back to article Google shoots Chrome 66's silencer after developer backlash

Google has tweaked Chrome 66 to make the new feature that silences auto-playing videos less aggressive. The change was made because while the updated browser silenced videos as intended, it also muted games and sites that use audio for alerts and other purposes That’s not what Chrome’s developers intended: the plan was to …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hope they have a config setting to switch it off. My Selenium application started to give problems this week handling HTML 5 video elements in Chrome. It was often failing with a stalled video when trying to position it for snapshots.


  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    You know what would have made this work without the problems? A bloody option.

    Instead of all this "machine learning"/AI rubbish that everything seems to be labelled with these days how about trusting the user to determine what they want?

    If a site starts playing audio immediately show a message with "let this site do this" and "stop the noise now and forever" type options and let the user determine if they want the auto-play or not.

    And do the same for video whilst at it.

    1. s. pam

      Re: Options

      There is an on or off switch in chrome://flags Look for the video settings and you can enable/disable autoplay as well as video there.

      Quit whinging, RTFM.

      1. David Nash


        What's wrong with a proper menu?

        And did somebody say RTFM? Mine didn't come with a manual.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Options

        "chrome://flags "

        There is no particular semblance of organisation in those options. I think the relevant one was about videos playing in background - about two thirds of the way down a long list.

        Looks likely to be the option that caused me a lot of inconvenience yesterday. Timed-out snapshots of an occluded window became an exercise in watching paint dry - and then the contingency method was also knackered for the same reason. Might mean some incorrect stored hashes too.

    2. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: Options

      I'd quite like an option. Choose to autoplay or not autoplay by default. Thereafter, provide options to exempt websites out of the default option.

      e.g. I want videos on Netflix / Youtube to autoplay. I absolutely do not want random-American-news-website's videos to autoplay ever.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: Options

        "I'd quite like an option."

        I'd like options for a LOT of things, including turning off the 2D FLATSO appearance and getting an actual MENU back [i.e. desktop friendly, not fat-finger-feel-screen-friendly].

        but auto-play videos should be "handle-able" with a simple user-maintainable white-list of sites you want to allow this for. yeah, too much user-customization, not a "one size fits all" so-called "solution". can't have THAT. no, no, users are IDIOTS and we KNOW BEST here at Google!!!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Options

          "[...] but auto-play videos should be "handle-able" with a simple user-maintainable white-list of sites you want to allow this for [...]"

          I catalogue videos from various pages of some 250 groups every week. Some of their links will be for unpredictable one-off sources like broadcasters, promoters, or fans.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Options


  3. TrumpSlurp the Troll Silver badge

    My browser already has this feature

    It is built into the AdBlocker.

    1. K

      Re: My browser already has this feature

      I found this doesn't work everywhere, for example with CNET, it's one of the reason I now just black hole their whole DNS, including downloads.

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        Re: My browser already has this feature

        Sound on my laptop is always turned off too. Main PC works through a HiFi Amp that's turned off unless I want to hear something.

        Crazy world we live in.

  4. big_D Silver badge


    No website should make a gawdammed peep until I say it can!

    As long as I can turn sound back on, if I want it, I don't see the problem! Nothing worse than sitting in the office and a site suddenly starts squawking at you!

    The worst are sites / apps that are silenced that suddenly display an advert that thinks you need to have audio turned up to the max! If I have said no audio, that should go for the whole site, including any external ad content!

    1. sal II

      Re: Sorry...

      ads? what ads?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dodgy spammers are out in force

    Looks like the people AdBlock fights are posting on Sad to see these scum win a battle.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Looks like the people AdBlock fights are posting on

      I'm not surprised. The biggest ad flinger on the planet runs that site.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Let's be honest

    Pr0nz just wasn't the same without having the YES! YES! YES! OMG! YES! At least, that's what a friend told me.

  7. Def Silver badge

    Chewing bandwidth?

    ...the plan was to stop auto-playing vids from assaulting your ears and chewing bandwidth.

    The size of audio data is tiny compared to video. If you really want to save bandwidth (and you really fucking should considering most mobile users are on metered connections) stop playing video automatically.

    1. Nick Kew

      Re: Chewing bandwidth?

      Why make a distinction in the first place? Nothing should move nor sound unless it has my permission!

      As for both bandwidth and nuisance, how about when you re-open a browser with lots of tabs, and it takes forever to find which of those tabs are playing crap at you, and causing the browser to be slow to respond to trying to cycle through tabs and find the offenders?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Chewing bandwidth?

        "[...] and it takes forever to find which of those tabs are playing crap at you,"

        Some browsers put a little loudspeaker icon on the relevant tabs.

        1. Nick Kew

          Re: Chewing bandwidth?

          A little loudspeaker icon that only becomes visible when there are so few tabs as to have space to display it. Not really useful.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Chewing bandwidth?

            Ah, so loud throbbing tabs should have visually throbbing tabs?

  8. Neoc

    Simply add whitelist/blacklist capabilities alongside the generic on/off switch and you no longer have a problem: users can choose which websites need to shut up and which can twitter away.

  9. Siobhan

    Games in browsers?

    Just block 'em all and be done with it. I certainty don't want ads screaming at me (or at all tbh*) and who needs games in their browser anyway?

    *Except for building a blacklist of companies I refuse to buy from.

    1. Diogenes

      Re: Games in browsers?

      Well a lot of little , as in size, not importance, people do .Many very goood educational websites feature games and audio.

      Also on the adobe elearning forums there has been much wassailling and gnashing if teeth because video traing courses will no longer autoplayand the default indication is less than helpful (a whole stack of new tutorials are being churned out on how to change this)

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