Video Speed Controller Chrome Extension is like adding TiVo and podcast app playback controls to any HTML5 video, including repeat, skip, and speed

Posted by Paul Braren on Nov 10 2015 (updated on Nov 15 2015) in
  • Productivity
  • Windows
  • Apple
  • Mac
  • OSX
  • Download/Install from Chrome - Mac or PC

    How many others downloaded from the author's shortened URL before you

    Ilya Grigorik "pushed out" his latest update on Nov 7 2015, with 47,000 active users, so far.

    You may have noticed that YouTube is transitioning away from Adobe Flash over to HTML5. Most noticeable is the decreased demand on system resources, as you enjoy video. If your YouTube video playback still shows Flash when you right-click a video, be sure to enable the HTML5 opt-in experiment.

    That underlying HTML5 also enables a simple plugin by Google's Ilya Grigorik (Mr. HTTP/2) to work so nicely. I've been following Ilya on Google+ for a while, having moved TinkerTry to all https/HSTS already in March of 2015, and eyeing my HTTP/2-friendly CDN choices, for an even faster in early 2016. Read more about that here.

    Over on the igrigorik/videospeed GitHub page, you'll find nicely detailed descriptions and tips for this HTML5 video speed controller (for Google Chrome). Here's an excerpt, where Ilya explains:

    TL;DR: faster playback translates to quick progress, better engagement, and retention.

    Average adult reads prose text at 250 to 300 words per minute (wpm). By contrast, the average rate of speech for English speakers is ~150 wpm, with slide presentations often closer to 100 wpm. As a result, when given the choice, many viewers speed up video playback to ~1.3~1.5 its recorded rate to compensate for the difference.

    Many viewers report that accelerated viewing keeps their attention longer: faster delivery keeps the viewer more engaged with the content. In fact, with a little training many end up watching videos at 2x+ the recorded speed. Some studies report that after being exposed to accelerated playback, listeners become uncomfortable if they are forced to return to normal rate of presentation.

    You don't have to remember keyboard shortcuts, there's onscreen control too, described at the extension download:

    Once the extension is installed simply navigate to any page that offers HTML5 video, and you'll see a speed indicator in top left corner of the video player. Hover over the indicator to reveal the controls to accelerate, slowdown, or rewind the video (10 seconds + lowers playback speed). Or, even better, use your keyboard:

    • S - decrease playback speed.
    • D - increase playback speed.
    • R - reset playback speed.
    • Z - rewind video by 10 seconds.
    • X - advance video by 10 seconds

    Perfect for slow talkers or fast talkers, or even folks listening to the TinkerTry YouTube Channel's typically long-form videos. Yes, it even adjusts the pitch, so even I don't sound like a chipmunk. And yes, it should work with HTML5 video, anywhere you find it, not just YouTube, example seen at top left of Cloudways, for example.

    Note the handy on-screen overlay (pictured below) that discretely gives you an indication of your current playback speed, disappearing a few seconds after your last key-press or mouse movement.

    I changed the keyboard mappings slightly, since I personally would prefer to hold down shift and hit + or _ for playback speed adjustment (pictured below). I then went to a YouTube video I already had playing, hit F5 to refresh it, and now my new keyboard mappings worked, instantly.

    Think how much more you could get done, now that you can speed through those mandatory corporate trainings. C'mon, Ilya works at that behemoth Google, so that's probably half the reason he created this extension, no?


    During YouTube playback, subtle, translucent speed display appears when you move your mouse or type, and disappears when you stop. 1.3X speedup shown here, at arrow.
    Simple controls appear when you mouse-over the indicator.


    Super simple to configure all settings. Above, the default settings are shown.
    I changed the speedup and slowdown keyboard mappings to my liking.

    See also at TinkerTry

    Two HTML5 video embed examples to test:

    Related story:

    See also