Netflix is testing variable-speed playback

Netflix app running on a Pixel 2
Netflix app running on a Pixel 2 (Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • A Netflix viewer tipped Android Police that the app now includes variable-speed playback.
  • Netflix confirms that it tests features like this.
  • It will be interesting to see how much directors let Netflix mess with their creation.

Netflix is testing a feature that will allow viewers to speed up or slow down programs, according to a tip received by Android Police. Some Android users have reported via Twitter that their Netflix apps are already endowed with this feature, though the number appears to be quite few.

In a screenshot obtained by Android Police, Netflix offers playback speeds at a rate of "0.5x," "0.75x," "1x (Normal)," "1.25x," and "1.5x." Presumably Netflix will adjust pitch to sound normal at the higher speed, but it is curious what audio and visual details may be lost.

The move comes at a curious time, as Netflix prepares to release "The Irishman" from Director Martin Scorcese. Scorcese has recently been critical of comic book movies on the premise that they are "not cinema." It will be interesting to see if Netflix applies this variable speed playback option to all programming, or whether the creator's intent will come into play.

Philip Berne