Chrome partially disables auto-mute feature until October

Google Chrome with a gelato

Google Chrome with a gelato

The Chromium team confirms: "We've updated Chrome 66 to temporarily remove the autoplay policy for the Web Audio API".

Unless users had whitelisted a site or previously interacted with it, Chrome's blocking feature stops one of the most irritating elements of web browsing: the sudden playing of loud videos.

The original muting of the nuisance videos within Chrome was created to remove one of the annoyances that might have pushed users to install adblocking or other software, something Google wants to avoid as advertising is the primary source of the company's revenue.

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Google has tweaked a new autoplay policy in Chrome 66 that was aimed at silencing most unwanted noisy video ads but also broke sound in a bunch of web games.

Google scaled back a new auto-play policy in the latest version of its Chrome web browser, meant to stop unwanted video ads with sound from serving up and playing without notice.

Meanwhile, the implementation delay will give "Web Audio API developers for gaming, audio applications, some RTC features more time to update their code". For smaller platforms especially, the Autoplay policy has broken HTML5-based web games by permanently muting audio unless the developers explicitly write in code to do otherwise.

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While the original audio policy change blindsided developers, the temporary rollback seeks to give them time to adapt their projects for the coming change but, as some devs pointed out last week, not everyone affected by the change has the ability, time, or resources to go back and retroactively change the code of projects already online.

"The team here is working hard to improve things for users and developers", product manager John Pallett wrote on the Chrome developer forum.

Chrome begins with a list of more than a thousand sites where Google found that the browser's users typically played audio or video with sound.

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Google says it is "still exploring options to enable great audio experiences for users", so it may come up with an alternative solution in the future. Google has reportedly issued a partial fix. Thus far, Google has not responded to these concerns.

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