The other day, I said that slowing down podcasts sounded like a great job for automator. TUAW reader Dave agreed, and sent us a link to his PodastConverter (jpg) Automator action. Dave takes the long way around and follows the conventional wisdom of turning the podcasts into audiobooks rather than using QuickTime to manipulate the MP3s directly. The advantage to this approach is that the 'casts will be listenable at much higher speeds. Many people claim to be able to listen to most podcasts at 2.5x or faster. That's almost twice as fast as what you can get from QuickTime, where things start to sound garbled around 1.5x in most cases. On the other hand, converting a bunch of podcasts from MP3 to AAC takes time, processor power, and storage space, so YMMV.
Dave hasn't posted the action for download, but he has posted a JPEG of the entire action, complete with detailed instructions. So in addition to being a useful little app, this is also a great introduction to Automator if you aren't already familiar.