cross-posted from: https://lazysoci.al/post/14579120

YouTube is currently experimenting with server-side ad injection. This means that the ad is being added directly into the video stream.

This breaks sponsorblock since now all timestamps are offset by the ad times.

For now, I set up the server to detect when someone is submitting from a browser with this happening and rejecting the submission to prevent the database from getting filled with incorrect submissions.

  • algorithmae@lemmy.sdf.org
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    1 month ago

    Literally just make ads less obnoxious, and/or make YouTube premium not stupidly expensive. That’s all you fuckin have to do, YouTube, and you can cut a huge portion of the cat and mouse game.

    • TehPers@beehaw.org
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      1 month ago

      All they’d have to do for me to buy premium is make a plan without YT music that costs less. It’s not that hard. I will never use YT music, and that has nothing to do with the quality of the service or whatever - I’m not interested in music streaming services at all.

    • umbrella@lemmy.ml
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      1 month ago

      according to their bean counters its probably cheaper for them to do the cat and mouse game. they wouldnt be doing it like this otherwise.

      • algorithmae@lemmy.sdf.org
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        1 month ago

        As much as I don’t want to believe it, it must be true. I guess development is cheap enough when you have foreign countries doing it for you

  • criitz@reddthat.com
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    1 month ago

    In that thread, the sponsorblock official account posted:

    the ui needs to change to include ad links, so the data for when ads happen should still be retrievable somewhere in the page. Then just a bit of math

    So hopefully, there will still be a method for sponsorblock to continue working.

  • PM_ME_VINTAGE_30S [he/him]@lemmy.sdf.org
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    1 month ago

    If that happens then I swear to fucking God I’m done with YouTube forever.

    Edit: i.e. if it breaks FreeTube, Invidious, Sponsorblock, etc. (because I’m already done with the main site forever) then I’m out. If the choice is between content vs no ads, I’ll take no ads even if it means no content.

  • Nougat@fedia.io
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    1 month ago

    I’m guessing that alternative front ends (piped, FreeTube, whatever) don’t give YouTube the same metrics they would get if I was using YouTube directly? I will continue to deny them the data they so desire.

    • tal@lemmy.today
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      1 month ago

      I don’t even mind paying for YouTube, but if I do that, I don’t want Google logging and data-mining me, and AFAICT, that’s not on offer with the existing YouTube Premium service – just lets Google link that to financial data.

      Right now, I believe that they just offer ad-free service.

    • unknowing8343
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      1 month ago

      I am expecting that is exactly the point. I don’t think they’ll win, tho. We’ll find a way around it.

      • themurphy@lemmy.ml
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        1 month ago

        uBlock might be out at some point, but modified APKs will probably live forever.

        Pirates, aaargh… always finds a way.

    • DarkenLM@kbin.earth
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      1 month ago

      uBO is all kinds of broken for multiple people right now. It’s a constant cat and mouse game, but YouTube seems to be winning for now.

      • millie@beehaw.org
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        1 month ago

        uBlock Origin works fine for me on youtube. Just make sure you keep it updated and don’t run multiple blockers.

        • mobyduck648@beehaw.org
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          1 month ago

          I’ve noticed pretty much zero disruption on Firefox with uBlock Origin and SponsorBlock despite Google’s best efforts. Every time I thought I’d eventually be paying Google the Danegeld to avoid the firehose of spam I’ve been pleasantly surprised.

  • onlinepersona@programming.dev
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    1 month ago

    I bet the majority will continue watching YouTube and accept the ads. But I do wonder if yt-dlp and other downloaders will still cut into their ad revenue. All those injected add won’t ever be clicked on, or the clients will change to automatically click them thus rendering the ads meaningless.

    Anti Commercial-AI license

    • Omniraptor@lemm.ee
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      1 month ago

      It’ll probably be done with an overlay/prompt for the user to click on (Unless the advertiser is paying for exposure and not direct traffic idk). But such a popup would provide a hook for a patched version of yt-dl to detect the ad and trim it out of the final video.

      Also, shouldn’t a forum signature at all should be enough to screw with AI scrapers? No need to link to anything specific

  • tal@lemmy.today
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    1 month ago

    I mean, I think that in the long run, trying to fight an arms race against Google on ad visibility is a losing proposition, but this isn’t really all that hard to defeat from a technical standpoint. You just identify ads relative to timestamp offsets from a given matched frame. Use some kind of fuzzy (needs to?be fuzzy because lossy compression will alter frames a bit) hash to identify that frame, and use an identifier where it’s computationally-cheap to reject most frames.

    So, like, “ad ranging from frame hash 18037gb5028de882 + .53 sec lasting 30 seconds”.

    I dunno how Sponsorblock works – I don’t use it – but I assume that it has some human manually identify a time. In picking a frame to use for the offset, the software needs to hash each frame in the video. Then when someone flags a frame as starting an ad sequence, search backwards from the identified time, and pick a frame to match against, look for a frame with a unique hash in the video.

    There’d be some preprocessing time, but I imagine that the human interface would basically be the same. Some overhead to playback software, because it has to generate the hash for each frame while playing. If there’s no Sponsorblock information for a given video, don’t need to generate the hashes, though.

    • Kissaki@beehaw.org
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      1 month ago

      Right now it’s entirely timestamp-based. That means it can interface and work on simple playback terms. On time, jump, jump to time, etc. Having to get frame data and hash it, and make playback depend on it adds a lot of technical complexity.

      If ad length varies you don’t even know how far to jump ahead. And if you haven’t prebuffered the data until after the ad, you can’t find out from a hashed after-frame-hash-value either.

      • millie@beehaw.org
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        1 month ago

        Nah, it’s a subscription service, but it’s got a few notable YouTubers and they tend to drop extra content there. PhilosophyTube is on there, 12Tone, a bunch of people. As a platform it’s a lot less bullshit, but it’s also obviously less content.

        Though now I realize you actually have to get referred by one of the other members in order to start posting, so I’m not really sure they stand to benefit that much. It kind of explains why the content has been lacking. It certainly won’t ever have the diversity of content that YouTube has with that approach.

        Honestly learning that it’s more of a market stall than a garden makes me less enthusiastic. It’s there to curate what’s already on YouTube without YouTube’s limitations, not to create a better alternative that’s actually sustainable.

        • kent_eh@lemmy.ca
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          1 month ago

          Though now I realize you actually have to get referred by one of the other members in order to start posting

          That is done with the intention of keeping the quality of content high.

          I doubt they want to get flooded with low effort “let’s play” gamers or even lower effort AI voiceover stock footage crap.

          • thatsTheCatch@lemmy.nz
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            1 month ago

            It also doesn’t have an algorithm, which would make it difficult to find content you want when there are loads of creators

        • sabreW4K3@lazysoci.alOP
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          1 month ago

          Haha, reading this was like a journey. You can see your disillusion growing with every sentence.

  • M500@lemmy.ml
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    1 month ago

    I live in a region that has decently low YouTube premium pricing. If it’s ads or nothing, I may get a subscription. But I haven’t checked pricing in a while, so maybe it’s gone up too much.

  • M500@lemmy.ml
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    1 month ago

    I live in a region that has decently low YouTube premium pricing. If it’s ads or nothing, I may get a subscription. But I haven’t checked pricing in a while, so maybe it’s gone up too much.