Google Chrome team rolls back the update that muted many web games


Bleeping Computer has reached out to Google for more details on what actually changed, and a spokesperson pointed us to a comment made by one of the Chrome engineers in a bug report.

That's not what Chrome's developers intended: the plan was to stop auto-playing vids from assaulting your ears and chewing bandwidth.

The Chrome team said that the changes will not impact the web browser's new feature of silencing Internet videos and audio that have an autoplay feature. For that reason, the current Chrome version 66 will no longer automatically mute Web Audio objects.

The autoplay-video blocker is created to fix one of the greatest problems of the Internet: autoplaying videos on websites. Yet with an adjustment of such potentially high impact landing in Chrome 66, clearly more communication was needed. Content contained in HTML5's video and audio tags will still be silenced, though, limiting the impact of auto-playing audio on what Pallett says is "most media playback" around the Web (which was the original intent of the Chrome auto-play policy). Developers of browser games collectively called out Google for the change, and they responded. Benji Kay, a developer of web games and audio tools, said: "Simply delaying the enacting of this policy doesn't solve any of the major concerns that have been raised. He writes, "We are still exploring options to enable great audio experiences for users, and we will post more detailed thoughts on that topic here later", he writes".

Google's auto mute system learns from user behavior to mute audio on sites where they don't want it, and maintain it on sites where they do. Having that kind of status quo failsafe in place could easily lessen the motivation to work out those "non-trivial user interface challenges" in a timely manner.

Killing off autoplaying adverts in Chrome is a wonderful thing and has brought peace and quiet to many a browsing session, unless you are someone who likes to play games in your browser.

"I believe Chrome could find a policy which accommodates developers while still protecting the principle users should explicitly authorize websites to play sound", developer Andi McClure writes in the Chromium thread.