I certainly see the use in changing the play speed of certain videos or audio files. You can for instance speed up an interesting but long winded tech podcast this way, or slow down an interesting scene of a video to not miss a single frame of it. Up until now though there was not really much that you could do in regards to audio or video on the Internet. While some sites offered controls to speed up or slow down the play speed, the majority of services or browsers did not come with those options at all.
Mozilla has added a new feature to Firefox's Nightly channel that adds native HTML5 video play speed modifiers to the browser. HTML5 video means that it is only working if you play HTML5 video and not videos using plugins such as Adobe Flash or Silverlight. It is also important to note that it depends on the player whether the control is available or not.
For YouTube for instance, it is not while you will find it available on sites that do not use their own video menu when videos are played on the site.
To change the play speed of a video, you simply right-click it and select a different modifier from the play speed context menu.
Available for selection are normal speed, slow motion speed which is half the normal speed, ludicrous speed which is twice the normal speed, and high speed which is 1.5 times the normal speed. The feature works considerable well for the most part. There is one bug that is already being worked on. When you switch away from normal speed, you can't go back to it unless you reload the page and video or use the seek option if available as it will reset the playback speed.
Websites who make use of the new API element can use finer nuances when it comes to different playback speed and that is certainly something that many users may request. You can read more about the new feature here on the Jaws blog.
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