Our brains can process the spoken word faster than we tend to speak. An idea for a new service based on that is to take podcasts and digitally speed them up for people. With digital audio editing it's possible to speed up clips without making them sound like the chipmonks. This means you could listen to more podcasts in a given time.
A basic setup would be a web site that people would go to and simply enter the URI of the podcast they are interested in along with the amount of adjustment to make. Say, 5, 10, or 15 percent. I'm not sure what the real numbers would be and it would need some experimenting to see at what point the speed becomes too much, but you get the idea.
The web site would then simply return a new podcast URI to use instead of the original one. At a given interval the site would check for new show on the original podcast and if there was one, download it, apply the speed adjustment and update the client feed to inform them of the new show.
Since this is all automated, you could also drop in a short ad at the front and back of the clip. A "this podcast was speed up to save you time by fasterpodcast.com and is sponsored by Joe's bait shop."
I'm not sure what the rights issues would be, but since the web site is really nothing more than a filter for content, it might be all right.
Of course, I'm sure there would be lawyers involved at some point.
If someone does this and makes a ton of money, please just throw a little my way.
Update: November, 2021
Yeah, podcast players have offered this feature for a while now but in 2007 it wasn't a thing yet.