One of the most annoying things on the web for many Internet users is autoplaying content and here in particular autoplaying content with sound.
While autoplay is expected in some situations, for instance when you click on a video link, it sometimes comes in unexpected forms, for instance as video ads with autoplay sound or unrelated videos on pages with articles that you are interested in.
Browser makers have started to do something about autoplaying content; Microsoft's Edge web browser includes an option to disable media autoplay in the next feature release later this year, and Google Chrome supports automatic autoplay blocking as of Chrome 66.
You may consult our guides on controlling audio and video autoplay in Chrome, and using the audio mute functionality of the browser.
Mozilla added HTML5 video autoplay blocking to Firefox in 2015. Firefox users who run the Nightly version of the web browser get access to a new feature to control sound autoplay in the Firefox browser as of today.
You need to make sure that Firefox Nightly is up to date. Select Menu > Help > About Nightly to make sure that this is the case.
Load about:preferences#privacy in the browser's address bar afterward and scroll down to the permissions section on the page to configure the new option.
Activate the menu next to "for websites that autoplay sound" and select one of the available options. The default is set to "always ask" and you may switch the preference to "always" or "block autoplay".
If you select the block option, any video with sound that would autoplay on any website gets blocked. A quick test confirmed that this works on YouTube and other video streaming websites. Firefox displays a play button in the video area that you need to interact with to start playback.
The browser comes with options to add exceptions. If you want your favorite music site to always play music or your favorite video site to play videos, you can add their URLs to the list of exceptions to make sure that this is the case.
The autoplay sound blocking option landed in Firefox 63 Nightly. It will make it into Firefox 63 Stable at the earliest but that depends on bug reports and issues that may come up.
Now You: Do you block media autoplay?
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.