New Version 0.90 Released. Adds Support for Hulu Desktop!

Version 0.90 can be found at the Downloads Page.

This version adds support for Hulu Lab’s Hulu Desktop app for Windows. (Hulu Lab’s download link is broken at the time of this release but should hopefully be restored soon)

EDIT: Hulu Desktop is no longer being developed by Hulu. See this post for more info.

If you are using this option, select Desktop App from the program window or modify the appropriate config value.  HuluMute’s ad detection mechanism is screen-resolution specific, so not all screen resolutions are supported. A full list of supported screen resolutions can be found here.

Other changes include improvements in the visual blocking feature.  More screen area along the top is covered, leaving only a small area in the left-hand corner necessary for ad detection. A subtle message reads “Blocked by HuluMute” to let you know the visual block is active.  This block screen was changed from a JFrame to a Window, (in case any of you geeks out there care) and the Select Window Command is no longer necessary and has been removed.

Other small changes: The program window is no longer adjustable and should therefore draw properly on program startup.  Also, a link to the FAQ has been added to the help menu of the program window.

Let me know how it works for you! Comment here or send an email to hulumute@gmail.com. As always, feel free to support this project any way you can. I’d appreciate any feedback.  Thanks!

Version 0.81 Released.

Get the latest version here.

This update fixes a few bugs in the user interface and adds CTRL-Click and Middle-Click functionality for starting or stopping the mute process using the system tray icon.  The web address used to check for program updates has been changed and the previous one will shortly be phased out.  Because of this change, it is recommended you update to this version of the program to continue receiving reliable update notifications.

Comment here or email me with any thoughts, questions, or concerns you may have.

Happy Hulu-ing!

Version 0.8 Released! Big Interface Improvements.

Get it at the downloads page.  Feel free to support this project any way you can, if you so desire.

This release features the addition of few new features, mainly the ability to open up a graphical user interface to edit and save configuration values.  This window can be opened by either left-clicking on the system tray icon or right-clicking the icon and selecting “Open”. Closing this window does not exit the program, the user must select quit from either the system tray menu or the program window.

Also available from both the program window and system tray icon is the ability to stop or start the ad muting/blocking process.  When the program is actively searching for ads to mute or block, the tray icon is green. While this function is stopped, the tray icon is red.

A few additional features include a check to make sure you don’t forget to save any changes to the configuration file before exiting the program, and the update feature is a little nicer, giving you the option of whether or not you want to visit the downloads site. The last thing worth mentioning is the ability to load default configuration values, just in case something goes awry while you’re fiddling with the timings or commands.

I’m interested to know if anyone is using this program yet.  Leave a comment here to let me know, or email me at hulumute@gmail.com.

Hello! HuluMute is here!

If you’re like me, you hate being bombarded with ads online, and while most browsers support great add-ons like AdBlock Plus, there are some drawbacks to using this sort of ad-blocking when it comes to watching videos on Hulu.com

  1. Your favorite television shows and movies don’t receive any revenue.  This totally removes the incentive for content providers to put their works online, and affects the future of free digital streaming services.
  2. Hulu defaults to a muuuuch longer commercial breaks (sans actual advertisements) when ads are unable to load.  This gives us Hulu-goers a choice between sitting and staring at a Hulu warning message for 5 minutes each break or disabling ad-blocking on Hulu and watching 90 seconds of commercials during those breaks instead.

Fortunately, however, there are methods of muting or blocking advertisements on Hulu without either of these drawbacks.  This program is an offshoot of a simpler version that I found while searching for a Windows-compatible solution myself.  I have updated that simpler version for 16×9 resolution compatibility and added visual blocking as well as several other features.

By running this Windows program, and viewing videos fullscreen on Hulu through any modern browser, HuluMute will detect when an advertisement is shown (using Hulu’s own convenient feature that displays something like “Ad 1 of 3″ in the top-left corner of the screen) and mute the audio and/or visually block the ads.  The program’s settings are configurable within a hulumute.conf file located in the program folder. The source code is available there as well.

It’s not perfect yet, and I’ve still got some bugs to work out and features to add, but it’s functioning well enough for a beta release at this point.  So go ahead to the downloads page, grab the latest installer and give it a go.  Don’t forget to make sure you have the latest version of Java installed. Comment here or send an email to hulumute@gmail.com with any questions or comments about this project that you may have. And as always, feel free to support this project.