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Google Chrome Will Offer Relief From Noisy Autoplay Videos

September 15, 2017, 11:34 AM UTC

Are you annoyed by autoplay videos making noise when you open a new tab in your browser? Well, Google Chrome is there for you—or at least, it will be come January.

Google (GOOGL) announced Thursday that Chrome 64, which will be made available to the general public at the start of next year, will only allow autoplay videos when the audio is muted, or when the user has expressed interest in the content.

What does expressing interest mean? According to the browser’s developer notes, it means tapping or clicking somewhere on the site during the browsing session, adding the site to the homescreen on a mobile phone, or frequently playing media on the site.

“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,” Google software engineer Mounir Lamouri wrote in a blog post.

“To address this, Chrome will be making autoplay more consistent with user expectations and will give users more control over audio.”

The changes will apply across mobile and desktop versions of Google’s ubiquitous browser. And they will surely have a great impact on web publishers’ decisions, seeing as Google has a global browser market share of around 55%.

If you’re impatient to stop new browser tabs launching unwelcome surprises, the upcoming Chrome 63—due for release in October—will allow you to completely disable audio for particular sites. “These changes will give users greater control over media playing in their browser, while making it easier for publishers to implement autoplay where it benefits the user,” Lamouri wrote.

Google is also planning to build an ad-blocker into Chrome, as a way of cutting out overly intrusive content.