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How can you play a sound slower or faster? That would be useful for listening carefully one audio passage or to listen fast forward to find a concrete passage.

Is there something with the play sox command that would do this? Alternative simple solutions also welcome.

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I find almost half a dozen softwares recommended here.

  • Audacity
  • MPlayer
  • Rubberband
  • Play It Slowly
  • Ardour
  • LMMS
  • MuSE
  • Rosegarden
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  • I'll check these programs. Mplayer, which is command line and won't deform the pitch sounds promising. Audacity would be more for those people willing to convert a file (not my case). – Quora Feans May 20 '14 at 15:16
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    mplayer -af scaletempo -speed 0.6 solo.ogg is what I needed. – Quora Feans May 20 '14 at 15:23
  • @QuoraFeans, glad that the link resolved your problem :) – Ramesh May 20 '14 at 15:26
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    @QuoraFeans Audacity is not for people willing to convert a file - it's for people willing to modify or create music file. That is your case - and Audacity will do the great job. I've used it several times to change both pitch and speed of songs, as well as many different use cases. – MatthewRock Sep 3 '15 at 11:51
  • @MatthewRock: you are right. Audacity allows all type of processing. Mplayer would be the tool of choice for some simple command line processing. – Quora Feans Sep 3 '15 at 13:42
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Using sox / play

play file.wav   tempo 2    ##to play 2 times faster
play file.wav   tempo 0.5  ## ""             slower
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I use the ffplay command (the sister of ffmpeg). There are two ways to change the speed of play: tempo and pitch. The former inserts or skips frames (it sounds like "glitches" in the music) but keeps the tone of the sound intact; the latter makes play smoother but affects the pitch.

The following is an example of adjusting the tempo:

# 20% increase, atrim — start to play from 120-th second of the file
$ ffplay -af "atempo=1.2,atrim=120" foo.mp3 

The following is an example of adjusting the pitch (foo.mp3 has the rate 44000):

# 54000/44000 ~+24% pitch up
$ ffplay -af "asetrate=54000" foo.mp3 

ffplay is a very powerful tool; see more at the man page.

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