After tinkering a while, I've managed to figure out a way to cut down the time it takes to watch a video. This works for me, on my Mac; your mileage may vary:
- Make sure you have the appropriate codecs installed. I generally use the Perian codec package. I additionally find that some FLVs require QTPro to be installed; it's not very expensive.
- Download the video somehow. Some sites, like Google Video, let you download a copy. Others, like YouTube, do not allow this. However, most embedded flash video can be grabbed via the technique in the bottom video in the demo videos at Perian.
- Open the video in QuickTime. The video is now happily outside the browser.
- Go to Window → Show A/V Controls; change the playback speed in the relevant window. I find that 2.0x generally works pretty well; the video will be faster and the audio is a little clipped but nicely de-chipmunked.
- Enjoy your new lecture! The glacial discussion now arrives at a rapid-fire pace. You'll be too busy trying to keep up to play Desktop Tower Defense, and you'll be done in a half hour.