Controlling Playback Speed in VLC Media Player

With VLC, you will be easily able to control the playback speed. Playback speed relates to the speed at which the video is played. You can speed up the video or slow it down according to your wish. Speeding up will allow you to watch the video faster. Speeding up will also allow you to skim through the video while viewing all the parts. This will enable you to reach the part of the video where you previously left off. You will also be able to watch documentaries quickly which saves time while allowing you to take full benefit of the video.


On the contrary, slowing down the video speed will allow you to watch the video in real detail. You will be playing in such slow speeds that the video will be moving from one frame to another, really slow. Using this feature, you can reach your favorite frame of the  video or watch your favorite scene in slow motion for example.

There are several uses of slowing down or speeding up a video. It is left up to your imagination and use. VLC allows us to control the speed of the video in two ways. One is by using shortcut keys or hotkeys and the other way is by using menu and buttons. Both ways are good, but the shortcut option is simpler and quicker.

To control speed of a video in VLC using shortcuts:

Speed up: ] Key in keyboard
Speed down: [ Key in keyboard
Normal speed: = Key in keyboard

When you click on the speed up or speed down button, the confirmation is displayed on the top right of the video. Speed is displayed such as 1.50x or 0.80x depending upon how much you change it. You will also be able to change the shortcut keys if you prefer.

speed-control

To control speed of a video in VLC using menu and buttons:

From the VLC Menu Bar go to Playback > Speed and select a speed from options: Faster, Faster (fine), Normal, Slower (fine) and Slower.

speed-menu

The same options can also be accessed from the right click menu Playback > Speed.

right-click-speed

Clicking on those buttons buttons will increase or decrease the speed of the video by certain amount. Speed will be added or reduced to the current playback speed. For example: click on faster will add the speed by 0.50x.

Fine Tuning Audio/Video Speed

You can adjust the audio/video playback speed in VLC to the tiniest details. That means you can speed up your audio/video 1.06x times or 1.43 times. You’ll have to use the playback speed slider present in the status bar. It is at the bottom-right corner of the player, below the volume slider. It displays the current playback speed. If the status bar is not there, click on View > Status Bar to enable it.

  • Make sure an audio or video is playing; you can pause the content if you want.
  • Click on the speed indicator and a slider will open.
  • You can drag the slider towards the left to slow down and towards the right to speed up.
    Playback Speed Slider
    This slider allows you to configure the playback speed up to 1/10th fractional units.

Setting the Default Playback Speed

To set a default playback speed for all your videos, you will have to do it from the advanced VLC configurations accessible from Tools > Preferences [CTRL + P] and then selecting All radio box for Show settings option. This will display the Advanced Preferences for the player.

  • Click on Input / Codecs found once you open Advanced Preferences.
  • Under Playback control you will find Playback speed. Input a value up to two decimal places.
    Advanced Speed Settings Preferences of VLC
    This new value will be your default playback speed. You will have to stop and play a file again or you can restart your player to ensure that this new settings is in effect. You’ll have to visit this advanced preference again to reset it back to 1.00x.
  • Click Save at the end.

 

Comments

  1. Student
    May 12, 2014 - 9:14 am Reply

    Thank you!!! It was annoying right clicking and changing the speed.

  2. TIago Ferreira
    August 19, 2014 - 10:40 pm Reply

    Is it possible to change speed to, for example, 1.70x or 1.20x. I’m not seeing those on the playback speed options…

    • ashish
      August 20, 2014 - 7:30 am Reply

      Yes it is possible. You don’t see it in the playback options. Just use the short cut keys [ and ] for your desired speed.

  3. Med
    October 28, 2014 - 5:22 pm Reply

    What is the best video format to play speeded up? I noticed that when I upload my video to youtube and speed up there the sound is much better. I would like to get the same sound in VLC.

    • ashish
      December 22, 2014 - 1:45 pm Reply

      Well I think that it is more dependent upon your computer to be able to process a speed up video with clear sound.

  4. Gabriel
    February 22, 2015 - 9:10 pm Reply

    How to set it to 1.03 or 1.06 as it was long time before? I don’t want to set it on 1.10, it’s too much and unpleasure to watch.

    • ashish
      February 23, 2015 - 8:48 pm Reply

      Use the playback speed indicator/slider present below the volume slider. Read the newly added “Fine Tuning Audio/Video Speed” in the article above to view the details.

  5. Nate
    April 3, 2015 - 3:19 pm Reply

    This doesn’t seem to work with Mac. There is no speed control on the menu at VLC for Mac

    • ashish
      April 3, 2015 - 3:24 pm Reply

      Try pressing:

      For speeding up: Command and =
      For speeding down: Command and –

  6. Nate
    April 3, 2015 - 3:23 pm Reply

    Ok I found it at the menu but it does not work like it does with microsoft. It can be done in increments. But this speed up is too fast or too slow. :-(

    • ashish
      April 3, 2015 - 3:29 pm Reply

      You should try adding the Toolbar Element called Speed selector from Customize > Toolbar. It will allow you to fine tune your playback speed as shown above.

  7. Simon
    May 26, 2015 - 10:52 am Reply

    Is it possible to jump from normal speed (1.00) to a certain speed (e.g. 4x in my case) by pressing a key just once?
    Thanks for your answer!

  8. Hila
    May 28, 2015 - 11:01 pm Reply

    ok I had the same issue as Nate, I was able to control the speed with command and + or – but i can’t see the playback speed anywhere unless i open it from the top menu, I don’t have the Toolbar Element that you mention or anyway to customize it, is there any way i can actually see the playback speed on the toolbar?

    • Rampant
      July 31, 2015 - 9:15 am Reply

      Activate the status bar View -> Status bar

  9. Tipster
    June 6, 2015 - 8:59 pm Reply

    It took me a minute to figure out why I didn’t have that control. Make sure View->Status Bar is enabled.

  10. Martin Vlach
    June 26, 2015 - 6:18 am Reply

    Is it possible to start playing a file from command line in a certain speed? How?
    Or is it possible to make a playlist with asocciated playback speed?

    • ashish
      July 6, 2015 - 8:03 pm Reply

      Yes it is possible to start playing a file from the command line at a certain speed. Here’s the line that you need to run:

      vlc --rate 3 myfile.mp4
  11. D-bie
    July 23, 2015 - 6:17 pm Reply

    Request to edit this entry: The “Speed bar” shown in the above tutorial is not enabled by default. Advise adding ” if the speed control is not showing, you can enable it by navigating (in the upper pane controls) to View > Status bar.” Without this little addition the manual slider portion is confusing and not useful to many.

    • ashish
      July 26, 2015 - 10:49 am Reply

      Thanks for the suggestion. I have made the change.

  12. aurel
    July 30, 2015 - 10:34 pm Reply

    Hi!
    Thank you for your good work!
    We can change the speed with the “slower” or “slower (fine)” hotkeys.
    But a “slower (EXTREMELY fine)”-hotkey (i.e. every 0.02) would be perfect for me while practising the guitar. Please give me any solution!

    • ashish
      August 1, 2015 - 4:10 pm Reply

      Try “Fine Tuning Audio/Video Speed” and “Setting the Default Playback Speed” to control that level of playback speed.

  13. VLC'r
    August 10, 2015 - 5:28 pm Reply

    Useful for some stuff, like videos, but too course to use for pitching audio up/down subtly. The Speed Selector slider if far too course. It needs to allow increments like .01%, preferably with arrow key support or some-such, too.

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