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Just your speed: new controls to adjust playback

Vimeo Staff
September 7, 2017 by Vimeo Staff Staff

Our community is growing, and that means stories of all kinds are coming out lightning-quick: from experimental Staff Picks to educational walkthroughs, instructional videos to sports coverage, boundary-pushing narratives to slick how-tos. And we want to empower *every* creator to deliver the best experience possible to their viewers. That’s why we’re oh-so excited to debut our latest player customization feature: playback speed control.

With speed controls, Vimeo PRO and Business members can keep viewers even more engaged in their videos — whether audiences need to slow it down to follow a tutorial more closely, or speed it up to review important takeaways from a lecture as they do a second pass.

If you’re a PRO or Business member, you can enable speed controls for your embedded videos, and give viewers the power to choose from five different playback speeds: slow down the video to play at half the normal speed, or increase playback to 1.25 times, 1.5 times, or two times the normal speed. And don’t worry about warped sound: we optimized the audio pitch for all speeds to ensure viewers have an optimal viewing (and auditory) experience. 

To enable speed controls, head over to an individual video’s embed settings (since this setting only applies to embedded videos!), and simply turn on “Playback speed” within the Video controls section. If you want to enable the setting across a group of videos, you can create an embed preset with speed control enabled, and apply that preset to the group of videos.

Once enabled, you and your viewers will see a sleek new settings gear in the playbar — but this won’t appear in the player if you haven’t enabled them. So regardless of what you choose for a particular video, the viewing experience is clean and uncluttered. And another important thing to note: we understand that many videos aren’t meant to play at a speed that creators didn’t intend. So, by default, the playback speed control is turned off. 

Lastly, since we want to empower creators to experiment with their videos in interactive ways, or create custom web solutions around our player — these settings are available via the Player JS API, with the same level of control as the tools in the player and embed settings.

There are so many use cases for altering the speed of video playback, so we’re keeping track of all of them as we keep improving this feature. Let us know what you think, and if you have any speed control plans up your sleeve as we continue to mess with the space-time continuum together.

82 Comments

yakudwc PRO

I thank you much for this feature. It works on my windows10 PC with Edge and chrome, but does not work with Firefox and internet explorer 11.
Please inform me of the way to make it work on latter browers.
Thanks in advance.

Dana Staff

Thanks for bringing this to our attention! Our engineering team is aware of the Firefox bug and is currently on the case. We hope to have things up and running there soon. IE11 on Windows 10 should work. Please let us know what you video you're testing with and we'll take a closer look. Thanks again!

yakudwc PRO

Dear Dana,
I appreciate your prompt reply.
The video id is 124183719 and set to private mode.
Kind regards, Toshi.

Dana Staff

That's very interesting, I'm not seeing any issues in IE11. I'd like to follow up with you via email to troubleshoot this issue further. I'll be in touch shortly using the primary email address associated with your account!

yakudwc PRO

I tested the feature on Firefox and ie11 today, and found it working correct !
Thank you very much for your intense and prompt solution.

Dana Staff

That's great! Thanks for the update :)

Barry Greene Video Lessons PRO

I wish this was available for my On Demand Video Lessons. This has always been a huge feature request by my students.

Dana Staff

@bgvideolessons Thanks so much for your feedback. I agree that this would be a very useful feature, and I'll be sure to pass your words along to our product team. While we currently don't offer speed controls on site, you can enable speed controls when embedding your VOD lessons on another webpage (other than vimeo.com). We're currently evaluating speed controls in the player on Vimeo.com for the future.

Dana Staff

@gbattle Yes, if Barry enables speed controls for that video, and you have purchased the content, you'll be able to watch videos posted to our embed test page (player.vimeo.com/embed).

Greg Battle

Ahhh, so it doesn't work with VOD titles even when it's an embedded player? Ok, ok. Thanks everyone. How bummed am I! :-(

David Risley PRO

Is there a way to enable this retroactively in bulk? Got so many videos and going back to flip that switch one-by-one would be quite a big deal.

Dana Staff

@davidrisley There sure is! The easiest way to apply bulk embed settings is by creating an embed preset in your account settings (vimeo.com/settings/videos/embed_presets).

Once the preset is created, choose your desired embed settings and then check "speed control" under "show play bar" (you'll need the play bar activated). After your selections have been made hit "apply to existing videos" and then save your changes. That will activate playback speed controls in places where your videos are embedded. Let me know if you have any questions!

Kirk Byers PRO

I second the request that this would be a very nice feature to have for videos directly on vimeo.com.

I was excited about this feature, but then saw it was only for embedded videos and was disappointed.

Dana Staff

Thanks for your feedback. We are currently evaluating the possibility of adding this feature on site, but at this time we have no news to share. Currently, our main goal is to maintain the creative intent for all videos, but we understand that there many use cases for speed controls across our site. I'll be sure to pass your feedback along to our product team. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts!

Bob Reynolds PRO

How do we enable this across all our existing videos? (w/o going one-by-one)

Dana Staff

Hi Bob! To apply speed controls to existing videos, head over to your account settings (vimeo.com/settings/videos/embed_presets) and create an embed preset. Once you've made your selections, check the box that says "speed control" under "show play bar," hit "apply to existing videos," and then save your changes. It may take a moment, but once complete, you should see playback speed controls in places where your video is embedded. If you have any additional questions, let us know!

Dana Staff

Thanks, Bob! If you have any feedback after trying out speed controls, please let us know. We'd love to hear your thoughts :)

Bob Reynolds PRO

So...did something change? I no longer see the playback speed option in "embed presets" and none of my videos are showing the speed option in the gear icon (but they were a few days ago when I changed the preset after your announcement).

Dana Staff

@bobreynolds Could you please make sure that "show play bar" and "speed controls" are enabled in your embed preset? If so, try re-applying that preset to your videos. Check out devi.vimeocdn.com/dana/PXle for an example.

Dana Staff

Hi Bob, I'm going to move this conversation to email so we can troubleshoot further. I'll be in touch shortly using the primary email address associated with your account.

Bob Tabor PRO

I hit the same hurdle ... I cannot click any checkboxes ... and the save button is disabled.

Dana Staff

Our engineering team is currently investigating this issue, and we hope to have a fix in place soon. Apologies for the inconvenience!

Rich Prado PRO

Pretty sure you can bulk update by setting embed preset. When you create a new preset there is a check mark asking if you want to apply to all next to the save button.

My question about speed has to do with mobile... Is this going to be available on mobile? Features should always be built mobile first these days then add to desktop. Not the other way around.

Dana Staff

Hi Rich, thanks for sharing that advice about embed presets! Speed controls are currently available on mobile web (iOS Android). However, since this feature is exclusive to embedded videos, playback speed controls are not currently accessible in the Vimeo mobile or TV app. Let me know if you have any other questions!

Rich Prado PRO

I'm currently watching 1 of my videos embedded on a website. I do not see any way to adjust video quality or speed. Do you have a link that describes how to do it? This is more about sharing the info with my customers than it is me trying to watch videos in fast forward. Thanks

Rich Prado PRO

Ok....
Just tried it again.
Still nothing.
And then I turned my phone to landscape...
And then the gear finally showed up.
Kind of crazy.

Dana Staff

That's strange! Are you using an iOS device? If so, you'll need to exit fullscreen before accessing speed controls. If using Android, the gear should appear in portrait and landscape mode.

Dana Staff

Thanks Pete! We would love to know your thoughts once you try out speed controls.

Dana Staff

Thanks for your kind words! If you have any feedback after using speed controls, please send it our way.

Nuno Lopes

Thanks guys, I've been waiting for this feature for sooo long!! Well done. ;)

Dana Staff

Thanks @nulo! Let us know if you have any feedback once you've had a chance to play around with different playback speeds.

Guillaume Heulard Plus

Nice! We'll can watch all the videos in 1,5x speed and be disrespectful to artists cause we all know that we don't have time!

Dana Staff

@guillaumeheulard Thanks for your feedback. Maintaining the creative intent for all videos was actually a top priority for us when releasing this feature. For this reason, speed controls are only available as an embed setting, which can be enabled/disabled on a per video basis.

Dana Staff

Thanks, Alex! Let us know what you think!

Joe Moya Plus

A good step in the right direction.... albeit probably a bit late to capture a large portion of the learning video market. It never made sense to limit the capabilities of Vimeo.

Since Youtube introduce video speed control many years ago, I have virtually stopped viewing Vimeo videos. And...without speed control... it was just one more reason why there are so few tutorial video's posted on Vimeo compared to YouTube.

Dana Staff

Appreciate your feedback, Joe! If you do try out our player speed controls, we’d love to hear what you think.

Ahmad Awais PRO

That's awesome. I wish there was a more public roadmap. I spent two weeks building a custom player just coz of this feature. Also I wish it was available in PLUS. Is it?

Dana Staff

Thanks for your feedback, Ahmad! Currently, this feature is only available to PRO or Business members. We do not have a public roadmap, but we sometimes post upcoming features in our forum.

Yeners Way PRO

Been waiting for this for a couple years now :)
I have tried to update my embed settings but for some reason I cannot check or uncheck any boxes. The save button is always disabled. I have also tried creating a new preset all together (instead of using the one I had already), and that one does the same thing. Tried in Chrome and Firefox. Is there something wrong with the settings page? Thanks

Dana Staff

@yenersway Sorry about that! Our engineering team is aware of this issue, and they are currently investigating. We hope to have this sorted out shortly!

Yeners Way PRO

Nope...I am still eagerly waiting for them to fix this.

Dana Staff

@yenersway I'm sorry for the delay - it looks like the fix may take a little longer than we expected. We hope to have things back to normal soon!

Piano Couture PRO

Same issue here. Can't select anything by ticking the designated box. Not just speed control, but anything that I tick/untick in embed preset gets undone and set back to the way it was upon scrolling. Also "save" button stays greyed out, so can't save. Any news on a fix?

Dana Staff

We apologize for the inconvenience Our engineers are working to sort out this issue as quickly as possible.

Damien Patterson PRO

Great feature! Where can I find an example? I'd like to hear this auditory adjustment before committing to upgrading my plan.

Dana Staff

Thanks, Damien! You can find an example here- player.vimeo.com/embed. Let me know your thoughts once you've had a chance to test out speed controls!

Damien Patterson PRO

Thanks, I've upgraded. Now my students can view their lessons twice as fast (what they want) and only take in half as much (what I anticipate).

Dana Staff

Happy to hear that, Damien! Hope your students enjoy this feature.

Alfred Ford School of Management Plus

This is a great option but unfortunately it is available only for Pro and Business members. Is there any chance that this option becomes available for Vimeo Plus members soon?

Dana Staff

Appreciate your feedback! Currently, we no plans to extend speed controls to Plus members, but there's always the possibility that could change in the future.

Shayna Plus

I'm considering upgrading just to use this feature! Is there a sample video anywhere that I could check out, so that I can see how the speed controls work?

Stewart Christensen

I hate when I see a site has a Vimeo video because you do not have this feature. I just don't bother watching the video. So I went searching to see if there was a way to watch them faster and I excitedly came across this post... only to be let down because the video owner has to switch it on and it's not just a default feature across all Vimeo videos... I'm sure 80% of videos will still not have the feature turned on so I'll continue to skip over Vimeo videos. I don't have time to waste listening to someone present a topic slowly.

Dana Staff

Thanks for your feedback Stewart. I completely understand where you're coming from. For background, we launched this as an optional feature to give creators complete control over their viewing experience. Educational videos are a great use case for faster/slow speeds, but not all videos benefit from speed controls. If you are viewing content from a specific website, you can try reaching out to the account owner.

That said, we appreciate you taking the time to share this feedback, and we will certainly keep this in mind as we continue to make updates to the Vimeo player.

Kevin Kamin Plus

Can you just make this available for everyone? I will pass a Vimeo for video for a Youtube video of similar content just because I can't stand watching something at 1x speed--I watch a lot of tutorials. It seems like most video players these days off this option.

Jamie McAleney Support

Appreciate your feedback! Currently, we no plans to extend speed controls to Plus members, but there's always the possibility that could change in the future.

asdf

This is awesome! It's actually the main reason why I go to youtube 95% of the times rather than Vimeo. I rarely watch any lecture without setting the speed to at least 1.5x!
I'm longing for the feature to become integrated in the viewer.

MedModus PRO

I am a Vimeo Plus user but when a user hovers over the settings icon on an embedded video, the pop-up message shown says "Select video quality or speed". Changing speed is not available on Plus accounts. This gives my users the impression they can toggle video speed when they can't. Is there a way to change this?

Dana Staff

@medmodus Sorry about that, I see what you mean. I'm forwarding your feedback along to our product and engineering team for consideration. Apologies for any confusion this has caused.

High Performance Academy PRO

So I've created a preset, however, I can't work out how to apply it to multiple videos without manually still going through them 1-by-1. Could you offer some more guidance on this? We hundreds of videos I would like to enable this feature on - Taz.

Dana Staff

@highperformanceacademy Hi Taz! Once you've created your embed preset, you can apply it to all of your videos by visiting the upload defaults section of your account settings page (vimeo.com/settings/videos/upload_defaults). Just choose your embed preset from the dropdown menu and then check the box that says "also apply to existing videos" as shown here- devi.vimeocdn.com/dana/EBwA. Depending on the amount of videos on your account, it may take a few minutes for the changes to apply. Let us know if you run into any trouble!

create3dcharacters PRO

Would be great if we had a .75 speed? My subscribers often want to go slower (and others faster) and the .5 speed is a little too slow. I'll still recommend video speed controller chrome plugin to them. But fab that I have this feature now for those who can't install the chrome plugin.

erikals

Vimeo chose to make people pay for this feature, on Youtube it is free.
poor marketing by Vimeo.

Color_With_Faithfulgirl1978 PRO

I've added this feature to my videos but its not coming up for my viewers. I have a Pro account and I added the preset and select apply to all but its still not coming up. Any help or ideas on why?

Jamie McAleney Support

This is available on your embedded videos only-- are you not able to see them on your embedded site? If not, please link us and we'll take a look!

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