Vivaldi 1.7: Audio muting improvements
Vivaldi 1.7, the upcoming next version of the popular web browser, will ship with better audio muting controls that users can utilize.
Most web browsers support audio muting by now. Most display audio indicators in the tab bar of the browser. Some let you control audio directly through those icons, usually to toggle the audio state between mute and unmute.
Vivaldi supports this as well, and that is probably all that the majority of Internet users require. It indicates the sites that play audio, and gives you controls to mute the audio with a click.
Vivaldi does support more mute options though than muting or unmuting tabs in the browser.
Vivaldi 1.7: Audio muting powerhouse
Vivaldi 1.7 will support the following mute options:
- Mute/Unmute Tab
- Mute/Unmute Other Tabs
- Mute/Unmute All Tabs
Only mute and unmute is available in the interface directly when you click on the audio icon to toggle the audio state. It is also the only option that functions as a toggle. The remaining mute commands are all individual commands.
You have three options to make use of the other options.
Quick Commands is quite the useful feature. Tap on F2 to bring up the command bar, type an action or command that you want executed, and select it from the list of results Vivaldi returns to you.
Type mute, and all mute options are listed. You may select these commands with the keyboard, or with the mouse.
Second, you may add keyboard shortcuts to any of the actions so that you can run them using the keyboard.
- Load vivaldi://settings/keyboard/.
- Select Tab on the page.
- Scroll down to the mute options on the page.
Simply click on a field, and press a keyboard shortcut to assign it to the action.
The second option that you have is to assign these new mute actions to mouse gestures.
- Load vivaldi://settings/mouse/ in the browser's address bar.
- Click on the plus icon underneath the mouse gestures listing.
- Scroll down until the audio mute actions are listed.
- Pick one that you want to configure, and click next.
- Draw a gesture that you want to associate with the selected action.
- Click save once you are satisfied with the result.
To use mouse gestures, simply hold down the right mouse button and draw it on the screen.
There is still some work to be done to improve the muting capabilities further. An option to mute audio in background tabs automatically would certainly be useful, provided that it can be turned on or off.
Of course, global audio permissions, using blacklists or whitelists, would be mighty useful as well.
Now You: Do you use your browser's audio muting functionality?
I don’t really use a browser’s muting option, only if for some reason a website makes the terrible choice to have autoplay videos and I have to mute them quickly while I am working in another tab.
I do wish Vivaldi would focus more on improving the performance of their browser, rather than using their seemingly limited resources to expand on options like audio muting. Don’t get me wrong, Vivaldi isn’t a terrible web browser in terms of performance, but I have noticed it is lacking in comparison to Chrome and Opera.
Ever since browsers have started displaying the loudspeaker icon on tabs with active audio content, I’m content with recognizing these icons and muting tabs selectively if the situation calls for it. To be honest, this doesn’t happen nearly as often as I thought it would, but that’s mostly because Flash content is set as ‘click to play’.
It was a real pain back in the day, when some Flash ad would create some awfully distracting sounds and the only way to stop it was to start a forensic search of all your opened tabs at the time. Thankfully those times are over and I won’t miss them a bit.
Edit: to add a bit to the browser in general, I’m getting more and more disappointed by the Vivaldi development team. The direction they’re taking is difficult to understand, because a lot of what they are doing by providing some features (like screenshot or global tab muting) can already be done via the WebExtension API and there are good extensions on the market even. Why don’t they set a higher priority for features that can’t be done by an uninvolved third party? It’s such a shame.
Someone on here said to me a few months ago that they wouldn’t use Vivaldi’s built-in screenshot feature because it was limited to 20k and when I said to said person that the devs were looking into increasing it, he didn’t believe me. Well, the latest snapshot increased it from 20k to 30k, so…