Netflix has given people the speed at which they choose to watch shows on their phones or tablets with new playback controls,media The Verge reported. Netflix will allow anyone using an Android mobile device to watch at a speed of 0.5 or 0.75 times, and 1.25 times or 1.5 times faster. These options are slightly smaller than YouTube, which allows people to slow down to 0.25 times faster and speed up twice as fast as normal playback. Downloads that people save for offline viewing also have the playback speed option.
Users must choose to use the speed at which each show they want to watch, and it doesn’t just keep the user active when they choose something else to watch. This prevents people from accidentally viewing everything at 1.5 times faster without wanting to. The feature will be available on Saturday and will be available to everyone worldwide in the coming weeks.
Netflix’s announcement that it will test the feature in 2019 has faced a backlash from Hollywood’s creative world. Actor Aaron Paul and director Brad Bird have spoken out against Netflix’s decision to introduce broadcast controls, with director Judd Apatow tweeting in October that “distributors can’t change the way content is presented.”
According to Netflix’s team, the company’s team is rolling out features that are trying to work with the creative community to ensure that content quality is not disturbed, including automatically correcting “tones in audio at faster and slower speeds.” “We’ve also been aware of the concerns of some creators,” a company spokesman told The Verge. “That’s why we limit the range of playback speeds and ask members to change their speed each time they watch something new — not to fix their settings based on the speed they use last time.”
It is understandable that the creative community wants their work to be seen in a particular way. That’s why Christopher Nolan refused to let his film premiere anywhere outside the theater. But changes in distribution patterns over the past few decades have upended the industry. VHS, DVD and Blu-ray players, as well as digital retailers and PVR, give viewers more control over the way movies and TV shows are watched.
Keela Robison, Netflix’s vice president of product innovation, talks about years of technology that have changed to make different types of viewing possible and why Netflix decided to move on after a brief testing phase. “For years, members have been demanding this feature,” Robison wrote. “Most importantly, our tests show that consumers value the flexibility it provides, whether it’s re-watching their favorite scenes or slowing down because they’re watching with subtitles or have hearing impairments.”
Both the American Association of the Deaf and the American Federation of the Blind praised Netflix for adding playing. Howard A. Rosenblum, chief executive of the American Association of the Deaf, says that because subtitles slow down (and speed up) to keep pace with images on the screen, they can help deaf people who may prefer subtitles to be slower. On the other hand, many people in the blind community “can understand and appreciate audio playing at a more comfortable speed than most people with normal vision,” Everette Bacon, a board member of the American Federation of the Blind, said in a statement.
Netflix is planning to focus on the creative community and how users react to the speed of playback. The company will also start testing iOS devices and web apps, but Netflix’s TV app has not yet set a test ingon.