Your Netflix may have just been shortened considerably if you like to Sonic The Hedgehog your way through TV shows and movies with playback features that will let users control the speed with which their content is played. Playback features have long been available on audiobooks and some podcast apps, and even YouTube allows videos to be slowed down or sped up using similar features. But Netflix had held off until recently, when it appears to have added some features for one of its many ways to watch the service’s streaming properties.
According to The Verge, Netflix introduced new features for Android phone users who have the Netflix app, making good on a news item from back in 2019 about potential new playback speeds coming to the streaming service:
Netflix will allow anyone on an Android mobile device to stream at either 0.5x or 0.75x speeds for slowed-down viewing and 1.25x or 1.5x speeds for faster watching. Those are slightly fewer options than YouTube, which allows people to slow all the way down to 0.25x speeds, and speed up by twice the normal playback speed. Playback speed options are also available on downloaded titles that people have saved for offline viewing.
The Verge also quotes a Netflix spokesperson, who said the company has “been mindful of the concerns of some creators … It’s why we have capped the range of playback speeds and require members to vary the speed each time they watch something new — versus fixing their settings based on the last speed they used.”
There are a lot of caveats here, obviously, starting with the fact that it’s a mobile-only option for downloaded content. It’s also currently an Android-only feature, but it does prove that it’s possible and likely to become available on other platforms as the kinks get worked out. The feature reportedly rolls out starting tomorrow and will be available globally shortly after that, and Judd Apatow and Aaron Paul probably still won’t be thrilled with the news. It’s unclear how many people will use the technology, or even know that it’s possible, but for some who have longed to watch Ozark‘s slow burn play out a lot faster, they now have their chance.
(Via The Verge)