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There are ton of videos online that I like to watch but many are too slow. Often, the video plays at the speed it was recorded, but the original speaker was some intellectual who has a lot of pauses and is slow to speak. Like most videos found here:

How can I play these videos at a faster rate? I have been downloading and playing with mplayer, but that gets annoying having to find the real URL to download the video, type the long mplayer switches to download, then another command to actually play. Is there a good flash player or something that can just play directly? I know media player has a speed option, but it doesn't seem to buffer fast enough and the video ends up pausing for filling up the buffer.

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Simple answer use firefox and a plugin like download helper. There are three or four of them so you can find one that better suits you.

Downloading is relatively easy but you do have to wait for it to download.

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MySpeed has handled pretty much anything I throw at it. Various flash players on different sites all work with this tool. It has a simple slider that you use to control the playback speed:

alt text

MySpeed is shareware, try before you buy.

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