I'd like to add an option to some program that would control the speed (or more exactly the delay between steps) in fast-forward or rewind modes.

I don't know how to name it. If it wasn't for the size, I could use --fast-forward-and-rewind-delay.

I looking for a shorter term that would stand for both fast-forward and rewind. Would “fast motion” be understood correctly? Is there anything else?

3 Answers 3


Old cassette tape players used to be labelled "cue" for fast-forward and "review" for rewind. Since these functions are invariably used to progress through some content faster in order to reach a certain point, I think "cue" and therefore "cue speed" or "cue/review speed" provide an apt description.

Alternatively you could adopt the common abbreviations FF/RW for fast-forward and rewind in order to provide a shorter option.

A third alternative might be "skip speed", although skipping usually means missing content out rather than progressing through it faster, in order to reach the desired point.

  • Since delay seems to be misunderstood, I think I'll invert the input and make it a “speed” in iterations per second and use playback-speed for normal speed and cue-speed for FF/RW speed. Thank you. Dec 5, 2011 at 13:39
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    I always understood this to be meant as dual functions - i.e. the labels were always "Rewind/Review", "FF/Cue", not simply "Cue" and "Review", and my understanding was that the latter is what happens when you press the button without stopping playback. However, since digital players don't have a physical position the tape is in, nor a risk of wearing out the tape if this is done, the original Rewind/FF functions are basically gone, with Review/Cue being all that is left.
    – Random832
    Dec 5, 2011 at 16:29
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    Very tardy to the party, but yes: Rewind and Fast Forward set the motor for fast operation with the heads retracted and the audio circuitry off. Cue and Review set the motor for slower operation (faster than playback though) with the heads engaged and the audio circuitry on. There were also late-market features like Music Search that kept the audio circuitry off and automatically stopped the cue/review function when a long enough period of silence was detected (to skip to the next/previous song).
    – Alexios
    Jan 24, 2017 at 12:22

One possibility is seek interval.

Seek can apply to backward or forward motion, and in this case interval is the duration skipped by each seek step.

  • Thank you, I had not thought about seek which is appropriate for both directions. However in this particular case, interval is probably not appropriate, the display rate is increased, but nothing is skipped. Dec 5, 2011 at 13:27

Maybe Frame Rate or Playback Speed?

  • That's not a way to distinguish from the normal playing rate, is it? Dec 5, 2011 at 13:17
  • Both refer to the regular speeds. You will have to qualify it by prefixing something like Accelerate in your context. Dec 5, 2011 at 14:17

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