Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Jon's Five['ish] Tips for catching up with Build (or any other Channel 9 event)

Jon Galloway - 5 Tricks for catching up on the Channel 9 event videos for Build 2014

Okay, you've had a week to digest all the video content from Build 2014? Done yet? Me, neither. Well, how about some tricks to make this easier?

I'd written up a few tips and tricks for catching up on Channel 9 event videos back in 2011, this is an update circa 2014.

Trick 1: Subscribe and watch at high speed in VLC

There are a lot of sessions, and watching even at 10% faster makes a difference. I think you'll be surprised at how, with a little practice, you can keep cranking the speed up and absorb the content at 2x or even faster. Note: Every time I tell people about high speed playback, people assume it's going to make the speakers sound like chipmunks. All of the high speed playback options I'm going to show are pitch corrected, so they don't raise the speakers' voices.

If you don't have VLC installed, I highly recommend it. It's lightweight and has a minimal interface, but is packed with codecs and advanced features when you need them. You can install via Chocolatey (cinst vlc), directly from, or from

Run VLC and pop into Playlist mode. You can do that from the View menu, hit Ctrl+L, or click on the Playlist icon at the bottom to do that.


Trick 2: Use high speed playback in the Channel 9 player

HTML5 video players in all the new browsers support high speed playback. Here's an example showing the Day 1 Keynote on the Channel 9 site; I've right clicked the video to bring up the context menu and I'm about to kick it up to 2x.


Trick 3: Subscribe to the MP3 feed on Windows Phone 8.1

One of my favorite sleeper features in Windows Phone 8.1 is support for high speed playback in the new Podcasts app. For this one, I wanted to add the MP3 URL for just the Build 2014 event:

But that's a bit long to type on the phone, so I made a special short URL:


[GD: There's no 4... doh!]

Trick 5: Downloading videos using a script

In the past, I've published some Powershell scripts for bulk downloading Channel 9 videos. Here' s one, updated for Build 2014. But don't run it just yet, because I think I've found a better options, which I'll show you next.


These will work for just about any Channel 9 Event too.

Another great tip (which we'll call #4 ;) is to use the Channel 9 Queue feature. Once you sign-in with a Channel 9 profile, you can add any Channel 9 video to your private queue. Your queue is also available via a RSS feed, so Jon's tips should work fine for it too. What's nice is that you can reorder your queue, which reorders your RSS feed...

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