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Firefox update will halt auto-playing media with sound

(Image credit: Image Credit: Mozilla)

Mozilla is changing the way its Firefox browser handles automatically playing multimedia. Its next version, Firefox 66, will block automatically playing audio, as well as automatically playing video that comes with sound.

That way, users won't be met with surprising audio playback when they open a new website, something Mozilla's Chris Pearce calls an 'annoying' practice (opens in new tab).

Audio, or audio-playing video, can only be heard after the user interacts with it – for example, if it clicks the 'play' button.

“Any playback that happens before the user has interacted with a page via a mouse click, printable key press, or touch event, is deemed to be autoplay and will be blocked if it is potentially audible,” the announcement reads.

Muted autoplay, where video plays as soon as the user reaches a website, but without audio running, is still allowed, Mozilla confirms. At the moment, the new version is expected to be released on March 19, 2019.

“In Firefox for Android, this will replace the existing block autoplay implementation with the same behaviour we’ll be using in Firefox on desktop,” it was said.

In order to avoid having their multimedia content blocked, publishers should make sure to play media only inside a keyboard event handler, or in a touchend event, in case of a touchscreen device.

Image Credit: Mozilla

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.