Change the speed of movies in QuickTime Player


Change the speed of movies in QuickTime Player
Mac Tip #544, 11 July 2012

One advantage text has over video is that you can easily skim or search to find information. With a video that’s much harder. Here’s how to speed up and slow down a movie in QuickTime Player.

With these techniques you can play a video and its soundtrack at 2x, 4x, even 8x the normal speed (even in reverse) with one click.

Speed up video and audio playback in QuickTime Player.

Speed up video and audio playback in QuickTime Player.

Or if you want to play it fractionally faster it takes only an Option click to play it at 1.1x, 1.2x, and so on. Or you can even play it silently frame by frame.

This Tip was written for QuickTime Player X Version 10.1 (501.24) on OS 10.7.4. Earlier or later versions may not behave in the same way.

Speed up a video in QuickTime Player

I Option click the QuickTime Player Fast Forward button to speed up playback a smidgeon.

I Option click the QuickTime Player Fast Forward button to speed up playback a smidgeon.

  1. Open a video into QuickTime Player. QuickTime Player is in the Applications folder on all new Macs.
  2. If necessary, move your mouse over the video itself to call up the Controls.
  3. Click the Play/Pause button or press the Spacebar to start and stop the video.
  4. Click the Fast Forward or Rewind button once to double the playback or rewind speed. Click it again to change to 4x speed and again to change to 8x speed. If you click the button again the video will go back to 2x speed. Click Pause and then Play to revert to 1x speed. Or hold down the Command key and press the left or right arrow keys on the keyboard for the same effects. Each time you change speed the speed is displayed at top left of the video window, with an arrow showing direction of play. Naturally, both audio and video speed up.
  5. Hold down the Option key while clicking the Fast Forward or Rewind buttons (or using Command + arrow key) to instead increment the speed by a tenth of a point. For example, 4x becomes 4.1x, 4.2x and so on.
  6. Use the left or right arrow keys without the Command key to step through the video frame by frame, but without sound. The right arrow key moves the video forwards, the left arrow key moves it in reverse. Press and hold the arrow keys to speed up the frame by frame stepping.

These are simple little tricks, but they can be really handy for speeding through a long-winded video or having the time to really analyse the detail in a single frame.

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