Firefox 66 will now block auto-playing video and audio when pages launch on Android thanks to the latest update to the popular desktop and mobile browser.

This issue might not seem like a problem to people who have no sense of public shame or simply don’t care about their surroundings. But to those of us who hate it when clicking on a link or opening a new browser tab means being hit with a wall of sound from an unknown in-page video player, this is a great update.

Confirmed by the Firefox team, this latest update will work across desktop and mobile. Stopping audio and video by default when loading a page. For anyone who frequents a number of news sites, those that have pop-out or fly-out video players can now do so in peace.

Mozilla is making this change possible by via the HTMLMediaElement API. Developers will need to use this API to allow a website to play audio or video. Whilst the user will now need to initiate audio first by clicking a play button, any older implementations of autoplay will be blocked if audible.

Anyone that does still want audible autoplay and video to be allowed can do so on Firefox for Desktop via the address bar. You can manually change the permissions for each site individually and manage your own whitelists of websites.

The Firefox team confirmed that this update is scheduled for a March 19 release. So we still have a fair bit of time to wait for properly muted audio, but it is still a welcome update.

Websites that you have previously granted camera or microphone permission will continue to autoplay as standard unless you revoke these permissions. Which is something worth noting.

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Damien Wilde

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