Some video hosting sites like YouTube block playback the moment you switch to another tab in the browser that you are using. This may not be desirable, for example, when you play a music playlist on YouTube or want to listen to a discussion or presentation while doing something else in the browser, on the device, or elsewhere.
This happens even when the device's screen enters power saving mode or gets locked which in turn means that you cannot play a video unless you stay active.
Video Background Play Fix is a Firefox add-on for Firefox mobile on Android that removes video playback restrictions from sites like YouTube so that they play in the background. I tested the extension only on YouTube, but there are certainly other video hosting sites out there that use the same restrictions.
The extension enables background playback on YouTube and other sites so that you can switch tabs or even minimize the browser to use other apps or none at all on the Android device.
The developer explains how Video Background Play Fix does it:
Some sites may not work with Firefox for Android video background play feature. This add-on provides a quick fix by blocking the Page Visibility API and the Fullscreen API.
The blocking of video playback as soon as the page the video is embedded on is not in the foreground is not a new thing. We talked about resolving it on Android back in 2013 and suggested that you use third-party apps for that.
You may trust Firefox and the Firefox add-on more, however, than third-party applications. Chrome users on Android cannot use extensions for that as the browser does not support extensions at all.
Video Background Play Fix is a useful add-on for the Firefox web browser for Android users who want video playback on Android in the background on sites that prevent it through visibility checks.
Chrome users may use other workarounds, for example, to switch to the desktop site to get playback controls in the Android notification area to restart playback.
Now You: Do you watch videos or listen to music on your mobile device?
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
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.