Google Chrome 73, the next version of the web browser, will support multimedia keys on keyboards that support them. The web browser will be the first desktop browser to support media keys on keyboards.
Media keys allow users to control media playback using them. They are usually attached to the Function-keys on the keyboard or available as separate keys instead.
My main keyboard, Das Keyboard, has them attached to the Function-keys. Media keys support operations that control audio or video playback for the most part. You may use them to change the volume, play, stop or pause videos, or use forward and backward operations.
Third-party programs have been created in the past to integrate media keys in programs. We reviewed quite a few including Taskplay, Global Hotkeys for Windows Media Player, Media Keyboard 2 Media Player, or Media Player Hotkeys.
Chrome will support the following controls in version 73:
The functionality works even if Chrome is in the background but it won't work on Chrome for Linux in version 73 (only on Windows, Mac OS X or Chrome OS).
Chrome users who run development versions of the web browser, in this case Chrome Canary or Beta, may test the functionality already.
If your keyboard has media keys, head over to the page in Chrome Beta or Stable. Select audio or video, and use the media keys to control it.
If the media keys are attached to the Function-keys, you may need to press the Fn key on the keyboard to use the media keys. Please note that media keys may work only if your keyboard is connected in the right away to the desktop computer. For my keyboard, media controls only work if the keyboard is not connected to the PC using a PS2 connection.
Chrome 73 will introduce support for the Media Session API on the desktop next to that.
Controlling media playback in Chrome using hardware media keys may make things more comfortable in this regard for some Chrome users. Just tap on a media key on the keyboard to play or pause media, or change the volume. Since it works even when Chrome is not the foreground application, it could become a favorite way of controlling media in Chrome for some users of the browser.
Now You: Do you use media keys on your keyboard (if available)?Advertisement
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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.