MuteLinks is a new browser add-on for the Firefox web browser that enables you to mute specific sites so that they will never play sound when opened or used.
Sound can be a very distracting and annoying thing, especially if it starts to play as soon as a page loads. While there are not that many sites that auto-play video or audio files, some do. Others may display ads with sound on their site which is equally problematic.
Facebook for instance runs a test currently in which it tests video with autoplay sound in user feeds.
Many Internet users would probably agree that auto-playing sound is not something that they want to encounter on the Internet, unless it was initiated by user action.
Most web browsers let you mute audio that plays in a tab. An audio indicator is usually displayed in the tab bar of the browser, and a click on that indicator mutes the tab.
If you happen to visit a site regularly, but are annoyed by it playing sound automatically when you visit the site or manually when you interact with it, then you may find MuteLinks for Firefox useful.
The extension blocks audio on sites you specify so that they will never play audio again.
You need to add URLs in the add-on's settings to get started. There you find a blacklist field that you may add URLs to. If you add more than one, separate each with a comma.
While you may be very specific about the url, e.g. by entering https://www.facebook.com/ghacksnet/, you may also block all protocols a site supports by entering facebook.com, or even use wildcards and block even more sites in one go. You may use wildcards to block sound on all *.com domains for instance or even all sites by entering *.
One particular category of sites where MuteLinks may be useful are games sites. Many load video ads before games are loaded, and if you don't mind muted games, then you will get some peace by adding them to the blacklist.
The main idea behind the extension is to mute sites that you visit regularly. It makes little sense to add sites that you will never visit again to the blacklist.
MuteLinks uses Firefox's internal muting capabilities. This means that it may not work on all sites. Basically, any site that you cannot mute using Firefox cannot be muted using the extension. It is therefore best to use the following workflow: visit the site, check if Firefox displays a mute icon in the tab bar, click on it to see if you can interact with it, and add it to the blacklist afterwards if true.
MuteLinks is a handy add-on for Firefox that can silence part or even all of the web when using Firefox to browse it.
It would benefit from better blacklisting options, like sending the site you are on to the blacklist automatically instead of having to enter it manually.
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.