Pet Please #124: YouTube’s Accelerate Feature

shutterstock_79093582-2Last Friday, I was getting ready to leave my condo for dinner (more ramen, of course). I realized, though, that I was actually a little early. I had about 6 minutes to spare, even if traffic was bad.

What could I do in 6 minutes? My inbox was clear, and I didn’t have anything to check or update. I did, however, have a YouTube video queued up in Chrome…but it was 12 minutes long.

That’s when I remembered a feature on YouTube that I’ve started using more often lately. If you click on the little gear at the bottom right of a video and select “Speed,” you’re given a number of options ranging from 0.25x (25% slower than normal) to 2x (200% faster than normal).

So I selected the 2x option and watched a 12-minute video in 6 minutes.

Amazing.

When I originally started using this feature, I found it hard to believe that I could consume the information at 1.5x or 2x speed. But somehow it just works. It probably doesn’t work for every video–if someone is already a fast talker or the images on the screen are really important, it wouldn’t be effective.

In fact, I wouldn’t use the feature for any comedic video, as timing in comedy is so important. But for non-visual TED talks or game reviews, it’s perfect.

Whenever I accelerate videos in this way, I feel like I’m using my time more effectively, which I love. And the biggest thing is the flexibility it offers. If I want to work out for 5 minutes or brush my teeth for 4 minutes, I can alter the speed of a video to fit that timeframe. I love it.

Have you ever tried this feature? If so, how and when do you use it?


7 Responses to “Pet Please #124: YouTube’s Accelerate Feature”

  1. RodeoClown says:

    I love this feature, and use it all the time. It drives me mad that I can’t speed up podcasts on my (old) phone!

    How fast you can go depends on the speaker, so when I watch (for instance) your design commentary videos, I play it at double speed, as your relaxed speaking rate is perfectly comprehensible at 2x speed, while some others (Tom Vasel for instance), I can only manage 1.5x speed.

    I’d like it if they added a 1.75 spot on the slider too…

  2. Andrew Wilson says:

    I use the speed-up feature pretty often. The most frequent uses are for Rahdo’s runthroughs and for between-game commentary in competitive League of Legends videos. However, I watch a lot of videos at work, and I’m generally not paying one hundred percent attention to those, so I never speed them up.

    But it’s nice to know that if I’m doing nothing but watching a video, and the person in the video starts to talk a little slowly, I can just speed him or her up a bit and still enjoy the content.

  3. Jamey Stegmaier says:

    RodeoClown: Yeah, I’d like a 1.75x speed as well. 🙂 It’s interesting that you speed me up to 2x–I always think I’m speaking too quickly!

    Andrew: I’m the same way–I’ve I’m only half paying attention to something, I prefer to play it at normal speed.

  4. John Coveyou says:

    Haha, so funny you mention this. I’ve watched all your game mechanics video at 1.5x to 2x the speed, just to consume the content as quickly as possible. If something specific sparks my interest, I go back and listen at the regular speed… But you asked, so there it is…

  5. Katie says:

    It’s funny because I never thought about using this for content videos, but I do it for music videos all the time! I use some music streaming services, but sometimes I’ll just listen to playlists on YouTube if I’m already there because I was watching else. I use the accelerate feature to speed up slower songs if I’m in the mood for something with a faster pace. It’s like making my own club version without all of the excess bass and remixing from overzealous DJ’s. There are some songs where I actually like the accelerated version better than the original!

  6. Jamey Stegmaier says:

    Katie: Interesting, I never thought of using this feature for music videos, but I like how it gives you DJ power over the music!

    John: Ha ha, that’s good to know!

  7. I struggle to watch any videos at anything below 2x I’ve been watching at that for so long now. Drives me round the bend that I can’t do it and watch on the iPad.

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