Netflix & Pause

Pause the video when someone interrupts your chill session.


You know how sometimes you're watching Netflix/YouTube/Hulu/etc and then a "friend" starts talking and you miss the punchline in your show? And then you pause the video to talk to this friend and/or rewind and watch it again? Netflix & Pause is for you. With this Chrome extension, your video will pause automatically when someone talks over the video and play again once the conversation is over.

What it does

Netflix & Pause is a Chrome extension that works on pages with videos. When a conversation is detected, the video is paused for the duration of the conversation. Beyond watching videos for leisure with friends, this technology could be used to integrate video demos and lectures in classrooms. The teacher can play an educational video (such as a demo or Khan academy lecture), and then answer student questions and enhance the presentation seamlessly with explanations.

How we built it

We built on TreeHacks' Cal-to-Butt Chrome extension hackpack, thanks TreeHacks team! The microphone picks up a continuous stream of audio. Snippets are uploaded to the cloud for speech-to-text analysis (with Web Speech API), and partial results are returned. We analyze the results by looking for potential speech and end-of-conversation.

Challenges we ran into

Audio processing. It was difficult to distinguish between the presenter of TED talk video and the user. No speech-to-text API (1) had the built-in function of subtracting system audio and (2) could run locally without sending ALL audio to the cloud for processing. In the end, we went with a lightweight web API and checked for potential speech sounds rather than certain English.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

No one on our team has built a Chrome extension before or had extensive experience with javascript, but we were able to pull together a functioning extension.

What we learned

APIs are awesome and powerful but you have to look more closely at how they interface with input/output.

What's next for Netflix & Pause

Since we're already getting the audio transcript, the next logical step is to listen for keywords to allow users to play, pause, and rewind the video with voice commands. Additionally, with better audio processing (e.g, the ability the isolate the user's voice from video audio), we would want to make this work just as effectively without headphones for a better group viewing experience. We'd also like to build a platform agnostic version that works with TVs, etc.

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