Don’t you hate really long intros that say the same thing that you’re already up to speed on but it’s like a nice social convention perhaps hammered into our heads by our English teachers that everything needs an introduction, even a blog dedicated to introductions needs an introduction that lasts approximately thirty seconds to read?
Yeah, well you can skip all that now.
Introducing our brand new Plex Pass feature called (duh) Skip Intro. If you’ve ever binge-watched anything, you know the secret to achieving that smooth multi-episode groove is all about reducing the non-essentials. So our engineers sharpened their pencils and, um, slid their slide-rules in order to figure out how to dynamically skip intros for basically any type of show. That is, without having to manually identify on every single episode what is an opening intro and what is just a kick-ass music break at the start of an episode. When you add in cold-opens, different credits for different seasons, and regional variations, it starts to become a rather thorny problem.
Long story short, we updated your Plex Media Server to analyze your shows in the background in order to deliver some next-level pattern recognition. Once it’s finished processing, you’ll see that friendly Skip Intro button appear in your supported player app. Magic.
To boldly go where no DVR has gone before
Think of it as another reason to get that digital antenna and tuner and set up Plex Live TV and DVR. In addition to watching and recording dozens of HD over-the-air broadcast channels for FREE (here in the States that includes networks like CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, and PBS plus dozens more depending on your local market), now you can skip intros on all of your recorded shows. Only two caveats: the intro sequence must be at least 20 seconds long (keep reading to see why) and you’ll need a Plex Pass for your playback device. As of today, you’ll see it working on the latest releases of our iOS, Android, Roku, Fire TV, and Web clients – once you’ve updated your Plex Media Server and let it process your TV content.
Show me the histograms
A little peek under the hood: The secret ingredient is creating an audio “fingerprint” out of the histogram of each episode in a given season of each TV show. It turns out that the vast majority of show intros share common audio signatures for all their episodes (at least for a specific season). After applying some heuristics and a little bit of Special Sauce™, we’re able to predict (in almost all cases) precisely when the intro starts and ends. Voila! Get precious minutes of your life back, one episode at a time.
Ready to get started? Take a read through our support article about the new feature. (And if you’re not seeing it yet, first make sure you have an active Plex Pass subscription, then try restarting your Plex Media Server to pick up the feature access.)
Leave a comment in our forums! Tell us how you’re going to spend those extra seconds as well