People who use Chrome as their go-to browser are about to get more control over the audio that autoplays on the websites they visit. Software Engineer Mounir Lamouri posted on the Chromium Blog information about “Unified autoplay”.
Users watch and listen to a lot of media, and autoplay can make it faster and easier to consume on the web. However, one of the most frequent user concerns is unexpected media playback, which can use data, consume power, and make unwanted noise while browsing. To address this, Chrome will be making autoplay more consistent with user expectations and will give users more control over audio.
Chrome 63 will add a new user option to completely disable audio for individual sites. The site muting will persist between browsing sessions. This allows users to customize when and where audio will play.
Starting in Chrome 64, autoplay will be allowed when either the media does not include any audio, or when the user has indicated an interest in the media. These changes will allow autoplay to occur when users want media to play, and will respect users’ wishes when they don’t want media to play.
The Chromium blog post says: “These changes will also unify desktop and mobile web behavior, making web media development more predictable across platforms and browsers.” It sounds to me like these changes will make visiting websites less annoying for people who have not yet started using ad blockers.