Google says the autoplay policy will be reapplied with Chrome 70 in October, giving developers a chance to rework their projects' code to support the new API. Yet it seems to have accidentally prevented web-based games that rely on the Web Audio API from playing sounds for their Chrome-using players.
In a recent blog post, Google Chrome product manager John Pallett wrote that "a significant number" of autoplay videos are axed by users who don't want them - either by muting, pausing, or closing out of the tabs altogether - within only six seconds of the videos' start.
The update was rolled out in April with the objective of blocking loud media content that is being played automatically on some websites.
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We're doing this to give Web Audio API developers (e.g. gaming, audio applications, some RTC features) more time to update their code. But whether this loophole will end up being abused to autoplay video with sound and get developers to update their apps to avoid them being muted remains to be seen.
The good news is that Google isn't throwing out the baby with the bath water: Pallett said the change "does not affect most media playback on the web" because the "autoplay policy will remain in effect for video and audio " content. The company said it plans to reintroduce the change with Chrome 70, which is set to debut in October, and that developers should have worked around it by then.
Still, the auto-muting update still appliesto audio and video HTML tags. For some HTML5 games, users could re-enable audio by interacting with the game's canvas via a click-to-play interaction.
While this learning feature is a new tool from Chrome, you can actually already select to disable audio on certain websites if you're running Google Chrome 64.
The most recent update, Chrome 66, pauses audio on browser media objects, meant to silence irritating adverts.