Video freezes for a few seconds in the begining

The original file plays just fine, but when running it through mcebuddy the video freezes in the beginning of the video however I can still hear audio while it “freezes”. I’ve tried reinstalling mcebuddy. Tried ver. 2.5 release 5 and 2.5 release 6. I’ve reinstalled windows, I have reinstalled video card drivers (dual 1080 Ti’s in SLi) Ive even tried on multiple pcs (alienwares M17 laptop and dell poweredge server) all give me the same results. I never had this issue til the other day. I have been racking my brain on this issue. Any help would be greatly apricated, thank you!

I can also upload the before and after video files as well if needed.

Here are my logs from mcebuddy:
Bar Rescue (2011) - S03E02 - Rock 'N Roaches.mkv-remove ads-2021-05-21T21-24-48.log (586.9 KB)

EDIT: I switched mcebuddy to showanalyzer and used customer cuts and for the most part videos no longer freeze in the beginning, however there in a few videos is a small stutter, which I can deal with… Wonder if its something with my comskip file:
comskip.ini (6.2 KB)

It looks like you’re using the trial version.

I don’t see any obvious errors on the logs. It may be a quirk in the video stream timing information (which explains the difference between Comskip and ShowAnalyzer as they will pick different spots to cut commercials) causing ffmpeg to choke. If you can upload the original video to our upload server I can take at it to see what’s going on.

@Goose I have uploaded the files to the server for you to take a look at

I have used ffmpeg and handbreak and still get the same results. I wonder if its my .comskip.ini file thats causing this

I have noticed similar behavior. The video freezes at the commercial cut point (chapter break) but the audio keeps going.

In VLC, I have to stop playback, restart it and use the mouse to jump to just after the chapter break it froze at. The video starts playing normally from that point.

It doesn’t happen all the time. And some videos it happens at every chapter break.

I’m transcoding from SD HDHR recordings to H.265/AVC in MKV format with comskip ad removal if that helps. I think the cut/merge point may not be at a ‘nice’ boundary (keyframe?) for some reason when it cuts out commercials. Maybe the cut stop/start points are not taking keyframes into account? Could it be a comskip configuration issue?

I can upload an example too if you need one, @Goose.

@Goose any progress on what the issue may be?

It looks like what @mike808 said, it’s due to keyframes at the cutpoints (or lack of) which is causing the tearing. This is an artifact from the original recording where it may not have enough keyframes.

There’s one way to try to workaround is to use the nearest keyframe which works in some cases (depending on how far it is). Try adding this to your profile:

CommercialMergeTool=avidemux

You can find more details about this option here:

@goose forgive my ignorance as I am new to all this… what is the hell is a keyframe and how do I know what "keyframe: is the nearest?

A keyframe is a special frame in the encoding that periodically syncs up the video with the audio so that they don’t get too far out of whack as the video plays. Some video editing tools are aware of keyframes, and if you’re manually editing, you should always make your cuts on the keyframes. Video production tools can insert keyframes as they remux the video with the audio. They’re usually not something you have to fuss with. What @Goose is referring to is that wherever you got the video from, whoever produced it decided to insert those keyframes as often as their tool does that. Some are good and give you control over them (how many frames or seconds between keyframes), others are basic and just slap them in every 10 seconds or so. Whoever made your video already decided how frequent the keyframes would be inserted into the video stream to keep the audio in sync. Keep in mind there are often multiple language audio streams and 5.1 streams and so keyframes get critical keeping all of those streams in sync. For basic stereo broadcast TV fare, not so much. It just depends on the production quality of the original video and the processing tools they used to make it.

What I’m surprised is that the ad-detection cutpoints aren’t adjusted to the prior or next keyframe either as an option, or keyframes aren’t automatically added at the cutpoints. I know I’m being wand-wavey because that is probably technically hard to do, but at the same time, that is what the demux/remux tools are supposed to do automatically (ffmpeg, handbrake).

It could also be a tradeoff if requiring ad removal cutpoints to be forced to cut on keyframes or to force the demux to add keyframes at the cutpoints and then split the streams and remerge, that very well could require multiple passes through the video and that is where people get impatient.

@Goose, are there options to FFMPEG and/or Handbrake and/or avidemux to do something like that, and can that be turned into an “option” or a set of preset options that can be flipped on/off along with the appropriate info/warnings if it means multiple passes an transcodings will take X times longer. Then let people turn it on/off as they need to. For me, I would turn it on because my MCEBuddy is running at night after the recordings have been made and preparing it for later watching with Plex. I don’t record enough to have my machine bogged down all the time converting videos, so it wouldn’t bother me for the extra processing time. Especially if it meant perfect playback where they don’t “lock up” at the ad cutpoints.

@Goose adding CommercialMergeTool=avidemux seems to make it worse. About halfway through the video I loose audio. I just give up!!! I might as well as delete mcebuddy and find an alternative. Its a shame I paid money for this to not work. I dont get this, my set up has not changed and all of a sudden I get this issue. Its extremely frustrating!

@mike808 all my video files are from my plex dvr. I can use showanaylizer and its fine for the most part, minus a millisecond skip in the beginning. The same video using comskip and it starts to get screwed up. I’ve also used a few other video editing software, including sony vegas and the video is fine, so I can say with 100% certainty its not the video or the source of the video.

If you have better results with ShowAnalyzer, then stick with that. MCEBuddy can use ShowAnalyzer or Comskip.

All video software has tons of “fudge factor” code in it - from VLC to WMP to Vegas to SA to Comskip to FFMPEG to Handbrake to Avidemux to VirtualDub to all the codecs - DivX, VP8, VP9, MP2, MP4, H265, AVC, and every other video editing/transcoding product out there. And bugs. (Just read any of the forums for any of them and someone has a “weird video problem” for that just chokes whatever the software is) The fact that MCEBuddy does as good as it does for 99.999% of whatever junk OTA video we can throw at it is an achievement in itself. I’m sure there is a video file out there that MCEBuddy handles just fine and Sony Vegas chokes and pukes all over itself too. The same for VLC and Windows Media Player. Or any other tool, codec, or playback software.

I hope @Goose can give you a refund if that’s what you want. Good luck with finding a replacement and I’m sorry MCEBuddy didn’t work out for you.

@mike808 it was working perfectly for about a month and this issue just manifested out of no where. I have seen multiple people have the same issue with mcebuddy. I tried a few alternatives to mcebuddy last night and I got to say videos are being cut and covered is more accuracy then comskip + mcebuddy

@Goose would have to comment on what components or configurations for them changed in MCEBuddy from that timeframe. e.g. a new Comskip/FFMPEG/Handbrake/AviDemux/mencoder/ version was included, or different defaults put into the config files.