Firefox set to silence auto-play audio with March upgrade

From ComputerWorld: Mozilla this week announced that the next upgrade to Firefox, due for release March 19, will automatically block all auto-play audio by default.

"Starting with the release of Firefox 66 for desktop and Firefox for Android, Firefox will block audible audio and video by default," Chris Pearce, a Mozilla software engineer, wrote in a post to the company's Hacks blog.

Only when the user explicitly interacts with the website to launch audio or video content - Pearce cited clicking a "Play" button as an example - will Firefox allow sound to stream.

"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 auto-play and will be blocked if it is potentially audible," Pearce added.

Auto-play blocking will be enabled by default in Firefox 66, currently scheduled for release March 19.

Users may set site-specific controls to allow some destinations to start playing audio as soon as the browser pulls up a page. And auto-play video will be allowed when muted, Pearce said. He recommended that site developers adopt the latter practice, perhaps with an "Unmute" button for users to click. "Note that muted auto-play is also currently allowed by default in all major browsers which block auto-play media," Pearce said.

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