For the savvy Youtube user, the ability to change playback speeds is especially useful – following a tutorial, learning to play an instrument, enjoying a special feat in slow motion – and Youtube has finally extended the functionality from computers to mobiles too.
Pallavi Powale, Software Engineer at Youtube, acknowledged that there were some engineering obstacles to overcome to make the update a reality e.g. ensuring quality was not compromised.
Recognising that mobile devices are reliant on network and hardware limitations, whenever playback speed is changed, Youtube will adjust the video quality “to be only as high as [the app] can download dependably”.
For many users, the feature is already live. Users simply have to touch the hamburger menu at the top of the app, and choose their preferred playback speed from the menu.