Google Chrome Will Block Autoplaying Video With Sound Next Year

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There are plenty of annoying things on the internet, but even the best content can be marred by autoplaying video. It’s not so much the video, but the sound from the video that is truly aggravating. Next year, you may never again have to hunt through your Chrome tabs in search of the one that’s producing sound. Google’s updated roadmap for the browser includes a complete block on unwanted autoplaying videos.

Chrome uses a multi-layered approach to testing and rolling out updates, so it’ll take time for the changes to autoplay to reach everyone. However, that also means you can use one of the less stable builds if you want it early. There are four levels of Chrome releases: stable, beta, dev, and canary (most to least stable). Google’s autoplay blocking features will start showing up in the beta, canary, and dev builds this month. The big changes are coming in Chrome v64.

Google isn’t killing all autoplaying video, just those that it or the user deems unwanted. Starting this month, v63 of Chrome (in the beta channel) will begin allowing users to mute an entire domain from the Chrome settings. That’s handy if you need to use a site frequently, but the site insists on serving up autoplaying video with sound. The same features will be in canary and dev as well, and these browsers will send telemetry back to Google about how people use the muting feature. That data will inform Google’s continued rollout of automatic autoplay blocking.

The manual muting feature.

In October, Google expects to roll out the manual per-domain audio blocking to the stable channel in v63. The new autoplay policies, which will block intrusive videos by default, will hit the dev and canary channels in v63 and v64. Chrome will allow videos without audio to start playing on their own. Users will need to indicate interest in a video (by clicking on it) in order to start the sound. However, anything with audio will be blocked. Google suggests that website operators use autoplay sparingly, even without the sound.

If all goes as planned, Google’s new autoplay restrictions will roll out smoothly from there. The v64 build of Chrome with the new policy will come to the beta channel in December and the stable channel in January of 2018. That’s when most people will see it. If you don’t know what version of Chrome you have, it’s probably stable. You have to download the update to beta or dev manually, and canary is a standalone app. If you just can’t wait, you can get the beta version right now to enable the manual autoplay block. The beta channel is usually stable enough, but hopping on the dev or canard build is a bit more risky.

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