Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Chrome bug filed after developer woken at 3am by the sound of monsters

chrome minecraft zombie screenshot
Google Chrome can restore your last browsing session when you start it back up, and that’s normally a good thing.There are times, however, when session restore isn’t what you want — like when you’re drifting gently off to sleep and a background tab starts broadcasting exceptionally spooky audio. Nothing messes with your head when you’re starting to doze off like Hollywood’s go-to ambient horror/suspense sounds (except maybe the sound of a Minecraft zombie moaning).
If, like the Chrome user who filed this particular issue on the Chromium project, you enjoy watching a suspenseful or scary show in your browser before bedtime, you might prefer it if Chrome didn’t flick on the audio switch until you actually wanted it to.There’s every chance Windows will perform an update in the middle of the neight, restart your machine, and Chrome starts playing that show again without your consent.
Chromium developers almost certainly agree this isn’t great, and it’s highly likely that they’ll implement some kind of mechanism to prevent it from happening in future — none of them want Chrome turning your lovely dream sequences into Monkeybone-ish nightmares, right? There are other times when a restored tab’s audio might not be welcome. You don’t, for example, need to let everyone in the department know that you were watching the video for Call Me Maybe the last time you had your headphones plugged in at your desk.
There are a couple of ways Google could put the kibosh on rogue audio in Chrome. The simplest way might be to prevent any plug-ins from springing in to action until a user actually interacts with the browser. Chrome already supports click-to-play, and session restore seems like a perfect situation to make it the default behavior. The <audio> and <video> tag would need to be set up the same way, of course, since Chrome also supports plug-in-free media playback.
The Chromium issue hasn’t been triaged or assigned yet, but it’s hard to imagine Google deciding it’s not worth addressing. Chrome just recently got another feature that’s designed to prevent sound-related annoyances — a favicon indicator that shows which tabs are currently producing audio output.

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