GOOGLE HAS been forced to roll back its new autoplay policy for web video in Chrome after it became apparent that it was borking legitimate content.
The new policy, introduced in April, was designed to 'intelligently' block unwanted video from playing unless you had either white-listed the site or previously interacted with it.
But with the latest Chrome release (version 66) these changes, that were present in the Canary and Beta builds, have been removed because the algorithm is driving people nuts.
The main problem seems to be web-based games, which are being muted by the policy when that's not the idea - at all.
Google has made it clear that this is a temporary change and that it has been made to give developers time to change their code. Yes, it's the devs are required to fall in line on this one - cue a host of not-working abandoned web content, come the autumn.
The Chromium team confirms: "We've updated Chrome 66 to temporarily remove the autoplay policy for the Web Audio API. This change does not affect most media playback on the web, as the autoplay policy will remain in effect for < video> and < audio>.
"We're doing this to give Web Audio API developers (e.g. gaming, audio applications, some RTC features) more time to update their code. The team here is working hard to improve things for users and developers, but in this case we didn't do a good job of communicating the impact of the new autoplay policy to developers using the Web Audio API."
Google has been fighting the good fight for some time in terms of annoying autoplay content. It seems the new system does exactly what it was meant to, but it just manages to do a little more besides. It's still a good solution to a long-standing problem - it just needs a bit of fine tuning is all. µ
Though it's not exactly an even playing field
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