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Would it be possible to implement a solution to automatically lower audio playback volume during Youtube advertisements, on PC/Mac/Linux, or on IOS/Android?
I don't mean necessarily the Youtube video volume, but maybe the overall system volume itself.

Could this be done through browser plugins/extensions, or would it need to be done at some system level? How (in)feasible would this be?

My motivation is to stop having to temporarily lower volume during ads whenever i'm watching videos.

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what about removing ads completely:… – Theta30 Aug 6 '13 at 1:36
interesting, well that's does everything i want except allow me to contribute ad revenue to the content owner by watching the ad all the way through. thanks for pointing that out though! – Peter Hahn Aug 6 '13 at 1:42
up vote 2 down vote accepted

If the advert is in the video stream the answer is no. The software that does this would have to decode the video stream and recognize is as an advertisement. That is not possible.

Decoding the video stream and matching it against other known videos is possible (that's exactly what Youtube does to detect copyright infringement) but it's still a big job. Against unknown videos it can not be done.

If the advert is pre-pended to the video and coming from a specific URL, the answer is yes. After all, if AdBlock or similar addons can detect ads, it can also do other things like lowering the volume. (thanks gronostaj)

So what you could try is install AdBlock, check if the adverts are blocked (i.e. case 2 applies), then write your own add-on ;-) Not sure if you are allowed to re-use the AdBlock database, that would be easiest. Or do a feature request to the AdBlock authors.

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Actually, it doesn't have to match videos. If AdBlock or similar addons can detect ads, then all we need is to change volume instead of blocking ad. – gronostaj Aug 6 '13 at 8:30
Of course - updating my answer – Jan Doggen Aug 6 '13 at 8:53
thanks i should have thought about that :) – Peter Hahn Aug 6 '13 at 22:23

Yes, it would be possible. An application could be running in the background always monitoring the volume of any media playing on the device; it would determine the average level of the audio by defining 2 thresholds (lower and upper). Every time a new section of audio would go out the thresholds, the volume would be set automatically down to be in the acceptable range.

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Technically, this answers what was asked in a literal sense, but it isn't a useful answer. Answers should be actionable solutions. Saying something is theoretically possible doesn't get anyone closer to solving the problem. – fixer1234 Jun 6 '15 at 17:14

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