Chrome 66, out today, supposedly blocks one of the most annoying things on the web: auto-playing videos with sound.
Numerous websites start playing videos in the corner while you’re trying to read something, which is why Safari has muted auto-playing videos since September. But while Safari’s feature works across the board, Chrome’s is inconsistent at best in our tests.
The problem: this new Chrome feature monitors your behavior on websites to determine whether you want to hear the ads, instead of just muting them. Here’s Emil Protalinski, writing for Venture Beat:
The discrepancy is due to how Chrome ranks each website for you. On the desktop, Chrome has a Media Engagement Index (MEI), which measures the propensity to consume media for each site you visit. You can check your MEI for each site by navigating to the chrome://media-engagement internal page.
You can see what this engagement measuring looks like in the screenshot above. We suppose this will work over time, but can’t help but wonder why Google didn’t just copy Safari and block auto-playing audio across the board. If that’s what you want here’s how to mute new tabs in Chrome by default. Just know that you’ll have to unmute sites you actually want to hear.