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Google Chrome The Internet

Chrome Will Soon Let You Permanently Mute Websites (androidpolice.com) 82

Google Chrome will soon allow users to permanently mute websites, a feature that will cheer millions who suffer through autoplaying videos on (annoying) websites every day. From a report: According to Google's Francois Beaufort, the Chrome team is still experimenting with this feature. In the early version, the sound toggle is in the page info popup, which you can access by clicking on the far left of the address bar. That's either an info icon or a "Secure" label for sites that have HTTPS enabled. There are already various toggles in there now for things like Flash, JavaScript, notifications, and so on. Soon, a sound toggle will be added that works in the same way. Sites on which you disable sound will remain that way until you turn them back on.
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Chrome Will Soon Let You Permanently Mute Websites

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  • by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Friday August 25, 2017 @01:07PM (#55084513)

    There are a few websites I use that only work in Chrome (because fuck testing in anything else, right modern web developers?), and I'm fuckign sick of having to mute them every time.

    • Re:Finally (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Friday August 25, 2017 @01:20PM (#55084609)

      But why should I have to mute each site individually? Why can't "no autoplay sound" be turned off globally? I never want any site to autoplay (either audio or video). There used to be plugins that disable autoplay, but apparently none of them work anymore because Google changed Chrome to intentionally break them, which seems ... evil.

      • Re:Finally (Score:5, Insightful)

        by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Friday August 25, 2017 @01:23PM (#55084639)

        But why should I have to mute each site individually? Why can't "no autoplay sound" be turned off globally? I never want any site to autoplay (either audio or video). There used to be plugins that disable autoplay, but apparently none of them work anymore because Google changed Chrome to intentionally break them, which seems ... evil.

        Mute Chrome in your OS?

        • Mute Chrome in your OS?

          Then you have to un-mute it when you do want the sound. Plus, that doesn't disable autoplay - the video will still run. Whenever you do want to watch something, you have to pause it, "rewind" it, open the OS control, turn off the OS mute, play, when finished open the OS control again if it closed, and turn on the OS mute again. Instead of just clicking play whenever you want to watch something, like YouTube used to be in the old days before Google bought it.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        I'm sure there will be an extension that makes it the default, if they don't support it in the preferences.

        Google didn't intentionally break the autoplay extensions, they broke because they worked by blocking Flash and HTML video tags in the page. Web sites instead generate HTML5 tags via Javascript, which needs something a bit more advanced (like uBlock) to deal with.

        The one upside of Flash was that it was easy to block.

      • Why Firefox remains my preferred browser, since Chrome and Edge don't allow you to disable user hostile media from autoplaying.

    • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )
      That'd be an interesting list. I don't even have Chrome installed, except in a seldom used VM explicitly to test for something that Chrome can't handle. It's been dormant since Chrome 28 or something like that.
      • Our version of Kronos time keeping + whatever, for one. It recently stopped working on FF completely. Only Chrome is supported, and only Chrome seems to work now (perhaps Opera would work). Firefox used to work once you got the site to believe you had the proper versions of flash/java installed.

        • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )
          Well, there's part of the problem... flash. So my guess is you need the specific Chrome/flash version that still supports that pile....
          • Previously, FF worked once you got it to report the versions Kronos expected, but that's no longer the case, even if you do have the proper versions.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'd love to have the default be "no sound", and only enable it for sites I want sound out of (netflix, youtube, etc).

    • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

      My thoughts, exactly. Assuming the flag is accessible from Chrome extensions, it should be possible to trivially write an extension that would set the mute flag as soon as you go to a new page and provides a whitelisting feature to disable that behavior for a given page.

      If the flag isn't exposed to extensions, file a bug. :-)

      That said, just being able to mute CNN.com would be a big win. I'd like to kill their autoplay videos entirely for bandwidth reasons, but at least I'll be able to look at their websit

      • by bogaboga ( 793279 ) on Friday August 25, 2017 @01:30PM (#55084681)

        That said, just being able to mute CNN.com would be a big win. I'd like to kill their autoplay videos entirely for bandwidth reasons, but at least I'll be able to look at their website now while listening to other things in the background without their stupid autoplay video crap forcing itself upon my ears.

        But you will be missing out on CNN - The Most Trusted Name In News...

        • Do they actually say that? Wow, I visit cnn.com often and I never knew that. I mean, I know I try to keep my PC muted unless I'm specifically watching something specific on YouTube/NetFlix/etc., but I didn't realize I was that (successfully) anal about it.

        • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

          That said, just being able to mute CNN.com would be a big win. I'd like to kill their autoplay videos entirely for bandwidth reasons, but at least I'll be able to look at their website now while listening to other things in the background without their stupid autoplay video crap forcing itself upon my ears.

          But you will be missing out on CNN - The Most Trusted Name In News...

          Other way around. With this, I won't be missing out. As it is, I don't bother to go to the website very often because the experienc

      • by sims 2 ( 994794 )

        You can actually do all of this now with mute tab https://chrome.google.com/webs... [google.com]

        Set the default to muted and go into
        chrome://flags/ and enable Tab audio muting UI control.

        • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

          Thanks for the pointer, but why the heck would an extension that just sets a flag on each tab require permission to read and modify content on all websites I visit? This extension is asking for way more broad permissions than it should reasonably need. No, I will not trust an extension to have complete access to the password fields for my bank account just to mute annoying, badly designed websites.

          • by sims 2 ( 994794 )

            IDK I figure it has something to do with it's blacklisting and whitelisting functions.

            Https everywhere also requires it and it only works with URLs and it was made by the EFF.

            Otherwise "Clever mute" is the only similar one requiring less. I'm aware of.
            https://chrome.google.com/webs... [google.com]

            It requires access to browsing history and permission to display notifications.

      • The ended up on my permanent blacklist because of that shit. If I can't make it not autoplay, then it gets banned. That simple. I can't fathom how that decision gets made, given how awkward and stupidly annoying it is. Do the people around the board table deciding that they should have autoplay videos actually like that shit?

        • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

          The people who sell ads love it, because the autoplay videos can start with an annoying ad that they get paid for whether the user is actually watching it or not. These days, it's all about monetization at all costs, no matter how many users leave as a result. This is towards the end of the death spiral for the industry.

  • by Hadlock ( 143607 ) on Friday August 25, 2017 @01:17PM (#55084585) Homepage Journal

    This is amazing if it's true. I hate visiting a news site to read a particular article, and some live news feed, or the video version of the article starts playing. I think that within a month I'll have blacklisted 99% of the offending sites and won't have to browse with my computer's audio muted anymore. What a time to be alive!

    • I'd rather have a whitelist, but this seems like exactly the sort of thing that should just be treated like any other sort of permission (e.g. location data, notifications, etc.). Just give it the standard Always Allow/Ask/Always Deny toggle in Chrome's settings and call it a day. I'll get my whitelist, you'll get your blacklist, and everyone (that matters) will be happier.

  • by DeHackEd ( 159723 ) on Friday August 25, 2017 @01:20PM (#55084603) Homepage

    Muting's not good enough. As someone with a slow(-ish) internet connection with a meter on it, why am I being forced to download and play a video I clearly don't want?

    • Re:Not good enough (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Friday August 25, 2017 @01:30PM (#55084687)

      My favorite is when the site throws an autoplaying video at you, you stop it, then you scroll down to read whatever you wanted to read, and the video resizes and moves to the bottom right corner, following you as you scroll down the page. And of course it'll start playing again when it feels like it.

      • Yep. Next up will be a video ad version of the old whack-a-mole game. As soon as your mouse gets close to pause/close/X button, it will vanish and pop up somewhere else on the page.

        Hmm, I wonder if we could fight evil with evil here. Someone could write and patent that, create a web site no one ever visits and put it on there (so that no one can claim you're not actually using the patent), and then patent-troll any web advertisers that try to do that.

    • As someone with a slow(-ish) internet connection with a meter on it, why am I being forced to download and play a video I clearly don't want?

      Probably because you're not using Pale Moon with Adblock Plus and Noscript Origin... That stuff annoys the piss out of me any time I'm not using my desktop PC. When I am using my desktop PC, I just don't see it.

      • haha that was so wrong. I meant noscript and uBlock Origin. I'm not even using ABP any more, in fact, although they do have an Android browser I guess I will start using... which is based on firefox

  • So weird (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PingSpike ( 947548 ) on Friday August 25, 2017 @01:21PM (#55084619)

    This topic of auto play video nightmares comes up all the time. Very annoying stuff I agree. But apparently everyone has just been suffering with it by the comments I always see.

    I installed Flash Control https://addons.mozilla.org/en-... [mozilla.org] forever ago and never see them. Despite its name, it blocks HTML5 videos as well. Everything is click to play, as it should be. I whitelist youtube and moved on with my life. Are others not aware of these kinds of extensions?

    This chrome addition is nice and everything...but auto-muted videos are presumably still loading, using cpu time and bandwidth.

    • This topic of auto play video nightmares comes up all the time. Very annoying stuff I agree. But apparently everyone has just been suffering with it by the comments I always see.

      I installed Flash Control https://addons.mozilla.org/en-... [mozilla.org] forever ago and never see them. Despite its name, it blocks HTML5 videos as well. Everything is click to play, as it should be. I whitelist youtube and moved on with my life. Are others not aware of these kinds of extensions?

      This chrome addition is nice and everything...but auto-muted videos are presumably still loading, using cpu time and bandwidth.

      Thank you so much for this add on! I hope it really stops the auto play video on pretty much every news web page nowadays!

  • In the early version, the sound toggle is in the page info popup, which you can access by clicking on the far left of the address bar.

    Can someone list Chrome's other [hidden] treasures?

  • There are some web sites I just don't want to see, not in search results, not in links, not in stories. I'd like a way of permanently banning them from my browser. How about supporting that in a way that's easier than the hodgepodge of extensions I need to make that happen right now?

    • by green1 ( 322787 )

      Google used to have a way of blacklisting websites from their search results, I found it incredibly handy and used it all the time. but of course like so many Google features before, it's always the most useful ones that they decide to discontinue.

      • Of course they discontinued that useful feature. They make more money the more searches you make on their site. Therefore, they only want to be slightly better than Bing (and more famous than DDG),

  • Thank you! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ngc5194 ( 847747 ) on Friday August 25, 2017 @01:33PM (#55084711)
    THANK YOU! The current crop of ads is taking us in a direction which is in danger of making the web unusable. I realize that ads are necessary to pay for content, and I'm not opposed to that, but autoplay and scripting in these ads is evil. The memory and processing power web browsers consume, largely in powering these ads, is truly insane. If I see an autoplay ad for a product I buy, I stop buying it. If a web site insists on showing me ads that consume a boat load of my system memory, I stop visiting that site. This war of escalation for our attention has gotten out of hand. The only way to put the brakes on this is to make the most egregious offenders realize that their participation in this war is unprofitable.
    • What? What about the last crop of ads that made the web unusable? And the one before that? And the Chevy Silverado ad in 1999 which autoplayed in a quiet lab on full volume which scared the shit out of me? That was the first one, and the last one for me. I've blocked them all since.
       
      I don't know about this crop, because I haven't seen any of them. You must be new here if you think this is pretty recent.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 25, 2017 @01:40PM (#55084749)

    What I want is a way to DISABLE AUTOPLAY in the first place. Not have the video start playing, but with the sound muted. I don't want the video sucking up my bandwidth in the first place.

    Why can I not get a "just don't autoplay videos" toggle? Or, better, a "only autoplay videos from these specific sites" whitelist? Why should I need an extension to get what seems like obvious functionality that should be in the core app? Any why, when the core app developers decide to address the issue, do they address the wrong thing?

    • by taustin ( 171655 )

      What I was is a complete, comprehensive list of all features the browser supports, with check boxes to turn them off. I want a browser that will let me turn of text if I want. I want a browser where I can click once on "uncheck all," and render all web pages as completely blank. Then I can turn on what is actually useful.

    • On Firefox: navigate to about:config, search for "media.autoplay.enabled", set it to false.

      I believe some sites use trickery, running some Javascript after page load to trigger the video playback, but this will get most of them. And if you disable Javascript too, it'll block literally all of them.

  • leaves the sound on be default? Not just in browser, but at the OS level. Too many programs make annoying, and utterly useless, sounds.

    • by green1 ( 322787 )

      Simple solution. Leave the speakers off until there's something you want to hear.

      My speakers are rarely on, unless I decide to specifically watch a video or something. Webpages can try to make all the noise they want, I won't even notice.

      • by taustin ( 171655 )

        That's been my method since 30 seconds after the first web page made sound at me, many years ago.

  • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Friday August 25, 2017 @01:48PM (#55084827)

    Sites on which you disable sound will remain that way until you turn them back on.

    No, do it the other way. Let me disable sound on all sites unless I opt to enable it for a specific site. That way I'm not playing whack-a-mole with a million random websites I might one day click. Instead I only get sound on the few dozen websites I frequent which need sound, and the occasional random site I visit where I want sound I can temporarily turn it on.

    • Absolutely. I would be hard pressed to think of more than a couple sites where I want to hear audio and none where I want it to start on it's own.
  • I don't care which site it is who wakes up the whole house when I browse the web when I can't sleep at night.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Muting audio is a mere work-around to the larger problem of auto-play videos that browser developers have been ignoring for years. Seriously, how are these developers so fucking oblivious? It took them years to fix the pop-up problem, now it's taking them years to address the auto-play video problem.

    ALL videos should be manual start unless the user specifically white-lists the page or site. Stopping the auto-play problem would not only cut the need for audio muting, but also greatly reduce unnecessary data

  • I never hear sounds from web pages. Then again:

    1) I don't use Chrome
    2) I don't have my speakers turned on unless I explicitly want to listen to something
    3) Don't have Flash installed
    4) Run uMatrix to stop ads from running

    This isn't rocket science. It's disconcerting that people on here even have this issue.

  • by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Friday August 25, 2017 @04:05PM (#55085849)

    >"Google Chrome will soon allow users to permanently mute websites, a feature that will cheer millions who suffer through autoplaying videos on (annoying) websites every day"

    Sorry, but audio is not the only problem. Let us know when AUTOPLAY OF THE VIDEOS (and even stupid animations) can also be "permanently" disabled. Having a video play is almost as annoying as the audio that goes with it. Many of us can't read or tolerate looking at sites that constantly move and spin and fade... it is beyond severely distracting. And now sites take their F'ing autoplaying videos and MOVE THEM DOWN THE SCREEN TO FOLLOW YOU, just to maximize the annoyance, waste screen space, and cover things you want to see.

    At least Firefox + FlashStopper is a HUGE help (despite the name, it has nothing to do with Flash), although it does nothing for non-video animation.

  • Chrome is nonfree software (aka user-subjugating, proprietary software). Users are not free to run, share, modify, or inspect the complete corresponding source code and build instructions. Only Google, Chrome's copyright holder and proprietor, can do this.

    Therefore the alleged "permanency" of any feature in Chrome is up to the proprietor, just as all other features are with any nonfree program. If Google decides to later take this feature away (possibly reframing the decision in a press release with some eu

  • My computer must be unique. I never have a problem with autoplay because I have a built in volume control that goes all the way to zero. It works in every browser and every program that makes noise. The control for this is just a short reach from my Delete key. In an emergency I can always press Cmd-W to immediately close the web page.

    Is it possible that other computers offer such options?

    • by joemck ( 809949 )

      Yes, but many of us want to continue to listen to music, either from another app or another browser tab, and not hear the random site we're reading start screaming at us. Or we leave the sound turned on when nothing's playing in order to hear notification chimes and chirps.

  • I assigned one of the buttons on my mouse to mute/unmute. Simce the last thing I probably did was click a link, my hand is already there and it's mutted in a fraction of a second. Works great for Youtube ads where by the time you muted using "normal" controls, you'd have already watched enough of the ad to skip it. Most of your modern mouses come with software to reassign a button to "mute" or one of many other functions.

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