back to article Google Chrome feature helps you silence noisy tabs

Google has helped lower the blood pressure of internet users across the world with an experimental Chrome feature that makes it easy to identify which of your open tabs is blaring out noise. The feature, which is available in Chromium and the bleeding edge "this might crash horribly" Canary build of Chrome, puts a little …

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  1. jaduncan

    "The feature stops being of any use if you have so many tabs open that the icons all accordion together and disappear, so the usefulness of it will depend on your browsing habits."

    Given that this is in alpha I'd imagine this will get tweaked.

    1. Al Jones

      Tabs across the top, when your screen is so much wider than it is tall?

      Your tabs belong down the side, where space isn't at a premium, and then they don't have to accordion into one another!

      1. frank ly

        it all depends on which premium

        Tabs down the side has the advantage that it doesn't reduce 'precious' vertical space for a web page. But, that means the tabs are more likely to accordion into one another, since vertical space is at a premium.

  2. SteveK

    What might be more useful is if only the active tab could make noise.

    Or for that matter, only the active tab can run plugins (unless you specify that this site can run plugins in the background)?

    Would cut down on CPU usage by pages filled with animated adverts and so on.

    1. ratfox

      Actually would not want this

      These days, I often find myself playing music by having YouTube on a tab somewhere in the background.

      1. James Hughes 1

        Re: Actually would not want this

        It needs to be a clickable icon that turns the audio on or off for that tab....best of all worlds.

  3. David 164

    I wonder if would be possible to create an chrome extension that automatically take you to the tab that is music?

    1. Eddy Ito
      Pint

      Yes

      That would be a lovely thing. The extension could be called STFU or something more creative and to the point. It should also have a blacklist feature to block the source of auditory assault in perpetuity. I'd be happy to donate a pint to such an extension.

    2. G_232

      "take you to the tab that is music"

      BUT WHO WAS PHONE?!?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    chapeau!

    Now this is a cute little feature. I hope that they run with it, make it more comprehensive, and that other browsers rip it off post-haste. I hate hunting around trying to find out which tab is making the noise.. :)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fantastic!

    Fantastic! Great feature.

    One step further would be some mechanism that entirely stops embedded audio/video/adds from making noise unless requested.

  6. banjomike
    Unhappy

    Handy for use with the Flash volume control bug.

    Since Adobe are not planning to fix this long standing (at least June 2011) bug which results in Flash videos on Youtube and other sites automatically playing at full volume and resetting to full volume every time you select a new flash video, it could be handy to have another browser which lets you find the noisy tab quicker.

    Note that the so-called workaround is to disable protected mode. On Flash? Are they insane?

  7. Daniel B.
    Happy

    Oh so needed

    It is extremely annoying to have a random tab start playing sound, especially when it's an obtrusive ad. I'd like to have a feature that pops up "tab X wants to play sound. Allow/Deny?" so that I can shut up said tabs...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good for sites that suddenly launch an unrelated porn ad with loud sex noises, although better if the tab indicator could auto mute when set to do so. Not exactly nice when other people are present in your house and walking past your door! Porn is everywhere these days, even on photo hosting sites for use with Ebay, e.g. porn ads down the side of the screen around your Ebay item photos.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Keep telling yourself that. I only see porn ads on pirate sites and porn sites...not exactly the kind of web content for when you have company.

    2. Don Jefe

      Re:

      Dude, if you are getting audible porn adverts around eBay images your computer has late stage monoherpegohannasyphilaids (Complex 42) and it may already be too late to stop it from spreading to every computer on your network an to the millions of people you are spamming.

      Nuke it from orbit and start again.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another much better solution for pop-up audio.. Adblock.

  10. Barry Rueger

    Rotten to the Core!

    Hah! props for the tab containing PIL!

    1. beep54
      Happy

      Re: Rotten to the Core!

      Eh, off topic but to the post: Definitely go look up PIL on American Bandstand. So, well, not yr normal AB show.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Holmes

    This is why I have always used Flashblock

    Then I never have any tabs making any sort of sound without my permission!

  12. Michael
    Megaphone

    There has been a work around for years

    I have no speakers attached....

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

      Re: There has been a work around for years

      Or more generally just have the volume generally on mute, and only turn it on when you actually might want to hear some noise from the machine?

      That little speaker icon on the sys tray is your friend...

      1. Martin Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: There has been a work around for years

        I use an even more old-fashioned method - the twiddly volume control to my speakers on my desk...

  13. Chuunen Baka

    Noise blocker?

    I'd prefer a noise blocker equivalent to a popup blocker. This site wants to use audio ... [x]

    Or is a that just feature creep?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "if you have so many tabs open that the icons all accordion together and disappear"...indicates that you are disorganised. Messy, very messy.

  15. Beardy

    Purely an aesthetic opinion, but it would be nice to have an actual customizable (opacity, color) tint on the tab to show the volume level instead of hijacking the favicon. This could get a little attention-stealing if you're playing music in the background, but I'm sure a keyboard shortcut could be added where the user shift-clicks on the tab and it temporarily disables the tint for that tabs session.

    Feature should also have a user-definable threshold that can be set, so any tabs that exceed that volume threshold are automatically lowered to 10% or muted entirely.

    And while we're on the topic of muting tabs, tab specific volume control would be pretty great.

  16. herman3101
    Thumb Up

    How Google staff spend their time

    Exactly a week ago Cracked.com held a contest asking for web browsing features we desperately need. This was the first entry.

    http://www.cracked.com/photoplasty_529_21-web-browser-features-we-desperately-need_p21/

  17. david 63

    Had to be done...

    http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lwk2rzTATH1qbou9no1_500.jpg

  18. Cuddles Silver badge

    "The feature was created last week"

    On Feb 21st apparently. One day before, Cracked published this:

    http://www.cracked.com/photoplasty_529_21-web-browser-features-we-desperately-need_p21/

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