Chrome is finally doing something about those autoplaying videos

David Matthews

TS Maniac
Staff member

One of the most annoying things about browsing the web is autoplaying videos. In my experience, news websites such as CNN are particularly egregious with blaring videos as I'm trying to read the article. Google previously hinted that they were testing muting features last month. Now it appears it will be rolling out for all users.

Google detailed the changes in their Chromium blog stating, "Starting in Chrome 64, autoplay will be allowed when either the media won’t play sound, or the user has indicated an interest in the media"

Videos will only autoplay if the user has clicked or tapped (if on mobile) somewhere on the website. 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.

While Google claims that autoplay can make media "faster and easier to consume", they also admit that unexpected media playback is one of the biggest complaints users have. Not only can they be annoying but they can consume battery life and data. These changes make "autoplay more consistent with user expectations and will give users more control over audio."

Additionally, Google is introducing a new site muting option to Chrome 63 (which comes out in October).This option allows users to completely disable audio for individual sites. The site muting option persists between browsing sessions which means you won't have to continually mute the offending website every time you open up your browser.

Google has further recommendations for developers who insist that the world is a better place with autoplaying videos:

  • Use autoplay sparingly. Autoplay can be a powerful engagement tool, but it can also annoy users if undesired sound is played or they perceive unnecessary resource usage (e.g. data, battery) as the result of unwanted video playback.
  • If you do want to use autoplay, consider starting with muted content and let the user unmute if they are interested in exploring more. This technique is being effectively used by numerous sites and social networks.
  • Unless there is a specific reason to do so, we recommend using the browser’s native controls for video and audio playback. This will ensure that autoplay policies are properly handled.
  • If you are using custom media controls, ensure that your website functions properly when autoplay is not allowed.
  • Prompt users to add your mobile site to the homescreen on Android devices. This will automatically give your application unmuted autoplay privileges

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TomSEA

TechSpot Chancellor
GOOD! I absolutely hate auto-play videos. Especially when the website places the video in some obscure location and you have to look all over the web page to find it. ESPN along with CNN are notorious for this.

To any web designers reading this, if I want to watch a video, I'll click on it. Otherwise, knock it the hell off with the auto-play nonsense. This is exactly the reason why people are using ad blockers - obtrusive, obnoxious ads and auto-play videos.
 

roberthi

TS Addict
"Starting in Chrome 64, autoplay will be allowed when either the media won’t play sound, or the user has indicated an interest in the media"

How about this: "or the user has indicated an interest in the media"

It's annoying and distracting trying to read even when videos don't have sound. Some are on "sticky" mode where they travel with you as you scroll.
 
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Spence1115

TS Enthusiast
"Prompt users to add your mobile site to the homescreen on Android devices. This will automatically give your application unmuted autoplay privileges"

So we're gonna see more of that **** instead? Great...
 

Hellraiser78

TS Rookie
Good stuff :). Had this problem with Bleacher report but then I added this to add block an it fixed it ||bleacherreport.net/amp.premier/bleacher/2/amp.premier.min.js
 

taylor1277

TS Enthusiast
Just had to check my version and I am up to date with 72 which I notice they did something that actually makes videos autoplay again. back when they tried this a year or so ago with muting a webpage or just muting a tab, things got all screwed up and playback was screwed up. now I see when I go onto a website the video starts to play automatically and as soon as the page loads. but I noticed if you look closely at some webpages they load with fonts that make the webpage look like it is 1989. and I checked on two systems same thing, but if I use Firefox the problem isn't there, so it is Chrome
 

taylor1277

TS Enthusiast
They aren't figuring this out, why can't they just mute ALL the websites that open with sound, then when you want to watch the video click on play and watch the video, anything on that page should play automatically now that one has enabled autoplay on it, continuous play of videos on Youtube on that page. Here lies the problem when you open two youtube tabs because people like me do. it plays both videos, overplays. then when you mute a website guess what is mutes both players, one on each tab. mute them all. let me unmute the player. JFC don't make life hard. same thing when I go on a news site, mute the video, if I want to watch it, then I will unmute the video. I thought technology was to make our lives easier, not with Google behind the wheel.