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Netflix allows people to watch things faster or slower with new speed controls

Netflix lets people choose the speed at which they want to watch something on their phone or tablet with new play buttons.

With Netflix, anyone on an Android mobile device can stream at a speed of 0.5x or 0.75x for slow motion and 1.25x or 1.5x speed for faster viewing. Those are slightly less options than YouTube, allowing people to slow down all the way to 0.25x speeds and play twice as fast. Playback speed options are also available for downloaded titles that people have saved for offline viewing.

Subscribers should choose to use the playback speeds with every title they want to watch; it doesn’t just stay active if you choose something else to watch. This prevents people from accidentally viewing everything at 1.5x speed if they don’t want to. The feature will be rolled out tomorrow and will be available to everyone worldwide in the coming weeks.

Netflix announced that it was testing the feature in 2019 and that there was a backlash from Hollywood’s creative community. Actor Aaron Paul and director Brad Bird spoke out against Netflix’s decision to introduce the playback controls, and director Judd Apatow tweeted in October that “distributors do not change the way content is presented.”

The Netflix team is introducing a number of features with the rollout to try to collaborate with the creative community to ensure content quality is not disturbed, including automatically correcting “the pitch in the audio with faster and slower speeds, “according to the company.

“We also took into account the concerns of some creators,” said a spokesman The edge. “That’s why we limited the range of playback speeds and required members to vary the speed every time they view something new – instead of changing their settings based on the last speed they used.”

The creative community understandably wants their work to be seen in a specific way. Therefore, Christopher Nolan refuses to premiere his films anywhere else than in a theater. However, distribution methods have changed in recent decades and have already disrupted industry. VHS, DVD and Blu-ray players, along with digital retailers and PVRs, have given viewers more control over how they watch movies and TV shows. There are those who listen to podcasts at higher playback speeds and, anecdotally, I watch all YouTube videos at twice the speed.

Keela Robison, Netflix’s vice president of product innovation, spoke about the technological changes that have enabled different types of viewers in recent years and why Netflix decided to move on from a brief test phase.

“The position has been in high demand by members for years,” Robison wrote. Most important of all, our tests show that consumers appreciate the flexibility it offers, whether it’s re-watching their favorite scene or slowing things down because they’re watching subtitles or have hearing problems. ”

Both the National Association of the Deaf and the National Federation of the Blind have praised Netflix for adding the playback features. Because subtitles are slowed (and also accelerated) to stay on time with the images on the screen, it can help the deaf who may prefer the subtitles at a slightly slower speed, said Howard A. Rosenblum, CEO of the National Association of the Deaf . On the other hand, many people in the blind community can “understand and appreciate the audio being played at a much faster rate than what is comfortable for the most sighted people,” said Everette Bacon, a board member of the National Federation of the Blind, in a statement.

Netflix plans to monitor the response to the playback speeds of both the creative community and subscribers. The company will also begin testing on iOS devices and the web version of the app, but no testing phase has been set for the Netflix TV app.