Not all users have the identical preferences for autoplay media, so Google has seen at letting users mute and unmute entire websites we first discovered the organization was experimenting with such an option last month. This is immediately part of the browser’s roadmap.
Chrome 63 will add a distinct user option to fully disable audio for individual sites. This site-muting advantage will persist between browsing sessions, enabling users to customize when and where audio will play.
Chrome 64 will take the switches to the next level. By this variant, Google’s browser will allow autoplay to occur only when users want the video to play.
Here is Google’s timeline for getting auto playing sound more compatible with user expectations in Chrome:
- September 2017: Site muting open in Chrome 63 Beta, begin collecting Media Engagement Index (MEI) data in Chrome 62 Canary and Dev
- October 2017: Site muting open in Chrome 63 Stable, autoplay policies available in Chrome 63 Canary and Dev
- December 2017: Autoplay systems available in Chrome 64 Beta
- January 2018: Autoplay systems available in 64 Stable
The company supports this new way by saying that while “autoplay can execute it faster and easier to consume on the web,” surprising media playback is also “one of the most common user concerns” because it “can use data, use power, and make undesired noise while browsing.” A side benefit, Google argues, is that these developments will also unify desktop and mobile web behavior, making web media construction more likely across platforms and browsers.
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