Google Chrome 73, scheduled for release next month, will be the first version of Chrome that will officially support the multimedia keys that some users have on their desk and laptop keyboards.
Support for multimedia keys will initially be available for Chrome on Chrome OS, macOS, and Windows, while support for Linux will come later (unspecified date).
Users will be able to control both audio and video content played in Chrome, including skipping through playlists.
Initial support is planned for multimedia keys such as "play," "pause," "previous track," "next track," "seek backward," and "seek forward."
Key presses will be supported at the Chrome level, not the tab level, meaning that multimedia buttons will work regardless if the Chrome browser is in the operating system's foreground or background (minimized).
Anyone can already test Chrome's support for multimedia keys on YouTube (or this demo page), but the feature is only available on Chrome 73 Beta and Chrome Canary distributions, for now.
Chrome 73 will also ship with the Media Session API, a programmatic interface that developers can use to control media playback in the browser, and also customize interactions for multimedia keys.
Google Chrome will be the first browser to support multimedia keys. Apple devs have also expressed interested in supporting the Media Session API in WebKit, Safari's engine. No word from the Firefox and Edge teams just yet.