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Catching up on YouTube videos

Nov 28, 2022
screenshot showing a section of the Wilmette Institute's Youtube channel, featuring two playlists--Webinars, and 2023 Courses

The Wilmette Institute now has 179 webinars on it’s YouTube webinars playlist. Earlier this year, we published the news that WI webinars are now available as Podcasts on Soundcloud, Amazon, and Apple. As the winter holiday season approaches, just in case you have some time on your hands and want to catch up, here’s how you can slow down (or speed up) a video on YouTube.

Step-by-step instructions

First, click the setting icon at the bottom right of the video. The settings icon is circular, and looks like a stylized flower or a cogwheel.

Next, a menu of options will be displayed, one being “Playback speed.” The default playback speed is “Normal” or “1.0” which means the speed is the same speed as the video recording; a 1-hour webinar will take 1 hour to play right through.

Lastly, simply choose the playback speed you want. The maximum speed is twice the normal speed (the “2” setting). At that speed most speakers will probably not be intelligible! However, slower speakers will likely still be understandable at a speed setting of 1.25 or even 1.5.

The ideal speed for listening to a very fast speaker is somewhere between “0.5” and “0.75.” At 0.5 the video will play twice as slow as normal; a 1-hour video will last 2 hours. At speeds slower than 0.5, the sound will typically be too distorted to understand.

More tips we recommend

In March 2021, we published YouTube and Zoom Tips for Teachers and Learners. If you missed it, we particularly recommend tip #3 about YouTube transcripts. One thing not mentioned in the original article, is that once you open the YouTube transcript (compiled in most cases from YouTube’s auto-generated captioning facility, which is getting more and more accurate) you can search the transcript for a keyword. Here’s how.

Use “Control +F” (hold down the Control [Ctrl] key on a Windows computer or the Command/Apple key on a Mac, then press the “F” key). This will give you to access a search box (it will pop up at the top right isde of the web page). Type your keyword in the search box and the transcript will “jump” to where the keyword is mentioned. Clicking on the keyword in the transcript will then cause the video itself to advance to the spot where the speaker used that term.

Official transcripts

Although the YouTube/auto-generated transcripts are pretty good, we have, with the help of two volunteers, been creating transcripts for some of our recent and popular webinars. Below is a list, with links, of transcripts we currently have completed or almost completed. If you have–or know someone else who has– spare time and excellent typing and editing skills, please reach out to us ( for more details. We’d love to expand our volunteer team. The work is painstaking, but according to the volunteers, very rewarding!

June Manning Thomas, Struggling to Learn: Legacy of an Incomplete Civil Rights Movement
17 July, 2022 (additional editing needed)

Michael Karlberg, Responding to Injustice with Constructive Agency
18 February, 2022

Angeline Diliberto Allen, The Public Reading of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Baha: Perspective of some Western believers
16 January, 2022

Jan Jasion, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and the Other
30 August, 2020

Jena Khadem Khodadad, “Zikrullah Khadem: Itinerant Hand of the Cause of God”
14 May, 2017

See also: Spanish Translations of Web Talks: A Result of North and South American Collaboration
17 Jul 2018

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