Perhaps the fact that Netflix is bracing for the release of Martin Scorsese’s three-and-a-half-hour epic, “The Irishman,” has nothing to do with this, but we’re going to assume that the streaming service is testing a new variable playback speed feature in its mobile app for a reason.
According to a report from Android Police, some users on Google’s mobile operating system have noticed a new feature in their Netflix app that would allow a film or TV series to be played at variable speeds, from 50% up to 150% of regular speed. Why on Earth would Netflix test a function that allows users to watch a film at a faster speed than usual? Well, apparently people nowadays just don’t have time to watch content at the intended pace. Movies are just too damn slow! Amirite?! (Ugh.)
The idea of consuming content at a faster pace isn’t revolutionary. On the audiobook side of media, this function has been fairly commonplace for years, as people find that they can listen to audio at a faster pace without losing the context and enjoyment of the process. But a film, or anything with moving images for that matter, seems like a completely different experience altogether, right?
As someone that hasn’t ever sat to watch a film and thought that I’d really enjoy this more if it was 50% faster than the director intended, it’s difficult for me to talk about this without thinking people are crazy and this is an absolutely ridiculous idea. However, as the Android Police report says, there are certain segments of the media-consuming population that don’t care about the quality of the delivery and would rather get the information in a faster way. I’m guessing these are the same type of people that would watch “Roma” on their phones.
Overall, this is merely just a test run by Netflix, as not everyone is reporting the availability of the feature. So, maybe this is something that will crash and burn and not make its way to everyone’s devices, but even if it does, at least you can still just go about watching your content at normal speed if that’s your prerogative.
For those that only have just over two hours to watch “The Irishman,” then here’s your answer.