If you’re trying to catch up on a show that everyone else is talking about but you’re pressed for time, Netflix has a solution for you. You can watch episodes in sped-up times if you’re on mobile. This feature was brought up a few months ago but was met by staunch criticism from creators. But it looks like the streaming giant is going ahead with speed controls as they have now started rolling it out for Android app users.
Speed controls are of course not a new concept as we had them in older DVD players and VCRs. For things like podcasts and audiobooks, this is also a pretty common practice. But when it comes to video content, there has been some pushback from creators as they believe there is something lost when you adjust the speed from what they originally intended. This is also true for apps or devices that let viewers control aspect ratio changes.
Despite the criticism from creators and producers, Netflix is going ahead with playback video speed controls for those using the Android app on their smartphones and tablets. If you want to watch videos at a slower rate, you have the option to slow it down to 0.75x or 0.5x. But if you want to speed it up, you can do so by 1.25x and 1.5x. In case you’re worried about the audio, the pitch will also be altered so it will not sound “weird”.
You will have to make the adjustment to playback speeds with every video that you want to apply this to. It will not remain active for all the videos that you want to watch after you’ve chosen your desired speed. This is their way of being mindful of the concerns from creators who voiced out their opposition to the feature when it was first floated around last year. They say it is a much-requested feature from users and has also been lauded by some organizations for enhancing its accessibility.
The playback speed controls started rolling out to the Android app users last August 1. Let’s see if we get more pushback or if this is something that creators will have to live with if their content is on the platform.