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Apple Patent Shows How To Auto-skip Commercials

Have you ever wanted to skip a commercial or unwanted audio/video segments, and focus instead on content? Yeah, me too. But since I couldn’t, I used alternative ways to skip those parts I wasn’t interested in while listening to a podcast or other media. However, all this is now gone, as Apple prepares its way into the living room.

Apple patent
The latest Apple patent published as US Patent No. 8,249,497 aims to bring a customized content consumption system right onto your iOS device. Apple has developed a way to allow a user listening to a radio station (for example) to skip those sections he/she isn’t interested in, by filling the gap with media files found on-board the device. And yes, the skipped files include commercials too.

Finally, you don’t have to watch or listen to commercials if you don’t want to, nobody is forcing you to from now on (or at least from the moment this technology is implemented).

The technology behind this useful future feature of iOS is based on the metadata, such as RDS (Radio Data System) data, which allows the device to determine if an “upcoming broadcast segment or media item is ‘not of interest’ to the user”. When the Apple device detects this type of content, it will switch to the stored media content to comply with the user preference settings. Now the only question is regarding user preference settings or analysis.

Apple’s patent has an answer for this one too: by using the core of already available Apps such as Pandora—the generation of a profile based on media content comparison. For example, a user can like or dislike a song, and the corresponding metadata will be stored in his/her preference profile. In other words, this sounds like an intuitive App, which learns from (and creates your profile based on) your stored media content. But that’s not all: the device will watch your content consumption habits and eventually can make a guess as to what you’d like in your preference profile.

As soon as the system gets notification about an upcoming segment outside the user’s profile parameters, it will seamlessly launch media content stored on your device, but the nicest part of all: it can use a relevance algorithm to determine which song or video to play to comply with the content you were listening/watching.

This patent is in line with others and the recent news that Apple may be in talks with US cable TV companies in order to transform its Apple TV box from “beta” (or hobby tool) into a set-top box. [Via AppleInsider, Image Courtesy - AppleInsider]

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    cheri9 years, 1 month ago

    I think it is awesome that Apple is providing this feature. Skipping commercials is something that I have done for a while since I have a Hopper at home with Auto Hop. I have more time to watch the shows that I want, instead of listening to the same ad over and over. I was talking with a co-worker at Dish about the news, and since he loves Apple products, I’m sure he will be the first to tell me if this happens on the rumored Apple TV. I think it’s really cool that it will substitute your music for the ads, but I still prefer being able to skip them entirely. Perhaps in the future, it will skip TV commercials!