Video: How Mozilla plans to win back Firefox users
Apple's Safari, Google's Chrome, and even Microsoft's Edge have already delivered, or are working on, options to allow users to block sound from autoplaying video, and now Mozilla's Firefox is following suit.
As ZDNet sister site CNET spotted, Firefox Nightly, the pre-beta version of Firefox, now asks users whether they want a site to autoplay video with sound. Users can make that choice from the preferences page where there's an option to 'always ask' before allowing a website to autoplay sound.
Dave Harvey, a developer at Mozilla, announced the new feature in a tweet on the weekend, showing that users will have the choice to 'Allow Autoplay', 'Always Ask', or 'Block Autoplay', as well as create exceptions for these choices.
To test the feature, download the Nightly version of Firefox and go to Preferences. Under permissions there's a new field called 'For websites that autoplay sound'. Videos with sound that are blocked will not play; those that autoplay with sound muted or have no audio will not be affected.
Microsoft for its part plans to introduce an autoplay block in the next version of Windows 10 aka Redstone 5, which is being tested with Windows insiders now and allows them to control autoplay permissions on a site-by-site basis. Testers with build 17713, released in July, can do this by clicking on the icon in the address bar or the site identification icon on the tab.
For now, autoplay blocking is exclusive to the Nightly version of Firefox, but the feature could make it to the final version scheduled for release in October.
Firefox's autoplay efforts have been ongoing. In March, Mozilla vowed it would "provide users with a way to block video auto-play that doesn't break websites" as part of a wider roadmap for Firefox in 2018 focused on privacy and safety features for the browser.
Being a latecomer to such blocking could have been a wise choice, given Google's anti-autoplay feature that came with Chrome 66 broke a bunch of web games, forcing it to dial back part of its autoplay policy in May.
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