Firefox 68: Picture in Picture mode for Video
Mozilla plans to introduce support for a picture in picture mode (PiP) in the organization's Firefox web browser in Firefox 68.
Picture in Picture mode takes video content on a side and displays it in its own window that acts independently from the browser's main window for the most part.
Designed specifically for users who want to watch videos while doing other things in the browser, it is a popular mechanism that is available in several Chromium-based browsers such as Google Chrome, Vivaldi, or Opera (called Video Pop Out) already.
Mozilla revealed that it is working on a Picture in Picture mode for Firefox in February 2019; the organization ran a Test Pilot experiment called Min Vid in 2016 which tested a similar but unrelated implementation.
Firefox 68: Picture in Picture Mode
Mozilla's implementation in Firefox is straightforward. Users need to hover with the mouse over the playing video on supported sites -- most HTML5 video sites should work -- to display the Picture in Picture icon.
A click on the icon opens the Picture in Picture interface and Firefox continues playback of the video in the new window.
The video content area in the main window displays "This video is playing in Picture-in-Picture mode". Firefox users may resize the Picture in Picture window, drag it around to position it on the screen, or use the play/pause or fullscreen buttons displayed in the window.
There is also a close button to terminate the Picture in Picture window; doing so restores the video in the main window automatically. The whole process is fluent and well designed.
Other controls are missing from the Picture in Picture window; options to change the volume, video quality, skip to the next video, or change other parameters are not provided.
Captions, at least on YouTube, are displayed in the main window and not Picture in Picture window currently; the feature is still being worked on, and Mozilla has some time before it lands in Firefox 68 Stable.
Firefox users may control the functionality using the preference media.videocontrols.picture-in-picture.enabled. Just load about:config and set it to True (Enabled) or False (Disabled). If you don't use Picture in Picture mode, you may want to set it to disabled to avoid accidental activation. Firefox 68 is scheduled for a July 9th, 2019 release.
Picture in Picture mode is a popular feature; introduction in Firefox brings feature parity with Chrome and many other Chromium browsers. The new mode is enabled in Firefox Nightly, currently at version 68, already.
I don't use the mode at all, mainly because I have enough space on the desktop to display two browser windows side by side.
Now You: Do you use (will use) picture in picture modes in your browser of choice?
How do you disable PiP in Chrome as some sites force PiP ?
Watching videos on a browser is like eating soup with a fork. Possible, but there are superior alternatives. I will always prefer a dedicated video player (VLC) over a browser to watch any video. I usually drag and drop links from Chromium over VLC whenever I want to watch a video, usually on YouTube. As for PiP, I never had any use for such functionality, there’s enough space on my monitor to keep a video with program’s chrome while comfortably doing anything else on the other side.
It’s more like a spork.
Trully something I don’t need. Why don’t they focus on the core duty of a browser? This functionality is perfect… for an extension.
Truer words, Anonymous. Truer words. And not only that, in this week of gHacks feeds two future settings that I’ll have to check and disable in about:config.
Not true, it’s not perfect for an extension at all. It’d be an awful UX and a nightmare for compatibility if it was implemented that way since it really needs to be integrated into the browser’s media component.
if you’re visualising picture in picture mode with a screenshot, possibly best to pick a video that isn’t also featuring picture in picture :)
Picture in picture modes? Never tested it and not available yet on Firefox, but because I already use extensions providing a similar result I may very well be interested.
At this time I use two Firefox extensions developed by Ett Chung,
– Maximize Video at https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/maximize-video/
– Popup window at https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/popup-window/
‘Maximize Video’ of course concerns only videos, will render any html5 video in full screen width.
‘Popup window’ will bring whatever tab to a new window free of toolbars.
‘Maximize Video’ then ”Popup window’ will bring any html5 video to a full new window free of toolbars.
The developer also provides a “Pop-up Youtube/Twitch [only] video to standalone window” extension
Popup Video(WebExtension) at https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/popup-video-webextension/ but will concern only YouTube and twitch videos, making it less attractive IMO then the two above.
I also appreciate ‘Popup window’ for keeping a tab apart, being sure I won’t close it by inadvertently, in the spirit of pinning a tab, i.e. listening to a Webradio.
So, yes, I like the ability to view a video in its own dedicated window, but not only videos.
“Do you use (will use) picture in picture modes in your browser of choice?”
Probably not, because I only vary occasionally use my browser to watch video at all.
I’d prefer they fix the issue I still have with Firefox where if you do a “Save Page” and then change the directory to which you wish to save the page, the file name is erased and you have to enter it manually – which is a royal PITA especially as I save a LOT of Web pages daily.
I opened a bug report, but back when Firefox 66 was a “Nightly”, I couldn’t reproduce the error on that version, so the bug report was closed on the presumption that the bug would be fixed in that version. Well, it wasn’t. Now I’m on 66 Stable and the bug is still there, so I have asked for the bug report to be reopened.
So I’d prefer they not waste my time with complicated features I don’t need while there are still highly annoying and easily reproducible bugs outstanding.
So many other alternatives such as streaming services having their own apps to run on desktop while using a browser for other stuff. Or simply splitting the screen with two browser windows one for video the other for web browsing. OK I guess nothing wrong with adding yet another option to the mix. But is this really something users have been asking for in large numbers? Seems like Firefox developers are just throwing stuff at Firefox now hoping something clicks to gain users. Ignoring the proven success of less is more attractive in Chrome and the example of a bloated feature loaded browser like Opera has also failed to attract users.
That’s right, it exists in Chrome and Edge-Chromium but you can’t make slide the window. You can in Nightly and Opera
One thing about Firefox, they have the right idea. If you want to get ahead in the game, mimic the look and feel of the thing with the most market share and build it all on top of something different that you created. Something truly open source. That said, they could do without some of the studies and telemetry.
I rarely use PiP mode, in some specefic situations.
I use it a lot on Chrome, in fact it’s one of the main reasons that I haven’t switched to Firefox yet.
For me it is must have, i have often PIP video with current news while doing other things.. opera was first and chrome does it also well. I did try PIP in firefox recently and it is inferior compared to other mentioned browsers – it supports way less sites (sadly).