Google kills off Chrome auto-silence feature

Google has walked back Chrome 66’s feature to silence auto-playing videos, after it was discovered that it also muted several games and sites that used audio for in-game alerts.

This was a slight overreach on the Chrome development team originally intended, and there was a substantial backlash from game developers and website owners who had been hindered by the changes, and as a result Google has temporarily cut the autoplay silencing feature.

Speaking on the forum, Google product management bod John Pallett came forward to explain that the games and apps that’ve been silenced as a result of the change were an accidental side-effect to the change.

“We didn’t do a good job of communicating the impact of the new autoplay policy to developers using the Web Audio API.” said Pallett. The change is designed to give developers time to update their code before the feature comes back, again, in October 2018 with the release of Chrome 70.

Regardless, this will have the same problem in that it will permanently silence several games that are no longer being actively developed, as it will require fiddling with Web Audio API to ensure their voices (in addition to bleeps, bloops and other video game noises) remain heard. 

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