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Google Chrome will automatically pause media playback in background tabs

Google Chrome will automatically pause media playback in background tabs

by AshwinSeptember 1, 2015

Google Chrome will soon gain a new feature which will prevent tabs in the background from blaring out some unwanted noise.

The news comes from Google’s François Beaufort, the Chrome engineer, who announced the availability of Multi-lingual Spell-check in the Mountain View company’s browser, a few months ago.

This feature is available in the Google Chrome Canary version (intended for advanced users).  You may be aware that the Canary Build of Chrome is now faster on Macs, thanks to optimizations and tweaks added to the browser, which enables it to perform better with the GPU in Macs, along with fixes for memory leaks.

Similarly, Google Chrome also has a feature called tab discarding, which intelligently puts background tabs to sleep, thus reducing the RAM usage and also helps save the battery too. This feature is available for both the Windows and Mac versions of Chrome.

Today’s news about Chrome tabs is also similar to the above mentioned feature. Ever had the embarrassing moment when a Chrome tab suddenly started playing some media automatically? You are not alone. And what’s worse is that, if you have several tabs open in Chrome, it may be difficult to find out which tab is playing the media.

Google Chrome’s latest version in the developer channel, adds support for pausing the playback of media in background tabs. The media will still be preloaded automatically, and will begin the playback, when you switch to the tab. Naturally this feature, is not available in the stable version of Google Chrome just yet.

This feature is a great boon, as it will prevent those annoying autoplay videos and ads, which load in many websites. Additionally, this will also help in saving the battery.

It remains to be seen, whether Google Chrome will allow users to toggle the playback of particular media in the background. For e.g.: If you want to play/stream a song/video in a background tab while you browse other websites.

On a sidenote, Google will begin pausing Flash content in websites, which aren’t centric to the website, to offer a better browsing experience. This is also one of the tweaks Google has added to Chrome, to conserve the battery and RAM usage. This move actually applies to ads as well, and Google has advised webmasters to convert all Flash based ads to HTML5, to ensure the ads continue to be displayed.

I wish Google Chrome adds the option to disable all tabs from a previous session, to automatically load at start-up.