April 03, 2013

YouTube’s HTML5 Player Allows for Twice the Video in the Same Time

There are some breeds of DVD players, and Blu-Ray player as well, that allow users to watch playback in double speed. Basically, the soundtrack will still play, the dialogue tracks will play and the subtitles will show up, but just twice as fast as normal. Sometimes this can be a great thing; twice the video in the same amount of time while not taking a whole lot away from the overall presentation.

For YouTube (NewsAlert) users who want to use YouTube for watching lectures and the like, that particular function is now on hand, thanks to YouTube’s HTML5 player.

Those interested in trying this particular method of time-saving while learning for themselves can do so in a fairly simple fashion. First, visit YouTube’s HTML5 section and activate the HTML5 trial. This will open up a new option in YouTube to increase playback speed to 1.5 times normal, or even fully double normal speed. The ultimate value of the effect will take some fine-tuning to fully realize, as some speakers speak faster than others.

Increasing the speed too high on a fast speaker will render what would have been an exciting, educational lecture into something better suited for the next "Alvin and the Chipmunks" release. For slower speakers, however, this is a boon that keeps the action flowing.

There’s certainly something to be said for more efficient use of learning time by ratcheting up the speed of lectures, though it’s safe to say certain subtleties may be lost in the increased speeds. After all, speeding up a good, atmospheric thriller can certainly break the suspense-building effect, and that destroys its original intent.

But then, many presentations can safely and successfully be sped up to remove uncertain pauses or what linguists call "fillers" – the "um," the "er," the "ah," and similar pauses that come up when a person is speaking but can’t quite get his or her head around the next word – and that makes the overall process more efficient. Additionally, for slow speakers, this is a boon as people’s thought processing capabilities sometimes outpace the rate of speech, and this can leave people bored in a lecture.

But with this option, users can get more bang for their collective buck. There’s also the potential to get through short films or the like more rapidly with the sped-up video, though that option may not prove as palatable.

Still, there’s quite a bit of potential out there for getting more out of video by watching it in an accelerated fashion, and since it can be used selectively, it’s the kind of thing that helps get through the lectures and such before switching over to the fun.

That makes for a better overall experience for all concerned, getting both learning and entertainment in the same package.

Edited by Braden Becker


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