Chrome to Stop Auto-Playing Videos

Image Courtesy Ampercent

Image Courtesy Ampercent

One of the most annoying things about surfing today's web - besides all those ads, of course - is landing on a site and getting blasted by a video that starts playing automatically.

Google has further announced that in Chrome 63, users will be allowed the choice to fully disable audio on individual sites, an option which will persist between browsing sessions. Auto play will also be limited If the site has been added to the home screen or if the user has frequently played media on the site before. To decide whether a user does want audio to play audio or not, Google will take into account the number of times the user has visited a website and the frequency of significant media playback on each visit.

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As outlined on the Chromium Blog, Chrome 64 will tweak Google's autoplay rules and restrict autoplay videos unless they play without sound or users have expressed an interest in that website's content in the past. "These changes will also unify desktop and mobile web behavior, making web media development more predictable across platforms and browsers", Google says. CNET is a great site, but every damn page of every damn article on the entire damn site autoplays a video when you load it.

Google says this policy change is part of an effort to reduce bandwidth usage and device power utilization, as well as minimize unwanted noise. It's not just that they own the biggest search engine in the world, they also own the most popular browser to access the internet on (and thus see ads with), they have the deepest set of data for advertising research, and they also make their money from advertising.

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Autoplay blocking, on the other hand, will come in January and won't be as straightforward as it seems.

If you are using custom media controls, ensure that your website functions properly when auto-play is not allowed. That includes ads that have pop-ups, auto-playing video, and "prestitial" count-down ads that delay content being displayed.

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Describing the upcoming feature, Google said: "Chrome has always focused on giving you the best possible experience browsing the web".

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