'Laws are like Cobwebs which may catch small Flies, but let Wasps and Hornets break through.' -Jonathan Swift

Chrome to Allow You to Mute Domains

by Ethan Glover, Sun, Aug 27, 2017 - (Edited) Sun, Aug 27, 2017

Originally published on WA.

Don't you hate it when you open a site in a new tab with the intention to get to it later and it starts playing audio for an ad? And when you go to turn it off, you can't find where it's coming from. Often that audio is coming from a very small autoplay video somewhere at the bottom of the page. It's frustrating. It can interrupt what you're doing, slow down the browser, and use up bandwidth that you may or may not have. All so a site can trick algorithms into thinking an ad was played and watched so they can make those few extra dollars.

Even YouTube videos are gracious enough to not start playing when you open the link in a new tab. They will do a small amount of buffering, then stop and not play until you open up the page to view it.

In Chrome, there is this amazing feature that allows you to right-click the tab you're on and choose, "Mute Tab."

And when audio is playing in a Chrome tab, it will show a small audio icon.

These two features are great for quickly identifying which tab is playing audio and muting it without hunting down a horrible ad or autoplay video.

There's just one problem. This only works once. If there's a particular website that you use and always plays audio in the background, you have to mute it each time you open a page. But according to TechCrunch, Chrome will soon be adding a feature that allows you to permanently block a domains audio until you explicitly allow it.

Making money has always been a common worry in the news industry. Since newspapers and the golden age of TV news. That's why news websites are often the common offenders of advertising best practices. It's why they like to pull tricks like autoplaying ads and forcing you to listen to them unless you can find the video pause button in less than 30 seconds. I sympathize with them, but this is obviously not the way to go. And it's always good to see a company like Google taking steps to make the user experience across the web better for all.