I watch a lot of videos. Technical interviews and webcasts, mostly. I'm not much of a YouTube person. Channel9, DNRtv, the DVDs with all the TechEd sessions on them, that's what I watch. And I watch on planes and in hotel rooms, to pass the time, or because there's one specific thing I want to learn. But I am an impatient person. Especially when I'm alone, I just cannot go slow. So I love that I can speed videos up with Windows Media Player.
It's not a simple option to find. You click Now Playing, then Enhancements, then Play Speed Settings. And presto, you control your impatience level:
I generally live at 1.4. This gets you through a 1 hour video in 43 minutes with really no loss of understandability. I might slow it down to 1.0 during a demo if I want to take notes and capture the code or the steps as the demo proceeds. I move up to 2.0 if the person is explaining something I already know. This is one way to make that huge pile of stuff you are trying to catch up with just a little more bite sized. As well, because you really have to concentrate at 1.4, I don't do that continuous partial attention thing where the video is playing but I'm checking my email, answering a few things, IM-ing two people and the hotel room TV is on CNN all at the same time, and then -surprise!- I can't really remember much of what I just watched. By really really watching for half or 3/4 of the time, I really learn what I set out to learn. Works for me.