Skip to main content

Chrome browser to add audio and video controls to address bar

Google’s Chrome browser will soon be getting a nifty feature: media controls which let you interact with currently playing videos from the address bar.

You can preview the feature in the Chrome nightly developer build, Canary version 77, where Google rolls out new experimental features. It is the most unstable of the four Chrome builds available (Stable, Beta, Dev, and Canary) and the place to get a glimpse of upcoming Chrome updates.

Related Videos

The feature adds a play icon next to the address bar, and clicking the icon brings up a menu which lets you control any video currently playing. The handy part is that you can control a video from any tab. If you are the sort of person who has hundreds of tabs open, the button will let you quickly interact with currently playing videos without having to hunt for the specific tab the video is located in.

The media controls work with videos sites like YouTube and Vimeo, and also audio sites like Spotify and Apple podcasts. They may also support more sites by the time the feature rolls out to the main browser.

Chrome Canary’s new address bar play button

If you want to try it out for yourself, first you need to download Chrome’s nightly developer build. Get it from the Canary website. Then open up Canary and type Chrome://flags into the address bar. Now locate the setting for Global Media Controls, which you can find using the search bar at the top of the page. Choose Enabled from the drop-down menu, and restart the browser.

Now, when you visit a site like YouTube and play a video, you’ll see a play icon in the address bar. If you click this icon, a popup menu will show you information about the currently playing video and give you options to pause, skip forward, and go back.

Watch out though, as Canary is very much a bleeding edge product and is not ready for widespread use. In our testing, Canary crashed several times while interacting with the play button panel. Still, it offers a glimpse of a neat feature that should be coming to the main Chrome browser soon.

Editors' Recommendations

Is Microsoft’s new PC cleaner just an Edge ad in disguise?
The new PC Manager app on a Windows 11 desktop

Microsoft really wants you to use the Edge browser, so much so that the company has tied it to PC optimization in a new settings app. Microsoft PC Manager does what you could always do by opening the settings menu, but the new app also prompts you to set Edge as your default browser.

Screenshots of the new app were posted on Twitter by @ALumia_Italia and appears to show what is a public beta of the app. The app performs basic maintenance functions. You can check startup apps, check for updates, run disk cleanup, and other minor optimizations.

Read more
New phishing method looks just like the real thing, but it steals your passwords
A MacBook with Google Chrome loaded.

Thanks to a new phishing method, hackers could steal all sorts of personal information by simply mimicking real login forms in Application Mode. This is a feature that's available in all Chromium-based browsers, which includes Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Brave.

Using Application Mode allows threat actors to spread highly believable-looking local login forms that look like desktop applications. In reality, all inputs are sent to a malicious attacker.

Read more
New malware can steal your credit card details — and it’s spreading fast
An individual surrounded by several computers typing on a laptop.

A new, highly dangerous malware called "Erbium" has been making the rounds over the last couple of months, and it's highly likely that it will spread to new channels.

Erbium is an information-stealing tool that targets passwords, credit card information, cookies, cryptocurrency wallets, and more. Unfortunately, it's widely available, which means that it could be used in new ways in the future.

Read more