Chrome partially disables auto-mute feature until October

Google Fixes Issue That Broke Millions of Web-Based Games in Chrome

The policy will be re-applied to the Web Audio API in Chrome 70 (October).

However, the unintended outcome of silencing web games has prompted Google to temporarily remove the autoplay policy for the Web Audio API, which is used by many web games.

Hence a post to the list from Google product management chap John Pallett, who wrote "We've updated Chrome 66 to temporarily remove the autoplay policy for the Web Audio API".

The Chrome team said that the changes will not impact the web browser's new feature of silencing Internet videos and audio that have an autoplay feature.

The Chromium team confirms: "We've updated Chrome 66 to temporarily remove the autoplay policy for the Web Audio API". Developers and users, however, complained. For that reason, the current Chrome version 66 will no longer automatically mute Web Audio objects. "If you are honest in your claim that the side effects of the policy were unintended and unwanted, you should commit-in clear, straightforward language-to finding other alternatives which do not break vast swathes of cultural work that was developed and distributed on the open web". Developers of browser games collectively called out Google for the change, and they responded. This likely means a fair amount of games are about to be abandoned as Google does not intend to change how their block works but are instead putting the onus on the devs to change the code on their free to play games. "He writes, "We are still exploring options to enable great audio experiences for users, and we will post more detailed thoughts on that topic here later", he writes". Google has reportedly issued a partial fix.

However, while Google is planning to bring back the policy in October, Pallett noted that Google has yet to solve a "non-trivial user interface challenge with a lot of nuances".

A Chrome update that tried to kill off autoplaying video content on websites had an unpleasant side-effect: it broke a wide range of apps and games, according to reports from users and developers. Then, as you browse the web, Chrome updates that list as it learns where you play media and where you don't.

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