Google has partially rolled back Chrome's blocking of autoplaying video with sound after it was found to break a large collection of web apps and games. The change was announced this week via Twitter by Myles Borins, a developer advocate to Google. The new functionality was meant to silence auto-playing audio and video in the web browser, but it inadvertently muted audio from many web games and other projects too, with no way to get it back.
The autoplay-video blocker is created to fix one of the greatest problems of the Internet: autoplaying videos on websites. As users continue browsing the web, Chrome updates that list as it learns where you play media and where you don't. But the feature reportedly also silenced the audio in web-based games. One of this release's features was its ability to block web pages with auto-playing audio.
QWOP designer Bennett Foddy told Waypoint that he "cannot think of a comparable moment where one team of developers killed so much internet culture in one unilateral move".
Pallett admitted the company could have done a better job of explaining the impact that the change would have on developers who use the Web Audio API.
Meanwhile, the implementation delay is created to give "Web Audio API developers (e.g. gaming, audio applications, some RTC features) more time to update their code". It will return with Chrome 70 in October.
Google says the autoplay policy will be reapplied with Chrome 70 in October, giving developers a chance to rework their projects' code to support the new API. This change does not affect most media playback on the web, as the autoplay policy will remain in effect for video and audio .
These challenges relate to how to obtain a gesture from users from different types of web applications.
Google says it is "still exploring options to enable great audio experiences for users", so it may come up with an alternative solution in the future.