v 0.1.6 © F. Ruiz 2020
This little app allows you to filter out several types of objectionable content from downloaded video files. It uses the same categories as the "Parents Guide" section of IMDB.com. It can skip sections entirely, or simply mute the sound or blank the video, at your discretion. Skip files can be shared at the official VideoSkip Exchange, or any way you want. The exchange is at https://videoskip.org/exchange There is also an exension version of this app, available from the Chrome and Firefox web stores, which works on streaming video from any source, and a desktop version that might be easier to use than this one at https://videoskip.org/app
Step by step:
- Load the video from a local file using the "Load video" button. Because the video must be playable in a browser, it can take .mp4, .ogg, and .webm formats. You can save videos from streaming sources in these formats, rip a disc using software, or convert video files into these formats from a different format (more information below).
- Optionally, load a file containing subtitles using the "Load subtitles". Subtitles must be in .vtt or .srt format. They might show as "English" but never mind.
- Toggle the category filters using the checkboxes. A check means that the filter is on and content labeled accordingly will be skipped or blanked out. Otherwise it will be shown.
- If you have a .skp file containing the skips, you can load it now with the "Load skip file" button. Once loaded, its contents will appear in the box, plus a screenshot on its right. Each skip consists of beginning and end times relative to the start of the video, with an arrow between them, and on the line below a category plus maybe a handling label (such as "video" or "audio").
- If you don't have a skip file for the film you're watching, chances are another user has made one, and has posted it in the VideoSkip Exchange. There's a button to load the Exchange on a separate tab. You don't have to register in order to browse and download skip files.
- The time shown on the first line of a loaded skip file is used for syncing the skips for different versions of the video. Click the "Go to time" button; if the video shows the same image as the screenshot, everything is in sync and you can go ahead and watch it, otherwise you need to sync the skips as explained in the section below.
- If you want to change something in the list of skips, go right ahead. There's a button to insert the current time on the video (the video itself has a scrub bar to get there), and a correctly formatted "arrow" if you feel lazy. There is also a button for saving your edited skip list in the default folder for downloads.
- Click the play button on the video, and maybe the fullscreen button, sit back, and enjoy. Skips will take place when their time arrives.
How to sync the skips:
- If the video matches the screenshot when you click the "Go to time" button, everything is in sync and you're done with this phase. Scrub the video back to the beginning and start watching.
- But if the video is from a source different from that used to make the sync file, there may be a mismatch. Use the arrow buttons to scrub the video until the screen matches the screenshot or description (frame by frame, if "Fine" is checked). The fast forward button toggles the speed, or resumes playing if paused. The "Superimpose" button puts the screenshot right on top of the video, so you can see the precise moment when they match.You can move the screenshot around with the arrow keys, and resize it if you hold the Alt key as well. Hold Shift also for fine corrections.
- Click the "Sync times" button when video and screenshot match. This will shift all the skips by the right amount, so they will happen at the correct times.
Getting the video files:
- If you are using a streaming service, these often allow you to pre-download the complete video in order to avoid stuttering on low-bandwidth connections. YouTube and Vimeo videos are very easy to get this way (Google it), but other services may use copy-protection schemes that will need to be removed before you can use the file.
- If the video is in a DVD or BlueRay disc that your own, there are excellent programs that will extract the data into whatever format you choose. Currently my favorite is Handbrake, available for Windows and for Mac.
- Or you may have an old .avi, .mkv, or some other format. Handbrake can also convert the file from those formats into .mp4. A feature film may take an hour of processing. There are online converters as well, but they usually limit how much processing you can do in one day.
- Another way to get them is by sharing with others, via BitTorrent or similar protocol. Be advised that this is not always legal.
- Of course, you can always view videos directly from a streaming service. In this case you will need the VideoSkip extension rather than this app. Here are links to get it for Chrome, and for Firefox.
- Subtitles in .srt format are very easy to find online. This app will load them in this format, but if you want to convert them to .vtt there are easy online utilities like this one.
Making your own skips:
- A well-constructed skip file will have a first entry with the timing of an event near the start of the video where the image is changing quickly, plus a description of it on the line below it, and a screenshot. This is to allow viewers to use the skips in the file even if they are watching a video obtained from a different source, which might have a different timing. To take a screenshot, just scrub the video to the desired time and click "Take screenshot"; the time will be added at the beginning of the skip list.
- Inserting skips is as easy as scrubbing to the point where the skip/mute/blank is supposed to begin, clicking the "Insert time" button on a new line, then the "Insert arrow" button, scrubbing to the point where the skip is to end, clicking the "Insert time" button once more, and then going to the next line and writing a content and (optionally) handling label. If you are initially unsure of where the skips should be inserted, there is a "Fast Forward" button that scrubs the video at high speed. Click it again to stop. The arrow buttons to its left also stop the video.
- Content labels are case-insensitive. They consist of any word (actually, the first three letters are enough) of the IMDB categories, which are displayed next to the checkboxes, such as "sex", "nudity", "gore", "drugs", etc. Handling labels are these words: "audio", "sound", "video", "image" (or the first three letters of each, including "img") also case-insensitive.
- The "audio" or "sound" keywords will cause the sound to be muted during the given interval while the video is still shown, rather than skipping the section entirely, which might be useful for removing profanity. The "video" and "image" keywords cause the image to blank out while the sound still plays, which might be useful for instances of nudity, etc. No handling keyword means that the section will be completely skipped. You can add explanatory text in parentheses, which won't trigger the filters.
- Everything is editable in the box. Use this to fine-tune timings. For instance, words to be muted typically take a lot less than a second. You can review each timing by clicking it on the list andthen clicking "Go to time". If the time is selected, the arrows will shift the time as well as scrub the video.
- The "Insert" buttons put things always at the current cursor position.
- The "Save" button will save your list, plus screenshot, in .skp format in your default Download folder. You will have to move it from there to the folder where you want it. This format is text-based, so you can view the file in any text editor.
- The "VideoSkip Exchange" button will open a web page where you can share your skip file with other VideoSkip users.
Sample skip, which will cause the screen to blank out from 14 minutes, 8.27 seconds from the start of the movie until 14 minutes, 14 seconds, while the sound still plays, if "Sex and Nudity" is checked. It has additional explanations that won't affect the filter:
0:14:08.27 --> 0:14:14
nude image (male, from behind)
Here are some videos that show how to make and use skip files:
VideoSkip developer plays ukulele with a pick, Egad! (WARNING, this video might be offensive to sensitive ukulele players):
Obtaining the skip file for the uke video from the VideoSkip Exchange:
Using VideoSkip to edit the playback of the uke video:
Making a VideoSkip file for the uke video:
Posting a skip file to the VideoSkip Exchange:
Legal Notice: Content copyright owners and distributors are hereby informed that users and developers of this software are exercising their right of free speech, guaranteed by law in many nations, by voluntarily refraining from seeing or hearing content without modifying said content in any way. Legal action that ignores this notice will be considered harassment and infringement of basic rights, and prosecuted according to the law.