Earlier this month Google rolled out an update that aimed to mute those annoying videos that automatically play with sound while you are surfing the web. While that was a welcome goal, the update also had some unintended consequences for fans of web-based games. The update rendered those games unable to play sound. Google has recognized its error and has announced that it will be updating Chrome to temporarily remove the update that broke the games.
The original update automatically paused Web Audio projects when a webpage launched. The same feature silenced the audio in these web-based games and the fix is to temporarily remove the autoplay policy from the Web Audio API for Chrome 66. The change was announced this week via Twitter by Myles Borins, a developer advocate to Google.
You asked and we listened. Chrome 66 has been updated to temporarily remove the auto play policy for Web-Audio
— sMyle (@MylesBorins) May 15, 2018
Developers of the web-based games began to complain about broken audio not long after the update originally rolled out, and Google responded that it was investigating. “The team here is working hard to improve things for users and developers, but in this case, we didn’t do a good job of communicating the impact of the new autoplay policy to developers,” John Pallett, a Chrome product manager, wrote in a developer forum on the bug.
Google offered no timeframe on when it might again enable the audio blocking capability of Chrome. Presumably, that will happen when the Chrome team figures out how to do that without blocking audio on legitimate content that Chrome users want to hear.