Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Netflix is rolling out video speed controls

Illustration for article titled Netflix is rolling out video speed controls
Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Good news for anyone desperate to finish the latest season of The Umbrella Academy before the world actually, no-fooling, pulling-the-plug-here, up and for-reals-y ends: Netflix is rolling out its long-rumored video playback speed controls this weekend. For Android users, anyway; per The Verge, users of the streamer’s Android app will soon be able to play its content at 0.5x, 0.75x, 1.25x, or 1.5x speeds, freeing us all from the tyranny of time at last.

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Netflix first began testing out this time-saving/time-wasting feature last year, promising a world of wonders in which no one would have to merely imagine what episodes of Nailed It! would be like if they were an hour long, and also everyone involved was trapped in some sort of time-dilating force field. (Although the company does say its tech corrects for pitch differences caused by speed changes, so Nicole Byer’s enthusiastic shrieks will remain in their proper register.)

What’s most interesting about the new feature, though, is all the ways the company has gone out of its way not to have a filmmakers’ revolt on its hands; the initial announcement of the feature was met with concern from creators, angry that their content wouldn’t be consumed at the speeds they were intended for. (Dear film and TV makers: Never make a podcast, those people are brutal when it comes to double-time listens.) In deference to these issues, Netflix opted to make the feature both less powerful and less convenient; a spokesperson for the service said those concerns are why the speed-up feature is capped at 1.5x speed, and why playback speed defaults back to normal any time you start a new episode or movie. That being said, Netflix has been praised by both the National Association of the Deaf and the National Federation of the Blind for the feature, which makes its content more accessible to people living with disabilities.

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The feature is expected to begin rolling out tomorrow, and will be available globally within a few weeks.

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