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Are there any video players that can let you increase the speed without increasing the pitch and causing the chipmunk effect?

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3 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

There’s a few options:

  • VLC (VideoLan Client) used to increase the pitch of the audio when you increase the playback speed (thus making it useless for watching), but eventually they changed it so that only the tempo is increased and the pitch remains the same. Even better, it provides fine-grained speed control so that in addition to ±1x, 1.5x, 2x, 3x, etc., you can change the speed at 10% increments (eg 110%, 70%, and so on). It can increase playback speed up to 31.25x (3125%) or decrease it down to 0.03x (3%).

    The default keys are:

    • (Numpad) = - Reset tempo to 1x
    • (Numpad) + - Increase tempo by one increment (0.5x, then 1x)
    • (Numpad) - - Decrease tempo by one increment
    • ] - Increase tempo by 10% (0.1x)
    • [ - Decrease tempo by 10%

    You can also set it to automatically play everything at a different speed by default (it takes effect the next time that VLC loads a media file):

    • Open Preferences
    • Select Input / Codecs
    • Navigate down to Play speed under Playback control
    • Adjust as desired
    • Click Save


  • Another program that can increase speed without affecting pitch is GOMPlayer. It’s keys are:

    • Z - Reset speed
    • X - Decrease by 10%
    • C - Increase by 10%


  • MPC (MediaPlayer Classic) and it’s derivative MPC-Home Cinema also have, or at least used to have the ability to increase or decrease the playback speed of videos while maintaining the pitch. I relied on this because VLC has difficulty playing Disney DVDs (skips, freezes, etc.) but MPC does not. It looks like later versions reverted to the tempo+pitch method.

Ever since VLC made that change, I permanently switched to it as my video player because it allows me to watch everything in high speed, and thus get through them faster. Whenever I start playing a video, I automatically (without even thinking about it) hit Numpad + to increase the speed to 1.5x (150%) which over many videos, lets me save a whole lot of time.

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+1 - I use VLC for training or classroom video. Same as Synetech inc., I bump it to 1.5x for any speaker, and can often get to 2x because of how slow they speak. Instead of increasing the pitch, it's more like VLC removes tiny slices of the audio to make the sound more "normal", just faster. In case that sounds weird, I never have any trouble understanding the speaker. –  apathos Aug 15 '11 at 0:46
It doesn’t remove parts of the audio until it gets too fast to play back (just like how it won’t drop frames until it can no longer display them fast enough). I too get up to 2x for some scenes (in movies or shows), but more active ones need 1.2-1.3x to be clear. Credits are the best; they can go to ~8x (you never know if they snuck something in there, so simply skipping forward may miss something). –  Synetech Aug 15 '11 at 0:53
thanks, I didn't notice VLC already provides this m-7 –  Tobias Kienzler Aug 15 '11 at 18:48
No problem. The default keys are - and + for ±1x increments and [ and ] for ±0.1x increments and = to reset to 100%. –  Synetech Aug 16 '11 at 0:15
Couldn't work out how to do it in MPC-HC, but VLC works great! :-) –  Simon Jul 28 '13 at 6:57
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VLC can play audio while changing video speed. It free/open source and is available on just about every platform.


It doesnt do the down-pitching out of the box, but it has so many features that it might be able to.

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Yes. You can control the speed without effecting pitch by clicking the 1.00 tab on the lower right of the display. It will playback at speeds as low as .25 I use the VLC Player from Videolan.org. I play music and can figure out ANY guitar solo with this feature.

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Huh?​​​​​​​​​​​ –  Synetech Feb 6 '12 at 0:48
thanks, I didn't notice the 1.00x tab can be clicked as well before (although I still prefer hotkeys) –  Tobias Kienzler Feb 6 '12 at 6:17
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