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Netflix App Adds Audio-Only Mode

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For all your late-night white noise needs.

Have you ever tried falling asleep while listening to an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000? That show makes for fantastic bedtime white noise, let me tell you, and it’s even available on Netflix! The only problem is that leaving my phone screen lit up all night is murder on my phone’s battery, and if my internet happens to go out, it’ll suck my data dry. However, it seems Netflix is sympathetic to folks like me who want to just listen to their shows, rather than watch them.

Netflix rolled out a new update to their Android app today (iPhone update presumably to come later) that allows you to place the device in “audio only” mode. When you’re streaming video to your phone on the Netflix app, there’s now a button at the top of the player that says “video off.” Tap it, and the screen will go dark while leaving the audio from your show playing. You can also futz with this function in the app’s settings, with alterations like only sending audio through your speakers or headphones, or making audio only mode the default setting.

Credit: Unsplash

Removing the video and streaming only the audio is a great option for those who are a little more conscious about how much data they’re using on a regular basis. It’s also a good choice for listening to audio-heavy shows like standup routines in places where you can’t look at your phone, like at work, not to mention my nighttime Mystery Science Theater naps. The update is already out server-side, though depending on where you live, it may take a little longer for you to get it.