In Netflix’s Android app, users can soon change the playback speed. Netflix wants to introduce this feature despite criticism from movie makers – possibly so we can consume even more streaming content in less time?

Watching series faster or slower than normal: is that what we really want? Netflix will be introducing the ability to change the playback speed for Android users in the next few days. This is reported by the US-American technology portal The Verge and refers to the streaming company.

We should then be able to slow down the speed in the Android app to 0.5 or 0.75 or accelerate to 1.25 or 1.5. We already know this from YouTube, only that the variable playback speed on the video streaming platform seems to make much more sense at first glance.

On YouTube we finally watch videos of very different formats. For example, if someone talks to us too fast or too slow in a tutorial, we can simply adjust the speed and fix the problem.

Playback speed on Netflix: Critics hail from Hollywood

Netflix had already conducted initial tests on variable playback speed in the fall of 2019. According to Keela Robinson, deputy director of product development at Netflix, customers have also appreciated the new flexibility.

“Whether it’s watching their favorite scene again or slowing things down because they’re watching with subtitles or have hearing problems,” she told The Verge.

But Netflix has not only received positive feedback with the new feature. Judd Apatow, a successful director, scriptwriter and producer, has been criticized on Twitter.

“We give you beautiful things. Leave them the way they should be seen,” he writes on the short news platform.

Netflix automatically adjusts sound to playback speed

Robinson later responded to the criticism in a blog entry by Netflix. “We were sensitive to the concerns of the developers and did not consider larger screens, especially televisions, in this test.”

Netflix also wants to automatically adjust the sound when users change the playback speed of series and movies. This is to prevent content from being played at a different pitch.

In addition, the playback speed is also not automatically saved. Users have to set it manually each time they want to watch content slower or faster.

How useful is the new Netflix feature?

With podcasts and YouTube videos, it’s often a blessing to have the choice of a slower or faster playback speed. But can you compare such formats to Netflix productions?

After all, series and movies are very well thought-out art. Filmmakers usually have something in mind with the dynamics used.

However, the feature could be suitable for documentaries and possibly sitcoms – in other words, for formats in which the atmosphere is not as important as in blockbuster films.

The high art of conscious consumption

However, we should be aware that Netflix now has great power over us because so many people use the streaming provider. The ability to change playback speed is also a piece of the puzzle of globalized acceleration.

Science, technology and business are developing at an uncontrolled rate. In everyday life we often have the feeling of being under time pressure and having to do more in less time – this causes stress and ultimately illness.

For this very reason it is important that we consume consciously again and live more slowly. Of course, the easiest way to decelerate our leisure time is to do so. But to do this, more than ever, we must resist temptations such as manual playback speed.