The next major version of the Firefox web browser will mute autoplaying video and audio content by default. Mozilla is taking the step to ensure web users aren’t distracted or embarrassed by the autoplaying media while casually browsing the web.
The foundation is following the lead of rivals like Google’s Chrome and Microsoft Edge, which give users the choice to mute the sounds from content that begins playing without proactive intent. The feature will be part of Firefox 66, which will begin rolling out to the user base in March.
However, while the feature will be enabled by default, Firefox users will have some flexibility. They can enable autoplaying sounds on the websites of their choosing by clicking on a new icon within the URL bar that appears whenever Firefox blocks sounds.
In a blog post (via TechCrunch), Mozilla engineer Chris Pearce explains: “There are some sites on which users want audible autoplay audio and video to be allowed. When Firefox for Desktop blocks autoplay audio or video, an icon appears in the URL bar.
“Users can click on the icon to access the site information panel, where they can change the “Autoplay sound” permission for that site from the default setting of “Block” to “Allow”. Firefox will then allow that site to autoplay audibly. This allows users to easily curate their own whitelist of sites that they trust to autoplay audibly.”
Likewise, sites will be able to autoplay audibly if the user has previously enabled microphone and camera permissions. That’ll mean your web-based calls won’t be automatically muted. All in all, it’s great news for Firefox users, but less so for those sites that love blasting out that audio as soon as the page loads.
Will this feature bring you back to the loving embrace of Firefox? Or are you Chrome for life? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.