Tips for Scrubbing Through Audio and Video on iDevices

Unlike more traditional forms of audio and video playback, such as a DVD or CD, media playback on the iPhone and related iOS devices gives you a lot of control and visual representations of the progress through the file.  Since the playback is based on individual MP3s, video files, or other formats, you can see as you move through them in the progress bar.  This bar is not just a visual for where you are in the piece of media, but also a form of control that gives you a way to move specifically through the song or video to get right where you want to be.  This can be perfect if you want to find your favorite part of a song, start a movie from where you left off, or find your place in a podcast.  To go forward or backward in an audio or video file in the iOS iPod section the process is called “scrubbing,” which really indicates that you are moving forward or backwards while the file is still up and accessible.  Here is a look at a few tips to help you scrub through the audio and video on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch a little more effectively.

To start out with iPod scrubbing you need to find the dot in the progress bar and press it.  This will give you the control to move left or right through the track, stopping at the place you want.  The degree to which you can do this, as well as the speed an accuracy, is dictated both by your technique and your device.  For example, the iPad tends to be more accurate for scrubbing since you start off with an immediately larger progress bar in which you can move around.

That really only represents the most basic iPod audio and video scrubbing, but this basic manual format is not really the only option.  You can then work at varying speeds to move forwards and backwards in larger increments that may make things more pointed.  Once your finger is pressed onto the dot in the progress bar and you are moving it left and right for scrubbing you can then slide your finger down, which will give you the different scrubbing options to work with.  If you begin sliding down just slightly below the progress bar you will be given the Hi-Speed Scrubbing option, which lets you move left and right faster than you could as standard.  If you keep your finger on dot and move further down into the main display page on the iPod section you will go into Half Speed Scrubbing, which slows things down if you would like.  Below that is going to be Quarter Speed Scrubbing, which brings it down even further and allows for accuracy.  The bottom option, which requires you to drag your finger down half of the screen, will be Fine Scrubbing.  This is the slowest of them all and will allow you to truly pinpoint different locations in the track that you are working with.


Though the Videos section on the iPad is technically separated from the iPod, the scrubbing and playback format works the same.  There is a relatively universal system that goes between the different iOS media playback vessels and you can control the scrubbing in a similar fashion.  The extended option tends to come from the Chapter selection options that you will have if you purchase a digital copy of the file from the iTunes Store.

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