Chrome partially disables auto-mute feature until October


The blocking feature, announced in January, aimed to remove loud, sudden and unwanted videos from the web, which automatically played when a browser launched - and also stopped a series of apps and games from playing audio for alerts and other elements.

The policy will be re-applied in full when Chrome 70 comes out in October, and in the meantime, Pallett says developers should update their code based on Google's recommendations, which you'll find here.

Chrome partially disables auto-mute feature until October
Chrome partially disables auto-mute feature until October

This is, apparently, reasonably easy to do; however, some users have complained that, even with several months to act, not every game, art project, or whatever else will be updated. This further resulted in the company receiving numerous complaints regarding the new feature.

As such, version 66.0.3359.181 of Chrome for Mac, Windows, and Linux today removes the autoplay policy for this API. This shouldn't affect most audio and videos (included in the audio and video HTML tags), which will continue to be auto-muted, but should ensure the accidentally affected web components are working correctly.

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It's important to note that the change only applies to the Web Audio API. Developer Benji Kay, who specializes in audio tools and games for the web, explained that postponing the policy will not fix the many issues that have appeared. "The team here is working hard to improve things for users and developers, but in this case we didn't do a good job of communicating the impact of the new autoplay policy to developers using the Web Audio API", Pallet wrote.

Pallett said Google is rolling back the change made in Chrome 66 to give developers more time to properly react to the new system.

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These challenges relate to how to obtain a gesture from users from different types of web applications.

Numerous commenters suggest the Chrome team allow users to opt in instead of enabling the feature by default.

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Other comments call for a response from the Chrome development team, particularly with regard to suggestions for modifying the policy to indicate when audio is being disabled, and to enable users to easily switch it back on, either temporarily or permanently.