Google Chrome team rolls back the update that muted many web games

by Lawrence Cooper May 17, 2018, 1:22
Google Chrome team rolls back the update that muted many web games

Numerous commenters suggest the Chrome team allow users to opt in instead of enabling the feature by default. Benji Kay, a developer of web games and audio tools, said: "Simply delaying the enacting of this policy doesn't solve any of the major concerns that have been raised". For that reason, the current Chrome version 66 will no longer automatically mute Web Audio objects. The new functionality was meant to silence auto-playing audio and video in the web browser, but it inadvertently muted audio from many web games and other projects too, with no way to get it back.

Google has had to temporarily break one of Chrome's newest features because it was proving more troublesome than the annoying problem it was supposed to tackle. Developers of browser games collectively called out Google for the change, and they responded.

While the move should restore sound to affected sites for now, there are still unhappy developers out there.

As per a report in The Verge, a developer named Ashley Gullen had revealed the ways to fix the issue, but Pallett has said that it is a "non-trivial user interface challenge". This change does not affect most media playback on the web, as the autoplay policy will remain in effect for video and audio .

The "more time for developers" angle is an - ahem - interesting one, because Chrome 66's beta debuted on March 21, 2018 and discussion of its features played out for several months before that date.

Killing off autoplaying adverts in Chrome is a wonderful thing and has brought peace and quiet to many a browsing session, unless you are someone who likes to play games in your browser.

While the original audio policy change blindsided developers, the temporary rollback seeks to give them time to adapt their projects for the coming change but, as some devs pointed out last week, not everyone affected by the change has the ability, time, or resources to go back and retroactively change the code of projects already online.

In a post on the Chromium developer forums, Product Manager John Pallett admits that Google "didn't do a good job of communicating the impact of the new autoplay policy to developers using the Web Audio API".


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