Media Playback Speed

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Add speed controls to audio and video hosted from your WordPress blog.

Author:LewisCowles (profile at
WordPress version required:4.0
WordPress version tested:6.0
Plugin version:1.2.2
Added to WordPress repository:08-12-2017
Last updated:05-07-2022
Rating, %:100
Rated by:9
Plugin URI:
Total downloads:5 410
Active installs:400+
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This short, handy plugin will add playback buttons to your audio, video & playlist elements added via the built-in WordPress shortcodes for media using mediaelement.js.

Each set of buttons is configured for it’s corresponding element on the page, so you can adjust the speed of multiple files independently.

There is currently no persistence implemented in this plugin. It just scratches an itch to be able to broadly adjust media playback speeds using the HTML api.

NOTE: This uses the HTML5 media Element API. Any browser not supporting these or using the Flash Player fallback will miss out on this functionality.


Two hooks are provided within this plugin.

  • media-playback-speed-generate-controls provides a single argument which is a boolean. If you return this as false, this will stop buttons being added to a media player. This is intended for advanced setups where markup for controls might be placed manually elsewhere on the page such as a sticky footer. So long as controls follow the built-in markup (being within the body tag and have a playback-rate-button class (no default styling, used for enabling DOM access only).

  • ‘media-playback-speed-data’ provides the default array containing arrays as items with rate, title and label entries, which set the playback rate, the title and aria-title for the buttons as well as adjust the button text.

Theme & Front-end

The .playback-rate-button.mejs-active and/or CSS-selectors allow you to style the active speed (per-player).

Initially mejs-active class was added in order to create media-playback-js compatible / familiar class names.

Now that Gutenberg does not add these, it makes sense to for-now add two sets of classes.

The .playback-rate-button.mejs-active selector will be deprecated in version 2.


This works with the traditional audio, video and playlist shortcodes so long as WordPress uses the JavaScript player.

With the latest 1.1.1 release this also works for HTML5 audio and video too, however you will need to implement your own controls which have the playback-rate-button class and follow the patterns of this.

HTML5 raw controls do not have a playlist the author is aware of, and they use global state, so playback rate is per-page.

There is currently no history as part of this plugin, however a sister plugin could be authored and hooks added to it to store playback rate.

Please ensure that you have no broken javascript, or wrap all functions in (function() { // do things })() blocks to ensure nothing interferes with this plugin. This plugin does this so that it should not interfere with your site, even in browsers and pages which do not support this plugin.


Please feel free to suggest improvements, report conflicts, and/or make suggestions for integration hooks etc.