Radio stations speeding up songs?

In this thread, Ludovic mentions a radio station speeding up Black Sabbath’s Paranoid. For real? Why? I can see how they might have done this back in the days of vinyl, but speeding up a song too much would affect the pitch. And really, didn’t stations get access to edited versions of the songs because they thought longer songs wouldn’t succeed ? Aren’t radio stations using digital hardware now, and wouldn’t that prevent them from speeding up songs?

Back in the 70s, radio stations routinely sped up songs by about 10%. Thus, a three-minute song has about 18 seconds cut out of it. Do that twice and you can easily fit an extra 30 second ad. If you had a good ear, you could tell the difference.

With electronics, it’s also possible to speed up a song without increasing the pitch. I wouldn’t be surprised if stations were doing it – the song would sound any different and the only way to be sure would be to time it.

Reported in one of the broadcasting magazines back in the 70s, listeners would get used to the faster versions, call the other stations and tell them their turntables were slow. Gives a new sense to those “More music, more often” jingles.

On the contrary. Much of modern radio is automated to a larger or lesser degree. Obviously, a morning show has less automation, whereas a show between midnight and 6 a.m. is most likely pre-recorded. The pre-recording is done by having the d.j. record all the voice overs in one session and then the computer spreads out those voice overs among the songs. The system we work with has this to say in the faq:
"Yes, one of the strong features of Master Control is time stretching and squeezing during real time playback or in the production room to precisely size the audio so it fits the necessary space requirement."From here.
Using computers has made this easy because the software can compensate the pitch shift up to +/- 10 per cent speed shift without you really noticing, unless paying glse attention. Ideally, it shouldn’t be more than 5 per cent change.

They also snip verses out of songs to make them shorter.