Plex has announced the launch Skip intro functionality in the Plex Pass, a feature that, as its name suggests, allows us to skip the series introductions.
The option to skip the summaries or introductions of the series is not new. We have known this for about three years when Netflix started launching it on its platform thinking especially, but not only, of binge watchers. Moments in which a good number of episodes in a row are consumed and saving the series intros (and also the credits) makes viewing even easier.
The interesting thing about the arrival of the Skip intro function to the Plex service, is how it is operated. And how? Basically, it analyzes the series we watch.
This is how Plex analyzes our series to allow us to skip the introductions
Plex engineers have solved the detection of introductions of any type of program using an interesting analysis system. It detects these parts automatically, as new content is incorporated into the platform’s library, without requiring manual identification.
The system works in the background by recognizing patterns and creating an audio fingerprint from the histogram of each episode in a given season of each television program. That is, they say humorously , the “secret ingredient”.
“It turns out that the vast majority of intros on the shows share common audio signatures across all their episodes (at least for a specific season). After applying some heuristics and a bit of Special Sauce™, we are able to accurately predict (in almost all cases) when the introduction begins and ends.”
This happens as long as the introductory sequence lasts for at least 20 seconds. Plex is in charge of looking for parts of the production that sound the same or similar and, with this, is able to determine where the introduction is located in order to skip it. And it does not look for exact similarities because, as we know, many series can slightly change their beginning from one episode to another, from one season to another or undergo changes depending on the regional version in question. If so, too many times it would not work.