Netflix lets users adjust playback speed but not everyone’s happy about it

Netflix have begun rolling out a feature that lets you watch shows faster or slower with playback speed controls.

The new playback speed controls allows subscribers to quickly switch between 0.5x, 0.75x, 1x, 1.25x and 1.5x speed, on streamed and downloaded content. Pitching of audio isn’t disrupted at different speeds. The speed choices are similar to YouTube’s, with slightly less choice.

The feature has begun rolling out to Andoid phones, with futher roll including iOS and web planned for the coming weeks.

The feature has been much requested by members for years. Most important of all, our tests show that consumers value the flexibility it provides whether it’s rewatching their favorite scene or slowing things down because they’re watching with subtitles or have hearing difficulties.

Keela Robison, Vice President of Product Innovation, Netflix

Netflix mentioned testing the feature last year, but were met with critism from director and actors for allowing the ability to fundamentally change how their shows are displayed.

In response to the critisms made last year, Netflix responded:

We’ve also been mindful of the concerns of some creators. It’s why we have capped the range of playback speeds and require members to vary the speed each time they watch something new — versus fixing their settings based on the last speed they used.

Netflix spokesperson to The Verge

The move hasn’t been met with total disdain. The National Association of the Deaf thanked Netflix for the change, with it giving deaf people a slowed down reading experience with subtitles.

Everette Bacon from the National Federation of the Blind said: “Many people in the blind community can understand and appreciate audio played at a much faster pace than what might be comfortable for most sighted people.”

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