There are few things worse than being accosted by a website that automatically plays videos with sound, disrupting your otherwise quiet web-surfing (or your quiet workplace). Luckily, Google Chrome appears to agree, and is now giving users the option to permanently mute sites by domain using the page info bubble.
As originally announced by Google’s Francois Beaufort, “The Chrome team is currently experimenting with a setting to mute/unmute a website directly from the Page Info bubble. This will give you more control about which website is allowed to throw sound at you automatically.”
And now, that experiment has turned into a real update. The Chromium blog has been updated to reflect this new feature, and software engineer Mounir Lamouri wrote, “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.”
Not only will this update give Chrome users more control over their browsing experience, but it will “also unify desktop and mobile web behavior, making web media development more predictable across platforms and browsers,” Lamouri noted.
If you decide you never want a certain site to play sound, you can disable sound permanently, and that particular domain will stay silent until you change your mind and reset the toggle button. If you’re curious to see how this would work, you can go ahead and check it out in the latest Canary build of Chrome on desktop. While the feature is off by default, you can turn it on with the –enable-features=SoundContentSetting switch, as Android Police reports.
But wait, you say — doesn’t a similar feature already exist in Chrome? While it’s true that you can mute tabs in the browser by right clicking on them, this isn’t a permanent fix. That is to say, if you close out of the tab or Chrome, the browser won’t remember your preferences (so really, what’s the point?). But with this new mute option, you can tell certain sites to shut up for good.
Update: Chrome makes its mute feature official on desktop.