Google is taking aim at one of the biggest scourges of the modern web. Starting in January 2018, the Chrome browser will automatically block noisy auto play video on webpages.
“One of the most frequent user concerns is unexpected media playback, which can use data, consume power, and make unwanted noise while browsing,” Google wrote in a blog post (go.pcworld.com/auto). “To address this, Chrome will be making autoplay more consistent with user expectations and will give users more control over audio.”
In Chrome 64, autoplaying videos will be blocked by default unless they’re muted, or if “the user has indicated an interest in the media.” That means autoplay will be allowed for a site if you’ve frequently played a video on it or added the site to your mobile homepage. You won’t need to manually play every YouTube video or Twitch stream you select, in other words. Autoplay will also be enabled if you “clicked somewhere on the site during the browsing session”.
If you want to start blocking unwanted audio from autoplay videos today, try Avram Piltch’s Silent Site Sound Blocker extension (go.pcworld.com/sssb) for Chrome. Apple’s Safari 11 browser has also allowed users to easily stop autoplay videos (go.pcworld. com/stau) since it launched with macOS High Sierra on September 25.