I'm a little impatient. When I watch recorded technology conference sessions, I like to speed a video up during parts I can grok quickly, and slow it down to normal when knowledge isn't sinking in fast.

Until recently, I've been using the excellent VLC media player to do this on Windows. VLC on Windows has commands to speed up and slow down in fine increments. Witness:

Screen capture showing VLC on Windows having Faster (fine) and Slower (fine) controls in the Playback menu

The Faster (fine) permits speed-stepping from 1.00x to 1.10x, 1.20x, 1.30x, etc. Contrast that to "Faster", which jumps directly to 1.50x. Whoah, too fast! (Well, I'll grant that 1.50x is sometimes useful: for keynote sessions where there's more fluff :-)

Anyway, I thought in moving to OS X that replacing VLC would be easy: Just get VLC for OS X. But, I discovered recently that VLC for OS X is missing the "(fine)" versions of the speed-stepping. There's only the too-fast one that jumps to 1.50x. Witness:

Screen capture showing VLC on OS X lacking Faster (fine) and Slower (fine) controls in the Playback menu


  1. Is there a way to restore the "(fine)" versions of the commands to the Playback menu on VLC for OS X, or otherwise access them through some secret key-binding magick? i.e. Are they hidden and I just can't access them? Or, does the OS X version of VLC completely lack these fine-grained controls?

  2. Failing #1, what alternative & free video player for OS X offers such fine-grained speed-stepping controls?

Thank you.

5 Answers 5


Yes, VLC for OS X provides this level of control.

If you go into VLC » Preferences [aka. +,] » Hotkeys you'll find that you can associate hotkeys for both actions – Faster (Fine) and Slower (Fine) – and more:

Assign hotkeys for VLC actions

You can find plenty of options here:

  • set them up the way you were used to using them on Windows,
  • set a hotkey for resetting playback speed back to normal etc.

Note: If your newly assigned hotkeys don't seem to be taken into account, you might need to quit VLC and start it again.


I just downloaded VLC 2.0.1, and in the Playback menu, it has a slider that allows for finer control (note when pressing command + =, popup text says playback speed 1.5x, but in that slider it shows 10x, which means that 2x, 3x, etc. in that slider would allow for finer control)

vlc playback menu screenshot


One of my favorite media players for Mac is Movist – I think it's much better, smoother, and faster than VLC.

Using the ShiftApple and ShiftApple keys you can adjust playback speeds in 0.1x increments: 1x, 1.1x, 1.2x, etc.

And ShiftApple\ to instantly go back to 1x.

enter image description here

Note: the link above is for the open-source version, 0.6.8, which works great. There is a newer version 1.1.4 for $5 on the App Store as well.


You can manually set the playback speed by going to VLC preferences, clicking "Show All" at the bottom left, then under input and codecs, change the value until you have the desirable playback speed.

enter image description here


I'm not sure if it's the same with Apple, but you can customize your toolbar easily if you access Tools.

Tools >>> Customize Interface >>> (move the buttons you want onto the toolbar and arrange the playback functions and stop buttons to your preference)


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