It’s really no exaggeration to say that one of, if not the most annoying thing about using the internet (aside from, you know, all the people), is video that autoplay in the background when you don’t want them to.
How many times have you been caught with a bunch of tabs open, just trying to watch Netflix in peace, when some video, louder than thunder itself starts blaring from another tab. You thought you were safe! You thought that was a site you could trust! And yet there you are, with the latest shampoo advert screaming at you from a tiny video player hidden halfway down the page.
Google has come to the rescue
Google, being the only internet company that seems to actually deal with annoying problems and create features people want, has decided to deal with this constant nuisance. According to software engineer Mounir Lamouri, Google Chrome will now automatically prevent videos from autoplaying. Lamouri says that this shouldn’t affect sites like YouTube or Netflix, because Google have developed tech that can tell whether a user actually wants to watch a video or not. Smart stuff.
In a blog post, Lamouri says: ‘autoplay will be allowed when either the media won’t play sound, or the user has indicated an interest in the media. This will allow autoplay to occur when users want media to play, and respect users’ wishes when they don’t.’
How does it work?
The way this works is pretty slick: Chrome will observe whether you are actually viewing a video in order to determine whether that video should be played. This means that annoying ad videos buried in some distant tab won’t get any love. They also have tech that learns what kinds of videos you tend to watch with sound, and learns to not block those videos. In other words, if you keep watching YouTube videos with sound, Chrome will quickly learn to let YouTube videos play freely.
When is it available?
This new feature will be rolled out over the course of the winter and will be in place for users by January 2018. It’s yet another reason to use Chrome, which is the best browser and anyone who says otherwise can fight me, thanks.