GOOGLE'S CHROME browser looks to be getting a universal play/pause button in the menu bar, as the battle against annoying auto-play content goes on.
Checking the Canary channel of Chrome and its open-source sibling Chromium reveals a new flag (chrome://flags/#global-media-controls since you asked) for Global Media Controls (GMC) has been enabled. It creates a new button to the right of the URL with a pop-up (technically a slide-out, but meh) to tell you there's something worth pausing.
The important thing is that it doesn't just pause/play the current tab - it automatically shuts down any audio or video content playing in Chrome, in one hit.
At the moment, it crashes like an elderly Duke on a country lane, but by the time it hits the stable channel, it should be one of those rare beasts - a feature that actually solves a problem that nobody really knew needed solving, but is actually still worth having.
It's not the first time that Chrome has had a feature like this. It used to be that any tab playing media would be indicated on-screen and simply clicking the loudspeaker icon next to the page title would mute that tab.
Google removed that particular feature last year, much to some users' pother, and it appears that the team are now looking for an alternative that doesn't block sites that are registered as false positives whilst ignoring CNet's picture-in-picture video.
In actual fact, if this makes it to the stable build, it'll be a much better feature for it - it'll kill the offending content stone dead without having to go through 47 tabs you've been meaning to close (we know, you all do it) to find the one that is causing the problem.
Chrome already has a policy of not auto-playing content unless the user has chosen to interact with it, but advertisers and CNet, in particular, are doing their best to get around it. μ
Bad for shareholders, mildly good for the planet
YouTube on the Tube
Claims that it hasn't ever actually worked