Set Video Playback Speed with JavaScript

By  on  

I love that media has moved from custom plugins (Flash…gross) to basic HTML <video> and <audio> elements. Treating these media sources as just another element allows us to use CSS filters to adjust display, for example. The less we need to do with ffmpeg or plugins, the better.

I’ve been noticing that many video sites have implemented a feature to adjust video playback speed, which is awesome if you’re trying to get through some sports highlights faster or to see that monster slam dunk in super slow motion. I was hoping it didn’t require some special type of server to send the file in slower or faster chunks and I was right: all you need is the playbackRate property!

const video = document.querySelector("video");

// Slow it to 50% speed
video.playbackRate = 0.5;

// Twice as fast!
video.playbackRate = 2;

// Back to normal
video.playbackRate = 1;

Using a number less than 1 slows the video down, a number larger than 1 speeds the video up, and 1 restores the video to normal speed. Also note that playbackRate is not a HTML attribute — it’s a property.

Adjusting playback rate isn’t something you’d want to do for all video sites, but if you think your users may like it, it’s only one HTML element property away!

Recent Features

  • By
    6 Things You Didn&#8217;t Know About Firefox OS

    Firefox OS is all over the tech news and for good reason:  Mozilla's finally given web developers the platform that they need to create apps the way they've been creating them for years -- with CSS, HTML, and JavaScript.  Firefox OS has been rapidly improving...

  • By
    Facebook Open Graph META Tags

    It's no secret that Facebook has become a major traffic driver for all types of websites.  Nowadays even large corporations steer consumers toward their Facebook pages instead of the corporate websites directly.  And of course there are Facebook "Like" and "Recommend" widgets on every website.  One...

Incredible Demos

  • By
    Create a CSS Flipping Animation

    CSS animations are a lot of fun; the beauty of them is that through many simple properties, you can create anything from an elegant fade in to a WTF-Pixar-would-be-proud effect. One CSS effect somewhere in between is the CSS flip effect, whereby there's...

  • By
    MooTools Clipboard Plugin

    The ability to place content into a user's clipboard can be extremely convenient for the user. Instead of clicking and dragging down what could be a lengthy document, the user can copy the contents of a specific area by a single click of a mouse.

Discussion

  1. I created a little bookmarklet that helps me speed up the really slow videos on YoutTube

    javascript:document.querySelector('video').playbackRate = parseFloat(prompt());
    

Wrap your code in <pre class="{language}"></pre> tags, link to a GitHub gist, JSFiddle fiddle, or CodePen pen to embed!