I tend to have a lot of tabs open when I’m browsing – often, upwards of 20. I also like to listen to music while I work. I have the sound turned up on my laptop, or I have iTunes (note from 2021: this has not aged well … of course, it’s Spotify now!) going from my main computer through my lovely JBL speakers. So few things annoy me more than when one of my swiftly opened tabs starts automatically playing audio.
Whether it’s a YouTube video set to auto play, or an obnoxious website that provides its own backing music – I want rid of it. Currently, there are no easy ways for me to identify which tabs is playing the audio, so I have to trawl through them all looking to see which ones have a video running, or might have their own soundtrack, or whatever. It is a hugely invasive pain in the butt.
But for how much longer?
Google Chrome (my browser of choice) appears to be working towards tab level indicators for audio. Hooray! It’s currently available in Canary (which is kind of like a beta-Chrome you can download if you want to access the latest bleeding edge browsing features – but more stable than Chromium, their nightly build of Chrome). This little video shows it in action: