Speed Up (or Slow Down) Videos in Your Courses

Have you ever found yourself watching a video lecture and wished you had the ability to either speed up or slow down the presentation?  Now that popular web browsers support HTML5, this is entirely possible.

Embedded Video

Modifying playback speed will differ depending on how your browser is set up to handle the video.  In Internet Explorer and Firefox, right click on an embedded video file (not streaming), and in most cases, you should see options to change the playback speed.  Chrome allows for this as well, but you may have to install a plugin such as Playback Rate first and restart your browser.  Safari users may have to download the video locally first, but if Quicktime is the default player, videos can be sped up by hitting Command+Right Arrow.

YouTube (Streaming) Video

YouTube is embedded with its own player and speed controls which are accessed near the volume and play button.  Click on the gear icon to access settings:


Screenshot of speed settings in YouTube

To see the ‘Speed’ settings, first visit www.youtube.com/html5 and click the button to ‘Request the HTML5 player‘.  After doing so, restart your browser.  There should now be an extra setting for speed when viewing a YouTube video.  You can test your individual settings in the YouTube video below:

Mobile Video

For iPad users, there is an app called Swift available in the App Store.  While it comes with a $3.99 price tag, it allows for controlling video playback speeds on almost any website.  The reviews are very favorable, which is always a plus when purchasing a new app.

Overall, while each browser is built differently and may provide a different experience in playback speed, it’s nice to know this option is available in most cases.  Happy viewing!


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