Scroll to the bottom, which might list the most recent loaded audio.

Right click it “show in console”.

Wait for temp1 text to show up.

In firefox, the text should be showing up in green to let you know it is going to affect something.

.preservesPitch = false

After pressing enter, repeat the two steps to get back into the console, should say


.playbackRate = .84

An addon global speed does a good job, but no idea how to set the hotkeys.