Did you know that the average adult reads 300 words per minute? Seems crazy fast, right? What’s more interesting is that the average rate of speech is around 150 words per minute with slide presentations being closer to 100 words per minute. Why should you care about this seemingly boring statistic? The primary distribution of information is done through slide presentations. I’ve spent the better half of my life listening to professors lecture through Powerpoint presentations. I’m sure you’ll agree with me that the majority of these lectures are boring as hell. I always thought lectures were way too long. Just take a look around the room at the end of a lecture and see how many people are paying attention.
The best resource I’ve ever stumbled upon as a student is accelerated playback for videos. Watching lecture videos at 1.5x – 2x speed is the by far the best way to cut studying time without sacrificing learning. These days, I primarily learn new things by watching videos on YouTube. YouTube is how I’ve learned how to program. Do yourself a huge favor and download the Chrome extension, Video Speed Controller.
Video Speed Controller: Download
Video Speed Controller is a simple Chrome extension that gives you the ability to speed up or slow down any HTML5 video. This extension won’t work if you’re viewing a Flash video. The instructions are simple. Download the extension with the link provided above and you can start using this awesome feature right away. Simply go to any video that you want to speed up or slow down and you’ll notice a speed indicator on the top left corner.
You can click on the controls to accelerate, slow down, or rewind a video. You can even use your keyboard to control the speed of a video. Here is a list of the keyboard controls below.
- 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 the controller
- G – preferred speed
My favorite feature of the extension is the preferred speed shortcut. This allows you to set a preferred speed which will trigger immediately when you press G. I have my preferred speed set to 1.8x, which is how I prefer to watch my lectures. This shortcut is configurable by going to the extension settings.
How to access Video Speed Controller settings
- In Chrome, click on the ellipsis (three circles) located on the upper right corner of the browser.
- Right-click the Video Speed Controller icon and choose options
- Set your desired preferred speed.
The settings page gives you additional customization such as setting rewind time and advance time. There is even an option to add blacklisted sites which will automatically disable the extension.
If you don’t believe this simple extension will boost your productivity, go try it out for yourself. I swear by it. Best of all, it’s free. My attention span is so bad as I’ve gotten older that I even watch shows on 2x speed. I’m not ashamed to admit that I watched all of season two of Ozark on 2x speed.