Chrome: I never really got why people like watching sped-up videos until I got a fun Tech 911 question asking about just that. Then I tried it out, and I understand it perfectly now; what you lose in quality (and suffer in chipmunk voices), you gain in time—sweet, sweet time.
And while it’s easy to speed up or slow down your typical YouTube video, what about all the other videos on the web that don’t have easy-to-access speed controls? If you’re watching them in an HTML5 player, you can speed up or slow down the video.
You might not see the option, but it’s there. And the helpful Chrome extension Video Speed Controller can unlock it.
Install said extension, and you’ll now get a helpful little overlay in the upper-left corner of any HTML5 player on the web—yes, even the videos on Lifehacker’s very site. Click the icons to speed the video up or slow it down in 10-per cent increments, or you can also automatically skip forward and back 10 seconds at a time.
If you’re a wizard, Harry, you can also memorise the keyboard commands that will allow you to access these features even faster:
S: Decrease playback speed.
D: Increase playback speed.
R: Reset playback speed.
Z: Rewind video by 10 seconds.
X: Advance video by 10 seconds.
V: Show/hide controller.
And if you don’t like those hotkeys, you can change them to whatever keys you prefer via the extension’s options. You can also have the extension remember a particular playback speed, in case you want every HTML5 video you watch to fly on by. If there are certain sites where you’d prefer regular viewing, you can whitelist them in the app’s options to disable the extension on those.