All the Beatles' UK albums sped up 800% into a 1 hour MP3

Steve McLaughlin took all the UK Beatles LPs and compressed them into a single, 1-hour MP3 by increasing their tempo by 800 percent. The resulting file is a little hard to listen to, but it's an impressive accomplishment, nevertheless. I'm up to "Hard Day's Night," and it's starting to cause hallucinations. Link (Thanks, Hendrik!)


  1. …Otay, lemme guess: if you drink the water from Scalos, not only will you be able to hear the songs normally, you’ll be able to easily sidestep a phaser set on stun, but the downside is that a scratch will hyperaccellerate your aging process and you’ll die within minutes :p

  2. Technically, this was not sped up. If it were, the pitch would raise and I would wager be beyond the range of human hearing and probably beyond the range of most speakers too.

    They just used the time compression feature on any one of a number of current digital audio programs, but time compression does not speed things up, it removes. It uses some complex algorithms I can’t pretend to understand to take out the ‘least important’ bits of the sound, then removes those gaps to make the file shorter. Usually, it’s just shaving off bits of silence, but when you do it overkill like this, it’s just taking lots and lots of random, very short, cuts out of a very long file.

  3. #2, does everything in life have to have a point to it?

    Have you ever watched TV, played video games, or perhaps read Boing Boing? I thought so.

  4. First, I’ll bet anything that John would have *loved* this!!

    Second, once you get to Sgt. Pepper’s, it really starts to become genuinely beautiful, like an oddly-shaped raga.

    Third, what it almost sounds like is when we used to take a record album and spin it as fast as we could while slow enough to keep the needle in the groove. Gosh, I really do miss vinyl.

    Fourth, this is *exactly* what the Internet is for, precisely.

  5. Check out Editor B’s decompression. I found that very entertaining.

    Re: #4s comment about #2. “I am not a number — I am a free man!”

  6. Squid, actually there are many time-compression algorithms that do in fact work by speeding up the audio (uniformly, not by detecting and removing silence or “unimportant” parts of the signal), and then pitch-shifting (transposing) it back down to compensate. Speeding up the audio is easy; glitchless pitch-shifting is the hard part, especially for polyphonic material or an entire mix.

  7. JS7A, no artifacts, even on complex polyphonic material? Even Lexicon, Eventide, SoundToys, etc, don’t make that claim.

  8. I wonder what it sounds like decompressed and re-corrected? Arrrrr. *downloads file, opens CoolEdit and/or Traktor*

  9. phasor3000, yes, almost. I guess that Lexicon, etc. don’t use a sinc-shaped window, or don’t propagate transient phases using spectral bin peak detection. That would not be surprising because efficient phase vocoders didn’t even exist before the late ’90s, and the typical attempt at it uses Hamming-shaped windows, or some half-assed attempt at phase propagation that screws up on sharp attacks.

    I shouldn’t say no artifacts, because any window-based STFT method loses high frequency detail if the windows are too long. But for professional audio applications you would typically use windows that only smear frequencies above adult hearing range or the resolution of the underlying audio format, whichever is lower. Maybe kids can hear the blurring at 15,000 Hz, but I doubt it.

  10. RIAA: sue! sue! sue! how dare you gain benefit from so much of our content in such a short time? we must do whatever it takes to stop this unorthodox and unauthorized enjoyment of our property!

  11. “impressive accomplishment” I dunno… maybe for having enough RAM to load that much audio data into their audio program? before using the equivalent of photoshop’s mozaic filter? of course, this is conceptual art and should be judged thusly, not on process/technical difficulty.

    the visual equivalent:

  12. Oh, I certainly agree it’s an “impressive accomplishment.” First, lots of effort involved. So even if you look at it the same way we look at a hundred pushups or eating 80 chicken nuggets in 5 minutes, it’s an impressive accomplishment. Second, there’s the Art behind it. No one has done this particular piece of Art before, and it has had enough of an impression on people to be considered impressive.

    Not attempting to be pedantic, I just strayed there after becoming distracted by a bumblebee.

  13. I’m glad to offer you the compressed, complete catalog of REO Speedwagon, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Kansas, Journey and Toto in one millisecond of sound.

    There! Wanna hear it again?

  14. This is very cool to hear — I’m all for retwisting and reworking albums into non-traditional listening enjoyments while retaining some sliver of the original.

    Does anyone know of any other albums/artist catalogs that have been tweaked in order to create an entirely new listening experience? I don’t know how else to express this, other than my friends and I once discovered that Weezer’s first album is oddly and harmoniously beautiful when played entirely backwards. We weren’t expecting backmasking, and didn’t find any, but the result was oddly pleasant.

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