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Chrome’s Dev Channel Restricts Auto-Playing Videos

August 27, 2015 - Written By Ricardo Trevizo

Everyone that browses the internet in a usual basis, has most likely been annoyed by some sort of auto-playing media, either in the form of a video ad, or audio message. Previously, websites only relied on this when truly necessary, but today it has become a common occurrence, especially on websites that deliver their content through videos or podcasts. Fortunately, the days of stopping that annoying auto-playing video or audio message are coming to an end in the near future. Google has acknowledged that millions of its own users were thoroughly annoyed by this type of media, and began development for a new Chrome feature to avoid being surprised by a piece of media playing as soon as you enter the website. Starting today, Google Chrome’s Dev Channel will include a new feature that will restrict any videos that are not in your sight or in the tab you’re browsing from playing automatically. Meaning that not even YouTube will be able to automatically play advertisement videos if you click on another one of your open tabs before it loads.

This new feature is extremely welcomed by most Chrome users, as this is an issue that has given headaches to countless amounts of people, especially those who like to use Google Chrome with a lot of tabs open at the same time. Although this is not the first time that Google launches a Chrome feature to help users defend themselves against automatically-playing media, but Google limited it to a small icon in the tab that was transmitting any sort of audio. The new feature in Chrome’s Dev Channel, is the first that truly takes some sort of offensive preventive measures against this annoying type of media. With this new feature, auto-playing media will be restricted until the user is actually seeing the media itself, although it will still be preloaded until the tab is foregrounded.

Google will surely see the huge acceptance that the new feature in Chrome’s Dev Channel has, and will quickly implement it in the browser’s main stable channel. But there is still a minimal chance that any feature found in Chrome’s Dev Channel will never make it into a stable build. Hopefully, this useful feature will at some point be implemented.