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Growing up, I was always mesmerized by how fast the spokesman in the Micro Machines commercials could talk, but I couldn’t always digest everything he was saying. So when I came across Enounce’s MySpeed product, a software application that lets you speed up or slow down online videos, I decided to experiment with it while listening to an old Micro Machines commercial that touted the brand’s various lines of miniature toy automobiles, aircrafts and boats.
After you download MySpeed, you can move its dial back and forth to control the speed of whatever video you’re watching (see demo video). When I watched the Micro Machines commercial, I moved the dial to the left to slow down the audio and could finally understand exactly what the fast-talking spokesman was saying about the toys (nearly 20 years later!). It’s not just the audio that slows down or speeds up, but the video picture does, too. The sped-up Micro Machines commercial video reminded me of watching Japanese anime cartoon characters like Speed Racer.
I tried watching the Micro Machines commercial in one browser window and a “Saturday Night Live” skit on Hulu simultaneously in a separate browser window and found the speed settings I set were applied to both videos I was streaming.
Palo Alto, Calif.-based Enounce, which was founded in 1998, offers four versions of the product and just dropped the price of its most basic level MySpeed download by 40 percent to $29.99 from $49.99 — giving the impression it’s not exactly a best-seller. The high-end version, MySpeed Premier, lets you watch downloaded videos offline and sells for a hefty $99.99. The basic version enables you to watch a video up to three times faster than normal speed, while MySpeed Premier plays videos up to five times faster. The other two versions let you control the audio and video picture speed on Windows Media Player or Real Player programs and let you watch a video two-and-a-half times faster; both versions sell for $39.99.
I wouldn’t spend $30 to buy MySpeed, and there’s definitely no way I would pay almost $100 for the top-of-the-line version, however, I would use the application if it were free. MySpeed definitely has some utility and would save me time when I’m watching long presentations and conferences by letting me hone in on the key parts of a speech quicker than I could with the basic control buttons on YouTube. Ultimately, MySpeed would have been more applicable for me in college when I needed to skim through online lectures quickly to review for finals or slow down the dialogue in the online videos I was assigned to watch in my Spanish classes. If you’d like to sign up for a seven-day trial of MySpeed, visit Enounce’s site here. Though I enjoyed testing MySpeed out, I’d rather hold onto my $30 and live without it.