One of the most annoying things while browsing the web is landing on a website that blares audio and video at you, out of the blue. To deliver a better browsing experience, Mozilla has announced that in March, its upcoming Firefox 66 for desktop and an update to Firefox for Android will implement the new autoplay blocking feature. With the new update, autoplay videos will automatically be blocked on websites and will only be enabled when a user interacts with the video by clicking on a play button or something similar. However, muted autoplay will still be allowed.
There are some more additions that Mozilla states in its blog post, “Any playback that happens before the user has interacted with a page via a mouse click, printable key press, or touch event, is deemed to be autoplay and will be blocked if it is potentially audible.” Considering that there will be websites like YouTube, Skype or Netflix where a user will not want auto-playing videos to be blocked, there will be an option to disable the autoplay block from an icon in the address bar. Clicking on the icon will grant access to the site's information panel and there will be an “Autoplay sound” permission panel that can be changed from the default setting of “Block” to “Allow”. Firefox will then, by default, allow that site to autoplay audibly. This option will enable users to whitelist sites that they trust to autoplay videos.
Additionally, sites are also being allowed to autoplay with sound enabled if the user has previously enabled camera or microphone permission. This is so that “sites which have explicit user permission to run WebRTC should continue to work as they do today.” The browser developers are also working on blocking autoplay for Web Audio content, but have not yet finalized their implementation.
This is not the first time we have heard of Mozilla working on blocking all auto-playing content. Back in July last year, Mozilla Nightly got the ability to block pesky autoplay videos on websites. Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome and Apple Safari browsers have also taken some similar steps to place restrictions on auto-playing media.