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Upcoming versions of Google Chrome will let you permanently mute sites, block autoplaying videos

Upcoming versions of Google Chrome will let you permanently mute sites, block autoplaying videos
From TechCrunch - September 15, 2017

One of the most annoying things about surfing todays webbesides all those ads, of courseis landing on a site and getting blasted by a video that starts playing automatically. Not only does the experience surprise and annoy web users, it can also consume power and use datawhich is concerning for mobile users, in particular. Now Google says it will do something about the problem. In the upcoming version of the Google Chrome web browser (Chrome 64), Google will limit the ability for sites to autoplay videos.

As the company explains in a blog post, autoplay will only be allowed when the media itself doesnt include sound, or when the user has indicated an interest in the media. In that latter case, user interest can be determined by a variety of factors. For example: if the user has frequently played the media on the site before when visiting from the desktop browser; if theyve tapped or clicked on the screen during the browsing session; or if theyve added the site to their home screen on mobile.

However, at the same time, Google is disabling some of its protections against autoplay for mobile users. On Chrome for Android, its removing the block autoplay setting thats currently available, and it will also remove autoplay blocking on mobile when the Data Saver mode is enabled.

The company says that, by doing so, it will make this new muted autoplay more reliable. In reality, though, that means if youve already taken a specific action to block autoplay videos on mobile, you might actually see them play more often as a result of the changes if youre not careful.

There will be some help on that front, however. In addition to the changes coming to Chrome 64, Google will also introduce a new user option within Chrome 63 that will allow you to completely disable audio for individual sites. That means if you have a favorite site whose content you like, but thats abusing autoplay videoperhaps a news site or one with informative reviewsyou can simply opt to have that site muted indefinitely.

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