Even if you pay for YouTube Premium, you are not exempt from ads. YouTube will no longer add pre-roll and interstitial ads, but content creators have still baked their own ads into videos. These product placements can be even worse than ads, and they’re not the only hassle embedded in videos. To put it well, YouTube is starting to have a problem with distractions.
While you can manually shuffle past a verbose intro, annoying ad, or lengthy end screen at any time, an open source extension called Sponsor Block can automatically skip all of that junk for you. It uses crowd-sourced database to instantly bypass portions of video that users have marked as distractions. And recently Sponsor Block was added to a third-party YouTube app to make it easier to access mobile devices.
: Install YouTube Vanced
YouTube Vanced is an amazing third-party YouTube app whose tools are not available in the version of the app pre-installed on your phone. This includes the ability to use a true black theme and various YouTube Premium features, including background playback.
After complaints that the installation process was too complicated, the developer of this popular open source app packed all the tools it needed into a new app called Vanced Manager. Use the guide linked below for help sideloading the Vanced Manager APK file, then use the manager to sideload the other two files for using YouTube Vanced.
Step 2: Activate the sponsor block
Once installed, open YouTube Vanced and select your avatar icon in the top right corner. Then select “Settings”. Select “Sponsor Block Settings” and activate the “Enable Sponsor Block (Beta)” switch.
Step 3: customize the sponsor block
On the next page under What to do with different segments is a list of all sections of videos that Sponsor Block can skip. The different colors that appear next to these are shown in the video’s progress bar and indicate where users have identified that type of content.
Tap on each “segment” in turn (sponsor, break / intro, end cards / credits etc) and choose from three options: “Just skip automatically”, “Show skip button” and “Do nothing”.
“Just auto-skip” will automatically skip the segment and display a toast message informing you which segment was skipped. This is the standard action for all segments. The Show Skip Button button has a small “Tap to Skip” button on the right side of the video (although the button failed to show up on my tests). Finally, you can have the section play by toggling it to “do nothing”.
Step 4: testing
Now open a video in Vanced and check the progress bar. If you see different colored sections, this has been crowdsourced. If there are no colors, Sponsor Block users did not label this video. This means that the sections are not automatically skipped.
As you watch the video, you’ll see the playback skip during the intro, sponsored messages, and other distracting bits, and a toast message lets you know which section was skipped.
Step 5: help the community (optional)
Sponsor Block is crowdsourced, meaning it is the community that characterizes every video. You can help improve the service by adding these segments yourself. To do this, return to the page with the sponsor block settings and activate the “Enable add new segment” switch.
Now when a video starts playing, you’ll see a new icon in the top left corner that looks like a play button with a shield outline. When this option is selected, a series of tools will appear (when holding your phone in portrait orientation) that you can use to add a segment to the video. Use this tool on videos that are not tagged to improve the user experience for all users of the service.
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