Mozilla blocks automatic video

Firefox is renowned for its unique features such as tab scrolling that are popular amongst its loyal user base. Mozilla regularly adds new features and improvements to Firefox, the latest of which brings it up to speed with Google Chrome in a vital area, as per the reports, Mozilla blocks automatic video by default in latest version.

In a blog post, Chris Pearce, an engineer at Mozilla, announced the newest version of the client, 66, will block automatic video and audio by default. Instead, the browser will only play such content if the user expresses a desire to watch it.

Pearce explained: “Isn’t it annoying when you click on a link or open a new browser tab and audible video or audio starts playing automatically?

“We know that unsolicited volume can be a great source of distraction and frustration for users of the web. So, we are making changes to how Firefox handles playing media with sound. “We want to make sure web developers are aware of this new autoplay blocking feature in Firefox.

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“Starting with the release of Firefox 66 for desktop and Firefox for Android, Firefox will block audible audio and video by default. “We only allow a site to play audio or video aloud via the HTMLMediaElement API once a web page has had user interaction to initiate the audio, such as the user clicking on a ‘play’ button.”

Mozilla blocks automatic video through the content that is activated before the user has interacted with it as “autoplay” and will therefore be blocked.

He went on: “Any playback that happens before the user has interacted with a page via a mouse click, printable key press, or touch event, is deemed to be autoplay and will be blocked if it is potentially audible.

“Muted autoplay is still allowed. So script can set the “muted” attribute on HTMLMediaElement to true, and autoplay will work.”

It was also declared Firefox fans will have the option to choose which sites are exempt from the new feature. This means if users want video to play automatically on sites such as YouTube, this can be enabled.

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Last year Google announced a new policy for Chrome that similarly blocked unwanted autoplays for users. Firefox version 66 is expected to debut in March.

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