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Chrome wants to remember which Websites to silence

Bronze badge

Killing autoplay

Sounds good to me. When that happens I instantly leave the site. That is especially the case when I check the news on Newslookup.com.

As for the ultrasonic tracking that must be referring to me. Very recently I was riding my hacked e-bike as fast as I could make it go. A good looking woman a bit younger than me was laughing and said

"you were going like a bat out of hell".

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Hallelujah

I'm not sure it's enough to make me defect to Chrome, but it's a huge step in that direction.

Mozilla, are you listening?

What's still lacking is:

- the option to kill autoplay entirely (video as well as sound)

- the option to make it apply to every site, whether you've visited it or not.

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Anonymous Coward

Firefox

about:config

media.autoplay.enabled=false

image.animation_mode=none

dom.animations-api.element-animate.enabled=false

It would have been easier if it were exposed through the configuration menu, but it's there if you need it.

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Thumb Up

Thanks for the tip !

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Re: Firefox

"It would have been easier if it were exposed through the configuration menu"

"It would have been easier if they had not followed Google’s dumb-down approach and removed the config menu options they once had", is that not it fixed for you?

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Re: Hallelujah

Sorry guys. We've just been so busy figuring out how to compile a list of the most visited sites out there, we haven't had the time to pop a checkbox on the options page.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hallelujah

> Sorry guys. We've just been so busy figuring out how to compile a list of the most visited sites out there,

Ah, so you noticed the stupidest feature ever to have reached production in Firefox (so far).

For those who are not aware, enable private mode and disable URL autocomplete, then start FF on mobile and proceed to type some URL: you will see it autocompleted to some random site you are pretty sure you have never visited and most certainly should not be there.

It turns out that someone suggested it would be a good idea to "ship popular domains by default". Like, all of us visit all of Alexa's most popular sites¹. By typing in the exact homepage URL by hand, you understand.

¹ Minus porn, P2P sharing, and other sites "not useful for real people", of course.

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Re: Hallelujah

I've already defected from Firefox, but to Pale Moon, not Chrome (which is used as a backup browser). I've also found that Ublock Origin seems to solve most all of these autoplay problems right off and also prevents me from destroying my machine due to ad overload. Since the BBC seems to have stopped autoplay in their main stories, I have zero problems with it now. Now if only I could get something to automatically stop autoplay in YouTube, it would be perfect, but this one is really not a problem as the off switch is easy to find when needed. Autoplay should be made illegal.

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Pale Moon, too

Thanks for the tip — I just checked in Pale Moon, and it similarly has:

media.autoplay.enabled

image.animation_mode

dom.animations-api.core.enabled

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I have a sinking feeling

The kinds of companies that do this will not be listening to the public anyway. Someone that puts autoplay on a site is far too into themselves.

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Anonymous Coward

I have an easier solution

Chrome's developers are testing a permanent mute for Websites that insist on running autoplay videos the instant they load.

How about a much easier solution: just disable the autoplay mis-feature. No videos. No audio. No animated gifs. No on-load javascript. Nothing. Nada. Nichts. Ничего.

I would be open to a configuration option (but not a site-initiated prompt!) to restore some or all autoplay functionalify for a specific site, but nothing more.

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Wouldn't it just be easier to install an adblocker?

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Anonymous Coward

Wouldn't it just be easier to install an adblocker?

Not enough. Organic content on many news sites (including the BBC FFS), is frequently set to auto-play. I am yet to see the situation where this is the desired behaviour.

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An adblocker is pretty much an essential these days, but as pointed out many sites have their own videos or animated JIFs that are annoying distractions (and bandwidth hogs, for the video) when all you want is to read the damn text.

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No text

@Paul Crawford

...when all you want is to read the damn text.

Increasingly I find the BBC carries features that have no accompanying text. So much for accessibility

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No text

"Increasingly I find the BBC carries features that have no accompanying text."

Many of their news items now display text inside the video for parts of the content - like the old silent movies' captions. People talking are not usually visibly subtitled - so you just get the sound there. You need both sound and vision to get the full content. Any associated page text is often a very brief "teaser" by the side of the video panel.

On the face of it they are making it inaccessible for people with sight or hearing loss - unless there is some parallel delivery mechanism that needs to be switched on by the user?

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Flame

Re: No text

Ah, but the BBC can get far more annoying than that. And do.

Go to a video page and there's often a sentence or two of text (that doesn't really add anything). And a More clicky thing. Oh, you think, that's going to give me a full article. That's very handy for those who don't want to waste bandwidth on video when there's a textual article to read.

So you click on the clicky thing and get another (short) sentence that adds nothing worth reading. What is the fucking point? They could have displayed that extra shitty little sentence by default.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Where's the fucking cluebat?

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many sites have their own videos or animated JIFs that are annoying distractions (and bandwidth hogs, for the video) when all you want is to read the damn text.

That's presuming they have text accompanying the video. Altogether too many sites ONLY have video; they obviously aren't literate enough to actually WRITE anything. But they can readily talk out their arse for hours at a time.

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Re: No text

Increasingly I find the BBC carries features that have no accompanying text. So much for accessibility

For the BBC, accessibility falls into the same category as diversity, equality, political bias, paying excessive salaries etc. All areas where the Beeb wring their hands endlessly, and accuse other institutions of failings, but believing these rules don't apply to them.

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Do this too.

Great step by the Google Chrome team. The auto-play video has been annoying lately and websites are also forcing pop-up video once you scroll. Google should do something about it too. I am simply not interested in watching the video by shoving it down my throat.

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I've gone to the lengths of hosts entries for CDN servers behind the autoplay sites and using adblocker to kill the specific page elements. I HATE anything autoplay, I even hate the A.. hang on.. there. (Adblock is back on for Reg)... I was saying, I even hate the Adobe ad that's flashing away in a deliberately animated, eye catching manner on the right of this page as I type.

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> I even hate the Adobe ad that's flashing away in a deliberately animated, eye catching manner on the right of this page as I type

For a website with such a tech-savvy readership, the Reg does have a habit of showing some of the most annoying adverts possible. Every now and then, when I'm using a or different new computer, I wonder if the site has been hijacked or if a typo has sent me to a domain squatter. It's often the trigger that reminds me to install an adblocker.

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Anonymous Coward

Why a per-site option? Is it so that YouTube videos can start playing automatically.

I have media.autoplay.enabled=false in FF and that does the job just fine.

A per site option may also open up a new vector for tracking people (website checking on which popular sites you have / have not disabled autoplay).

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Re: Why a per-site option?

For the same reason why you want all other content filters to be settable on a global and/or per site basis (enable/disable/prompt).

Agnitum got this right from the outset. They supplied an add-on that displayed as a browser sidebar that exposed these detailed configuration parameters. Thus I could set a global policy (eg. reasonable compromise) and then set more favourable policy for a known website or lock some right down. Unfortunately, they only did the add-on for IE6/8...

The tracking usage is only really possible if the implementation of the controls is compromised to permit third-party lookup of configuration settings.

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BBC?

"I have media.autoplay.enabled=false in FF and that does the job just fine."

So do I but BBC videos insist on playing. That falls under the "excessively annoying" category.

I may be more forgiving if I had followed a link that showed it was a video, but I pick stories via their RSS feed and there's no indication that the story is a video and nothing else. Someone above had a pointed comment about that...

I sometimes wonder if this is a sneaky way to claim that you are watching BBC and are thus liable to pay the annual licence fee.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: BBC?

"I sometimes wonder if this is a sneaky way to claim that you are watching BBC and are thus liable to pay the annual licence fee."

I was surprised recently that BBC radio programmes on iPlayer now need you to login - like the TV programmes. Strange as there is no licence fee for radios.

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Re: BBC?

Regarding licences, I asked both the BBC web site and the TV Licensing about the video clips on the BBC news site.

The answer from both was that the canned clips are OK. The only time a licence is required is if the video is streaming live.

So if you ever get a live stream on your RSS feed and you watch it, technically you're fucked.

Also, you shouldn't take my word for this. Ask both those authorities yourself, and save the e-mail responses. Firstly, this gives you some level of legal defence even if they misinformed you (which could be interpreted by a court as entrapment). Secondly, if enough people ask they'll add it to their web site somewhere, making it clear to anybody who cares to look.

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a step in the right direction

Now if they would just listen to my suggestion to embed a personal ACL so that websites you refuse to visit stop showing up in searches, it would be a happy day.

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Bronze badge

Autoplay

On a lot of those sites one may compress the site by making the window narrow. In many cases that will then show only the text and nothing else. It is also possible to scroll to just the right place where the text is readable but the play stops. I do not do that often except on a couple of news sites where I am published. The best site here is the local newspaper site.

By far the best sites are ones that are also paper newspapers such as the one my daughter owns.

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Now if they would just listen to my suggestion

Back before Google killed their news site I more that once informed them that NASA is NOT a political entity in Africa. They ignored me.

Nasa in Kenya

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YouTube?

Will this include YouTube? It;s REALLY ANNOYING when you go to a channel's page to view the list of videos and the profile video starts to play, then when you select a video to watch, watch, hit back to return to the list it plays again... and again... and again...

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Re: YouTube?

I have a nice home phone that costs nothing to phone somebody in North America in the evening. I have been leaving some replies to phone scammers for a couple of weeks now. It is my new hobby for a while.

Suck it

I have also been playing with possible DTMF tones and some interesting brown noise with Wahwah.

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Re: YouTube?

Not investigated to any depth, but what would also be useful is a "don't autoplay next video".

I find it quite irritating that YouTube, BBC and other sites will assume having watched one video that you will want to simply watch an entire sequence of auto queued video's.

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Great

Is there anything more annoying than autoplay videos? Putting a cactus up your bum would run it close, according to a friend.

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Re: Great

I have a two foot high cactus and I'm sure it would be fine if you shaved it first...

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"Chrome's developers are testing a permanent mute for Websites that insist on running autoplay videos the instant they load."

Betcha five dollars it won't work on YouTube.

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"ultrasonic tracking"

Just read up about it - holy shit! What a bunch of evil scumbags those marketing / advertising people are!

"By the way if anyone here is in advertising or marketing…kill yourself. It’s just a little thought; I’m just trying to plant seeds. Maybe one day they’ll take root – I don’t know. You try, you do what you can.

(Kill yourself.)"

-- Bill Hicks - full tirade youtube.com/watch?v=GaD8y-CGhMw

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Disable HTML 5 Autoplay plugin for Chrome

Deserted my ad blocker for this. Makes most sites bearable again, and you don't get the annoying ad blocker notices...

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/disable-html5-autoplay/efdhoaajjjgckpbkoglidkeendpkolai?hl=en

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Re: Disable HTML 5 Autoplay plugin for Chrome

this works great, been using it for a while, it even stops next autoplay, even on you tube and the BBC.

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Anonymous Coward

Is there a way to the disable the 'autoplay' feature in the HTML video tag?

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Will they let you mute YouTube's autoplay -- no matter what site it is displayed on?

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autoplay? huh?

Um, dunno what I'm doing wrong, but I've not experienced autoplay since the days of crappy flash stuff in the early 2000's..

No adblocker or stuff either. Maybe my system is buggered!

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