Chrome 66 Arrives, Mutes Auto-Play Videos

Posted on April 18, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Google with 20 Comments

Chrome 66 Arrives, Mutes Auto-Play Videos

This week, Google announced the public release of Chrome 66, which adds a crucial new feature for everyone: It mutes auto-play videos and other content on the web.

Can I get a Hallelujah?

“The Chrome team is delighted to announce the promotion of Chrome 66 to the stable channel for Windows, Mac and Linux,” Google’s Abdul Syed announced. “Chrome 66 contains a number of fixes and improvements … it will roll out over the coming days/weeks.”

Mr. Syed is downplaying the significance of this release: Auto-play videos are arguably the single-biggest annoyance on the web today, and yes, I’m including advertising (which is freely and easily thwarted) in that assessment. Sites like ZDNet ruin the user experience by auto-playing a blaring video when you load an article. (Ironically, like this one describing the release of Chrome 66 and its muting of auto-play video. Cough.)

The addition of auto-play video muting comes on the heels of a previous feature by which Chrome users can now automatically mute an entire site, which I did with ZDNet a while back. But it falls short of the feature I really want, which is to disable auto-play videos all-together.

Chrome 66 has other new features, of course. Google is experimenting with a site sandboxing feature called Site Isolation which could help prevent malicious sites from stealing user data. (The bad news? It consumes more memory.) And it fixes dozens of security bugs.

If you’re already running Chrome, you can update to version 66 immediately by navigating to Customize and control Google Chrome > Settings > About Chrome.

If you’re not running Chrome, get with the program.

 

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