Netflix officially launches playback speed options on Android, despite outcry from Hollywood


Netflix officially rolled out variable play speeds for all Android users, after testing in October.With this feature, Netflix subscribers on Android can slow down playback to speeds of 0.5x or 0.75x, or speed up streams to speeds of 1.25x and 1.5x.

However, you will need to manually enable the setting with each title you want to watch. Otherwise, the titles will be played at standard speeds.

The feature starts rolling out over the next 24 hours and will reach all users around the world over the next few weeks, according to The edge.

Creators are against functionality

It’s worth noting that the feature proved controversial when it was first tested late last year. At the time, several notable Hollywood figures opposed it, such as The Incredibles writer-director Brad Bird, Blistered writer-director Judd Apatow, Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul and The ant Man director Peyton Reed.

“Don’t give a damn about our timing,” read an angry October 28, 2019 tweet from Apatow to Netflix. “We have great things for you. Leave them as they were meant to be seen. Apatow even threatened “to call on all directors and creators of shows on Earth to fight [Netflix] So. ”

In response to Apatow’s tweet, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse Co-director Peter Ramsey said the feature is designed for “the laziest and most tasteless” consumers.

“If I don’t have time to watch something and fully appreciate it, I do something else until I have time,” Ramsey argued. “If I accelerate, I don’t * really * watch it. You may think you did – but you are wrong. You lose. ”

In a tweet since deleted, Paul added, “There is NO way Netflix is ​​going forward with this,” saying it “would mean they take complete control over everyone’s art and destroy it. Paul, who worked with the streaming giant on BoJack Rider and El Camino: a bad movie, said, “Netflix is ​​much better than this.”

Netflix says it has been ‘well received’ by users

At the time, Netflix vice president Keela Robinson wrote in a blog post that the company was “sensitive to the concerns of creators and [hadn’t] included larger screens, especially televisions, [the] tester[s]. Additionally, Robinson said there were no plans to roll out the feature, noting that he would listen to comments first.

Now, however, Netflix has updated this original post to confirm the rollout and provide additional context. According to Robinson, the tests were “well received” by users.

“Similar features have been available on DVD players and DVRs for years and the feature has been in high demand by members,” Robinson wrote. “Most importantly, our tests show that consumers appreciate the flexibility it offers, whether it’s revisiting their favorite scene or slowing things down because they’re watching with closed captions or having issues with it. ‘hearing.”

Robinson specifically cited the National Association of the Deaf and the National Federation of the Blind as accessibility organizations that have supported the feature.

“People who are deaf and have difficulty reading appreciate the ability to slow captioning, and people with hearing loss appreciate the ability to listen at slower speeds, while many visually impaired people are used to listening to digital audio. much faster. (eg with screen readers), ”said Robinson.

For now, variable read speeds only happen on Android, with no word on an iOS deployment. Now that this is an officially supported feature, it remains to be seen whether this will create a major conflict between Netflix and its creative partners.

Source: Netflix


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