Do you know the art of speed observation? This is when you watch video at 1.25, 1.5, or even twice (2.0) normal speed. Imagine ending a one-hour TED talk in 30 minutes flat. It would save you a lot of time and allow you to consume more content in the same amount of time. This is where YouTube’s play speed feature comes in.
You can slowly increase the playback speed one notch at a time, but you can also slow things down. For example, reduce YouTube’s playback speed to less than one if you’re having trouble understanding the speaker’s accent. Other useful examples might be finding, transcribing, or finding Easter eggs in trailers.
Let’s see how you can control playback speed in YouTube apps on Android, iOS, and web apps.
1. Control the playback speed of YouTube on the web
Let’s start with the web application. Many of us enjoy watching YouTube on our smart TVs or on our computer. A larger screen is always welcome. Open YouTube and play your favorite video.
Step 1: Click the settings icon in the shape of a universal gear.
2nd step: Click on Playback Speed in the small menu that appears. It currently indicates Normal (current speed) which corresponds to the regular speed which is 1.
Step 3: Any value you select above Normal speed or less than 1 will slow down the video, and any value you choose under Normal or greater than 1 will increase playback speed.
So 0.5 will reduce the speed to exactly half. Did you notice the custom button at the top? This option will allow you to choose a custom value using a slider. So instead of changing the playback speed from 0.5 to 0.25, you can choose something in between, like 0.35.
No need to save anything. You can change the playback speed in real time without having to pause and replay the video. Just choose a speed and watch the image speed decrease / increase instantly.
4. Other YouTube playback options
Controlling the playback speed of videos is not the only thing you can do on YouTube. There are a few other options on the same menu that are worth exploring.
You can change the video quality manually or set it to Auto, in which case YouTube would choose a quality based on your internet speed and the options available. YouTube supports very few HD or 4K videos. A lot will also depend on the screen of your device, as not all displays support HDR and HDR10.
You can turn the subtitles on or off. Subtitles are not available for all videos, but if you can show the option, it’s there. Otherwise, the option is not even visible.
Finally, you can watch videos in VR mode on your smartphone if you have a VR headset.
Move fast, break things
The ability to control playback speed on YouTube is appearing on more platforms as we speak. The latest app to join the fray is Netflix. The popular streaming platform recently released the feature. Imagine all the shows and movies that you can binge watch and save time too. Even more useful when you watch it for the second or umpteenth time, because by then you already know all the plot twists and not run the risk of losing anything.
Reading speed control is a useful feature that many people underestimate. It will take a while for you to get comfortable. I suggest you start slowly and increase the speed 0.25 at a time. Switching to a higher number can ruin the experience. You have to let it sync, get used to the speed before you increase it again.
Want to improve your YouTube viewing experience? Click the link below to explore our in-depth guide to YouTube personalization.
Last updated on August 11, 2020
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