Ability to skip ads in the podcast

I think you could make it work with one extra button in the player controls.

Press the button to “Start Segment” at the current time and press again to record the end of the segment. Then open a little pop-up with a menu for selecting the type of segment and a check mark to submit the data.


Sponsorblock allows you to use the service passively, without contributing yourself, and it still works very well. So I think people should have the option to hide the button and still have the feature turned on.

The progress bar should indicate the skipped segments with a different color like the add-on does.


I honestly think this would be the ultimate killer feature and would make AntennaPod very popular very quickly.

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Thanks @FeederPilot for chipping in! A few thoughts.

Nice idea. Do you know of other apps that implement this? Any idea for a kind of icon? Where in the interface do you think it could be placed (taking into consideration that the interface is currently nice & clean, and that we want to keep it that way)?

I see your point. But a) this would introduce yet another setting (in addition to the settings required for the integration) b) I would make an argument for making such functionality always available: if you want to benefit from it, you should (be able to easily) contribute to it. An option to hide this encourages leeching.

Good idea.

That’s what I thought of ChromeCast support when it got introduced. I lost faith in single possible killer features ever since :slight_smile: Different users, different needs…

Nice idea. Do you know of other apps that implement this?

No. this would be the only one, I think.

Any idea for a kind of icon?

That depends if you would go with the minimal approach and only do one type of segment (ads). Then I’d use a shield, like many AdBlockers do. For more segment types a shield could still work but maybe something different would be good. Can’t think of anything though.

Where in the interface do you think it could be placed

Left next to the playback speed button is still room. I think I’d try to scale both of those buttons down a bit. They don’t need to be as big as the Skip Buttons.

Or you could introduce a second row between the progress bar and the player controls with small icons where Speed, Sponsorblock and Sleep timer could live. Not as clean anymore but clean enough (to me) and very useful for quick access.

An option to hide this encourages leeching.

True, but leechers gonna leech anyway. Nothing that’s that important to me though.

That’s what I thought of ChromeCast support when it got introduced. I lost faith in single possible killer features ever since :slight_smile: Different users, different needs…

I could’ve told you! I think the amount of people that cast their podcasts to their speakers is probably not that big. But one thing everybody can agree on is that ads suck. So I really think this would be pretty huge.

Have you looked at the Sponsorblock repository? Wouldn’t it be possible to take the core functionality and port it to AntennaPod? Just to make things a little easier, I mean. Maybe the author would be open to a cooperation in some form. Could be awesome.

Hi there,

Long time, first time, etc. Just my 2c as a pretty heavy podcast listener - I know we don’t want to make ethical/moral choices on behalf of users, which is fine, but I think we can try to nudge them in the direction of supporting content creators.

Personally, I’d only use such a feature where I don’t have the option to pay for ad-free content (e.g. Stuff You Should Know), as a convenience instead of fast forwarding. Where I can, I pay.

Can we find/create a service (actually, I’ve been looking for a side-project) where sponsorship/donation/contribution options for a podcast are listed? With something like that, AntennaPod could then look up a particular podcast by feed URL, and display a donate/support button as appropriate when this type of feature is activated. Sure, many people would just ignore this and skip ads anyway, but it’s the thought that counts, right?

I’m tempted to suggest that this be an image like this :stuck_out_tongue::
image

I don’t want to guilt users, but I really really don’t want podcast creators to all move to something like spotify or stitcher.

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Here’s a video showing how Vanced (android app) made SponsorBlock submissions work on mobile:

And here is a video that shows the submission workflow in the browser extension if you have not seen:

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I completely agree, it’s my same fear. I don’t like walled gardens. One pod I really enjoy did that last winter and I, sadly, no longer listen.

Ask ourselves these three simple questions:

  • Who owns?
  • Who labours?
  • Who benefits?
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I wouldn’t jump to that conclusion too easily. I, for one, don’t think ads suck. They’re not awesome, but they pay the creators or my fun-time. Anyway - whether ads suck or not is not the point of this thread, so I’ll stop there :slight_smile:

I haven’t - but I’m not a developer so wouldn’t be of any help implementing this either way :stuck_out_tongue:

There is stuff going on over at the Podcast Index. There’s two relevant requests to integrate it in AntennaPod:

Thanks for sharing that @ajayyy ! Very helpful to see how this could work. It does feel like AntennaPod would need a dedicated row for SponsorBlock in the player screen.

The frame selection in video is very helpful in finding the start and end, but I’m wondering how this could be replicated with audio only. Showing a still obviously is not going to work. Either:

  • Audio-only start and end-points would be much more an approximation. When playing, we should start skipping a bit later, and stop skipping a bit earlier. Or
  • We need to find a way to find the right points. I guess the preview button will be important.
    • Maybe a ‘check start’ and a ‘check end’ button could help: after setting initial points, hitting either button will play the area t-10s until t+10s in slow-motion (e.g. 0.5 speed), displays somehow the timeline zoomed in with a draggable pin to more precise tweaking.
    • Maybe we need to display audio waves like Audacity does, to support visual finding start/end points. Could work in combination with the above: a pop-up that displays such wave of a period around the initially selected points, with a slider to do more precise location.

Different point; I know from previous issues in AntennaPod that storing the playback location of audio-files with variable bitrate can sometimes be problematic. Could this prove an issue for SponsorBlock support?

Interesting, yea that could be a pretty major issue. I know we recently noticed that a music video on YouTube suddenly had broken segments, and it seems to have been caused by it being “remastered” into HD, and probably reencoding.

Don’t some podcast networks use dynamic ad slots as well? So simply matching timestamps with a given RSS entry wouldn’t work 100% I believe, there may need to be some fingerprinting involved to uniquely identify the episode. Unlike SB where YouTube gives us a unique ID for each video.

Better yet, fingerprint the ad?

Sounds like implementing this got a whole lot more challenging than I thought when the feature request was created on GitHub. However, fingerprinting would be something that’d be newly implemented in SponsorBlock, and sounds rather complex. I suspect that dynamic advertising is still relatively small, so I’d first focus on getting timestamps implemented.

@ajayyy Is there a list somewhere of segment categories that you support?

Sorry, I missed this message.

There is a list in here: https://github.com/ajayyy/SponsorBlock/blob/master/config.json.example

Sponsor, Intro, Outro, Interaction Reminder, Self/Unpaid promotion (Promotion that is not a sponsor)

The “music_offtopic” category is non music sections in music videos, which is not applicable to podcasts.

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How dynamic it is would require an implementation and testing it in the field.
So far I had the feeling that position and length of sponsor segments are rather static in my favourites.
A skip 30 seconds sometimes even nails it perfectly.
In some podcasts even chapter marks are provided that mark ads with just a small 2 second margin of error.

I think we should help with earnings first

Podcastindex.org mention new name spaces that lead users to the places where you can send money with funding and value names paces.
Antenna Pod isn’t using some of the newer features.

That is where I think improvements are needed first

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@ghast Agreed monetary support ideally comes first. See our GitHub for the specifics of the value tag: Support for <podcast:value> tag; AntennaPod being a wallet, paying podcasters · Issue #4671 · AntennaPod/AntennaPod · GitHub

Because it’s all so new, and even the developers working on value implementation in other apps/platforms seem to struggle a lot, I reckon it will be a while before that gets implemented in AntennaPod, though (let alone the expertise it requires - would probably need an expert on the topic to prepare a PR).

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Hey all.
I watched this discussion play out on the NewPipe community. I respect that you are trying to do the right thing. Unfortunately I’m burnt out by the very low quality of discussion that happened over at newpipe.

I just wanted to encourage any developer hesitating to do the work until after you get the green light: Don’t wait, just do it. Plenty of us will be switching over to your fork. So it went with NewPipe.

Then if antennapod proper does decide in favor of merging, awesome! The topic can be put to rest more quickly with the work already done.

Keep up the good work all.

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I don’t think anybody is going rogue and forking AntennaPod to put Sponsorblock in it.

But I’d like to see this feature a lot.

My main arguments are:

  1. It doesn’t hurt anybody. It really, really doesn’t. - Nobody has data about which parts of the podcasts I listen to or skip. They don’t even know if I actually listen or if I just downloaded the file. They don’t know which podcast player I use. There is no harm done here. Just driving this point home.

  2. I’m skipping the ads anyway. Sponsorblock would just make it more convenient. No advertiser has a right to my attention.

I’d rather you guys put work into this, a proven feature that people want, rather than a fancy new tech that may or may not be the way to support podcasts in the future. If history is any indication this project is more likely to fail than to succeed. Which is a shame but that’s the way I think this will play out.

And it’s not like there aren’t already many different well established ways to support your favorite creators. Be it Patreon or direct donations. So I don’t really see a good reason to wait implementing Sponsorblock. There are no real downsides to this.

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What makes you say that? What history in particular? (I assume that with ‘this project’ you refer to PodcastIndex?)

Yet there’s no easy way in AntennaPod to quickly manually, or even automatically, do so. Users are lazy. If it’s not super easy to donate, you’ve got much lower chances people actually do so.

It’s important to remember that AntennaPod is a community project, driven by volunteers. That the ones driving the project aren’t interested in developing implementation doesn’t prevent others from submitting PRs :slight_smile: So far I’ve seen nobody say no categorically - just no interest, or preference to go about it differently.

On an individual user level I’d agree. Yet on a systemic level one could argue otherwise. Let’s say that virtually all podcatchers have support for this system. Do you think this would go unnoticed and advertisers would keep giving money to podcasters despite ads being skipped in 90% of the cases? 'course not - they would only advertise through proprietary apps like Spotify and the likes that prevent you from skipping. If that move drives podcasters into silos, that’s definitely harming the open podcasting ecosystem.
Again, that’s on a systemic, rather theoretical level. Still to be taken into consideration if you ask me.

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As a user & developer contributor to AntennaPod

  • user: I do use the skip button to skip over intro and ads
  • user: I would not use an app which doesn’t allow allow me to skip an ad, I would paid for an app/subscription (Spotify)
  • developer: I will not work on adding auto skipping of ads because it’s not good for the ecosystem, especially the podcast hosts

I agree with @keunes that we have to think about the harm to the system.

I’m trying to write down why I am spending my time helping AntennaPod

  • The software gives me control, no tracking, focus and a great user experience to listen to my podcasts, I’ve spent 987.5 hours listening to podcast using AP
  • The software and the maintainer @ByteHamster and @keunes are trying to do the right thing for the ecosystem, while balancing the needs of the users. So we are serving both the listeners and the hosts
  • It’s the only ad free (banner ads) podcast player
  • It also serves as a counter force against Spotify’s wall garden
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Better don’t make this behaviour public. It may be bad for the podcast ecosystem when advertisers catch on to that. /s

Idealism is a wonderful thing and pretty much the reason open source projects exist in the first place. So I’m not going to argue with those reasons.

But I do disagree that it would be harmful to podcasting itself. This is a fairly theoretical discussion, agreed, since AntennaPod is tiny compared to its competitors. And the fact that the biggest apps are made by Apple, Google and Spotify and those guys would never implement automatic ad skipping. So that’s most of the market you’re never going to change no matter what you do.

I assume that with ‘this project’ you refer to PodcastIndex?

I was talking about the microdonation cryptowallet thing. There are a lot of those services that never really caught on. Flattr, Drip, Blendle, Kachingle I’m sure there are a lot more. I don’t see why this time would be different.

I’m just saying I’d wait with putting work into this payment thing until this has become a somewhat established service. No need to be first on this one.

There might be some overlap with this project. Code is available at the website.

Ads detection algorithm
The filter combines machine learning and acoustic fingerprinting (Shazam-like) techniques. It is able to distinguish between music, talk and ads. It recognizes most new ads by itself.

This point is very important

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