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Netflix testing video speed controls for everybody in a hurry to watch everything and then die

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The podcasting community has long been rocked—rocked, we say!—by the question of what’s the “proper” speed at which to listen to our various vehicles for improv comedy and Casper mattress ads. Some people (humans) say it’s at 1x, i.e. the speed our human brains were designed to listen to speech at, as humans. Others suggest 1.25 times faster, or even 1.5, are more ideal fits for a world in which there’s ever-more content waiting to batter down our doors. A few rogue mavericks suggest saving time by listening to their podcasts at 500 times speed, at which point every episode of WTF just turns into a high-pitched whine of Marc Maron asking “Aaaaare weeeee gooooooood?” Nobody suggests anything any slower than 1.0x, because that would be insane.

Anyway: Now this exciting, nigh-endless debate will soon be enjoyable by a whole lot more people, because Netflix is reportedly testing out a feature that will allow some users to control the playback speed of the streaming service’s stuff. The goal, presumably, being to make it easier for someone to watch the entirety of the service’s massive library of content, and then die, peaceful in the knowledge that they’d finally gotten something done in this incomplete and endlessly unsatisfying world.


The nature of tests like these—which tend to get sent out to a small handful of users at a time—always make reports of their existence annoyingly anecdotal, but Android Police reports that several users of the Netflix Android app have reported seeing the speed controls pop up in their menus in recent weeks and months. Meanwhile, it’s worth noting that this isn’t the first time a video provider has offered a service like this; TiVo has been giving its users QuickMode—which speeds up recorded programs by 30 percent—for years. But now, it sounds like the DVR company is facing some stiff competition in the “Why is my leisure time moving so goddamn slow!” market; impatient relaxers, your time has apparently come round at last.

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