Netflix to let you adjust playback speed of shows, movies

Joanna Estrada
August 4, 2020

Well, you are in luck.

After facing criticism from creators across the industry, Netflix has made a decision to go ahead and roll out their new playback speed altering option for Android users.

Netflix's new playback speed controls are being slowly rolled out, it seems, as Gadgets 360 was unable to see the feature on three separate accounts across devices in India.

Netflix will now let all users of its Android app play back video at different rates - ranging from half-speed to 1.5 times faster - a feature that elicited a strongly negative response from some Hollywood creators when the streamer began testing it out last fall.

Netflix hasn't quite caught up with Youtube when it comes to variable speed binging just yet. These playback options will also be available for content that users download for offline viewing. This is a feature that must be activated manually each time we play a series, documentary, or movie, and it will not remain active between playback sessions.

Aaron Paul was another who wasn't keen. "Distributors don't get to change the way the content is presented", Apatow tweeted. Because it's not against the law. It delayed the rollout as the feature had some niggles and needed optimization. This includes automatically correcting "the pitch in the audio at faster and slower speeds".

The feature was initially announced by Netflix in 2019, but faced criticism from filmmakers who were opposed to the idea.

However, Netflix has said it has been mindful of the concerns of creators, which is why it has limited the range of possible playback speeds.

The move has been in the works for a while but has been criticised by the creators as it detracts from the original format and how it was meant to be watched.

This has apparently been "much requested by members for years", according to Keela Robison, Netflix's VP of product innovation. Well, the ability to watch titles at a slower speed will provide users the flexibility to watch their favorite scene slower or read the subtitles without the necessity of pausing.

Netflix has been lauded for the feature by two USA organisations representing people with disabilities - the National Association of the Deaf and the National Federation of the Blind.

The added bonus is the speed changes will help those who are trying to keep up with closed captions too, as they'll be slowed down along with the video.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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