Too Many Favorite Shows? Take Them In at High Speed


Some viewers watch movies at an accelerated speed to save time.

J. Emilio Flores for The New York Times

So much media, so little time.

Consumers face a dizzying array of entertainment choices that include streaming video such as Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and Netflix; cable channels and apps from outlets like HBO and Showtime; YouTube; and as many as 28,000 podcasts.

With them all offering uncountable hours of addictive programming, how is a listener or viewer supposed to keep up? For some, the answer is speed watching or speed listening — taking in the content at accelerated speeds, sometimes two times as fast as normal.

While speed viewing does save time — devotees say it can save hours over the season of a series — others raise concerns that it undermines the rhythm of a production and can dilute some creative elements.

Jan Rezab said in an article in Forbes last year that his viewing eventually progressed from 1.2 times to two times as fast.

“As you continue to speed watch, higher speeds get easier and easier to comprehend,” he wrote. “I’ve been speed watching for the last 2 years, and I now feel comfortable watching at 2x the normal viewing speed.” He watches some even faster.