To be honest we haven’t been doing a lot of development of j4cc the last year or so. It’s been kind of just working for us and over-the-air TV has been less of a priority and taking less of our viewing time.
Since we have been streaming more through YouTube Red, Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, one gets used to commercial free viewing. Supporting content creators that you like through fees to these services and being AD-free is certainly our preference. We understand not everyone feels this way, however it is nice to have the choice.
Having said all that, recently we have been wanting to spend more time with the video we can record and watch for free. For us this time of year, TV is pretty bare boned as we are not interested much in the current live sports. Being basically a football and baseball fan, these few months during the cold of Winter are pretty boring.
We realized we had a pretty bad bug in respect to fetching TV artwork from thetvdb.com. That site had made a change that caused the Java code we are using to fail. From our perspective it’s simple code, just one line of code called on a Java system class. The change that thetvdb.com made caused this one line of code to fail. We had to implement a method to use instead of this one line of code to fix the problem.
When we were looking for a fix for this we noticed that a project called Comskip had also made a change. Comskip is a terrific program that can detect commercials in a TV recording. In the past it only would compile on Windows. Since j4cc strives to be cross platform it was harder to get it to work on Linux and Mac, but it was possible by using Wine. The real issue was the author of Comskip asked for donations to use Comskip. I had asked the author if I could redistribute Comskip, he said it would be OK but he did not say so very enthusiastically. And since it would still be a bit of a hassle to get it to work on Linux and Mac I opted to not include it in j4cc. I wrote my own commercial detector using ffmpeg to sense the blank and silent frames in the recording. It generally worked pretty poorly but it was something.
Lo and behold I saw that Comskip source code was now available on Github and it now compiled on Linux and Mac. The author is now allowing to include Comskip with third party packages like j4cc. The author of Comskip just asks that users are made aware of the donation aspect of Comskip. I highly recommend donating if you can because it is terrific software.
The 1.2 version of j4cc now includes Comskip. You will see greatly improved commercial detection. It’s not perfect but it is very good. See the Software page or just do an update using your current version.