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YouTube Adds Play Icon To Page Titles To Show Which Tabs Are Making Noise 150

Posted by samzenpus
from the better-work-browsing dept.
An anonymous reader writes "YouTube has added a new play icon to its video pages that only appears when content is playing. The icon disappears when you hit pause, allowing you to quickly see which tabs are making noise. The new feature is a very minor tweak that will be very useful for YouTube users. Because the service auto-plays content when you open a video, if you have multiple YouTube tabs it is often tedious to figure out which ones need to be paused or closed."
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YouTube Adds Play Icon To Page Titles To Show Which Tabs Are Making Noise

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  • Plug (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    See also: You Tube Options for chrome (and possibly other borswers?) It allows you to totally stop autoplay, and has those tab icons already in there - one for videos which are playing, another showing which are paused.

    There's a bunch of other options in there in addition, just wanted to call those two out in particular.

  • by grasshoppa (657393) <`gro.oc-onpt' `ta' `ydenneks'> on Monday August 05, 2013 @02:19AM (#44474703) Homepage

    Seems to me that the browser should offer visual alert as to which tab is makin' noise, and should give you tweakin' options ( such as mute all tabs but currently focused tab, allow unmuting of tab via right click on tab, ect... ).

    It's great that youtube is doing this, don't misunderstand me. But it seems to be making up for the lack of options in the browser.

    • Yes. Actually, given how log this has been a PITA, it's rather amazing that no browser has such a function yet. Maybe there's a 3rd party add-on?

      • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Monday August 05, 2013 @02:38AM (#44474775) Homepage
        I was under the impression that the browser couldn't know whether a plugin (i.e., Flash) is making noise.
        • I'm sure the browser plugin API can be extended to provide generic activate/deactivate operations (that would map to play/pause for Flash), then the browser (and in turn, the user) can be in total control of which tab/plugin is active.
          • Yes, but that would need Adobe to implement such a feature, and why would they?

            • by mysidia (191772)

              Yes, but that would need Adobe to implement such a feature, and why would they?

              Because support became mandatory under the plugin developer agreements for the latest version of the browser, and on the new version of Xyz Browser; the flash plugin will be deprecated/unsupported, until updated support compatible with the latest plugin API is available, and eventually blacklisted plugin after support for the old revision is phased out.

            • Yes, but that would need Adobe to implement such a feature, and why would they?

              Because if something becomes sufficiently annoying, the cost of co-workers/spouses/roommates/bosses/etc. getting annoyed with you and your flash-web-ads blaring will exceed the benefit of using it for the purposes you want it for.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Surely now is the time to implement it though as more and more moves to instead of flash for playing?

          • I believe that's up to the publisher of each video. Nothing implements HTML5 DRM yet. Everything with Flash implements Flash DRM. And I'm under the impression that for certain premium videos, YouTube refuses to show the video unless it can enforce ad playback. I've seen notices to the effect "You must install Flash Player" on several YouTube videos on PC, and "The content owner has not made this video available on mobile" on my Nexus 7 tablet.
            • Never mind premium videos, I don't have Flash installed on my computer but YouTube has started refusing to automatically serve HTML5 versions on an increasingly large percentage of videos, none of which come close to qualifying as premium content.

              Fortunately there are a few browser extensions which take care of that and force load the html5 versions, though they need to be kept updated in a cat-and-mouse game with google as they try blocking them. In an older version of one such extension, HTML5 video will

        • by BitZtream (692029)

          Chrome uses its own flash player developed by Google, it can interact however they want it to.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by ThePhilips (752041)

        Maybe there's a 3rd party add-on?

        Yes.

        There are more than one. Search for FlashBlock or AdBlock.

        Works for me.

        • I've seen several video sites that put a transparent HTML5 div that covers up the entire Flash plug-in area. Without Flashblock, the div is supposed to trigger JavaScript that sends a play event to the Flash object. But if Flashblock is installed, the div will block click-to-play actions, and thus the site will refuse to play video unless the user knows to retype the appropriate hostname into Flashblock's whitelist.
      • by torsmo (1301691)
        I think Bandcamp has this, something rudimentary.
    • by Mr Thinly Sliced (73041) on Monday August 05, 2013 @02:32AM (#44474759) Homepage Journal

      Re:Belong in the browser, maybe?

      If the Redhat guys have taught me anything it's that it belongs in systemd.

    • the browser should offer visual alert as to which tab is makin' noise

      Or better still .. just mute any sound in the background. Of course you'd need an option to turn it off, because there are almost certainly some people who youtube songs in tabs and run them while working in other tabs, but my gut tells me that these people would be in a minority.

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      It would be even smarter if youtube just disabled the auto play feature.

      • You are aware that this would allow you to open a few dozen windows, let them play their annoying ad while you go to the bathroom and then return to your ad-free YouTube experience, yes?

        Won't happen.

        • by Rich0 (548339)

          As opposed to just using youtube-dl...

          I almost never watch youtube videos in the browser. On my ISP at least they buffer all the time (on a 30Mbps connection). So I just queue a bunch up for downloading and watch them when they're done.

        • by Darinbob (1142669)

          Ads? I guess I don't watch enough youtube I've never seen ads there. Maybe it's adblock.

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        It would be even smarter if youtube just disabled the auto play feature.

        Yeah, I hate opening a bunch of Youtube tabs and having them autoplay is the most annoying thing.

        It makes flashblock have an essential utility beyond just the practical.

    • by mysidia (191772)

      Seems to me that the browser should offer visual alert as to which tab is makin' noise, and should give you tweakin' options

      Not only that... but unless it's a trusted site or 'safe site' set by me; I want all sites muted by default.

      The problem is that plenty of the time, some random site i'm visiting will bring up some 'ad video' and start playing things on my speakers without my consent. Also some webmasters with questionable design aesthetics will create annoying background music.

      Background music

      • but unless it's a trusted site or 'safe site' set by me; I want all sites muted by default.

        So what should site operators do to gain your trust?

        The problem is that plenty of the time, some random site i'm visiting will bring up some 'ad video' and start playing things on my speakers without my consent.

        I haven't seen that happen much. But then I use the Flashblock extension for Firefox, which turns SWF objects on sites that aren't whitelisted into click-to-play controls. Or are these random sites using HTML5 video now?

        • To gain my trust, put a play button for your audio. If I want to hear the sound, I can click the button.
        • by mysidia (191772)

          So what should site operators do to gain your trust?

          Be Google or Youtube; and not in an iframe, embed, or other remotely sourced location on a page.

          The point of having an enumerated list is not necessarily "trust" per se ---- it's about maintaining control.

          If the mute was more annoying than the alternative for a certain site; i'd add them to the list. If it ever came to bite me; I would be in control to be able to remove them from the list.

          That way i'm in control; and trust (in that case) is j

          • Be Google or Youtube

            Granting Google and its subsidiaries a monopoly on web video won't work so well for videos that violate YouTube's content guidelines, such as music criticism videos blocked by the label or music publisher through Content ID. (Methods for contesting a DMCA block and a Content ID block differ, and the copyright owner under Content ID has the power to keep a contested video blocked.)

            • by mysidia (191772)

              Granting Google and its subsidiaries a monopoly on web video won't work so well for videos that violate YouTube's content guidelines

              In the rare occasion that I choose to visit a site containing 3rd party video content, or embedded Youtube/other content for that matter; I would be doing a temporary manual unmute on a case-by-case basis.

    • Chrome had a feature to do this briefly in Dev, now that you mention it I haven't seen it in a while. The tab icon is supposed to have faked volume bars animating over it.
    • by louic (1841824)

      It's great that youtube is doing this, don't misunderstand me. But it seems to be making up for the lack of options in the browser.

      Are you kidding (or trolling?) It would be even easier for Youtube to let you turn off autoplay. That would prevent this problem in the first place. It is not up to the browser to fix the broken functionality of a website (althouh it is great that many browsers make this is possible).

      • It would've been easier for sites not to invoke multiple popup and pop-under windows with ads in each of them. But that's what many sites did, it got so annoying that popup blocking plugins were made to prevent this, and then blocking functionality was built into the browsers themselves.

        So there's definitely precedent.

        • by louic (1841824)
          You've got a point there but blaming this on the browser having a "lack of options" is unreasonable. Especially since most of the functionality that grashoppa mentions is already available as firefox plugins (as noted by many commenters). That is not +5: insightful, it is -2: did not do any research before posting. That play icon is a "patch" for something that could have been really fixed by stopping autoplay. It is like first breaking all the windows, turning the heating up because it is too cold and the
      • by kasperd (592156)

        It is not up to the browser to fix the broken functionality of a website

        No, but it is the browser's responsibility to ensure that a broken website cannot break anything but that website. The browser should not trust websites to be doing things right. Any functionality that can be used incorrectly by websites will be used maliciously.

        If I am playing a video on YouTube it should not be possible for another website, which I have open in another tab to disturb that playback. In most browsers this can current

        • by kwbauer (1677400)

          You, the user, ask the browser to load a web-page and you complain that the browser following the instructions of said page is a browser bug? Maybe in a billion years, the AI will be able to read your mind and discern what parts of what page you want the browser to ignore but until then, you'll have to tell the browser manually. And you may have to resort to not visiting pages that don't respond to your liking. Make sure you let the site author's know of your likes and dislikes but don't get your panties in

          • by kasperd (592156)

            You, the user, ask the browser to load a web-page and you complain that the browser following the instructions of said page is a browser bug?

            If the instructions causes anything to happen which has an effect beyond the scope of that webpage, then it is a bug. Let's for a moment consider the consequences, if your reasoning was valid. A user follows a link to a webpage on a compromised server, the webpage instructs the browser to install a keylogger on the user's computer. Since the user decided to follow the

    • by kasperd (592156)
      I agree with everything you said, except from the maybe in the subject. To me there is no question, this belongs in the browser.

      mute all tabs but currently focused tab

      That's not the only restriction I would put on tabs not currently in focus. I'd also like to see limits on the amount of CPU time they can spend on executing javascript. I'd like to set a limit saying all unfocused tabs cannot use more than 10% of one CPU in total for executing javascript. Yes, even if there is idle CPU time I don't want unfoc

  • by dbIII (701233) on Monday August 05, 2013 @02:21AM (#44474709)
    Why not just fix the autoplay?
    • by imess (805488)

      Firefox: plugins.click_to_play = true

      This also seems to mess up Youtube's play "icon" detection before you activate the video.

    • Why not just fix the autoplay?

      Fixing things is ssoooo Google 1.0

    • by MrL0G1C (867445)

      Because less Adverts shown = less money for google.

      Someonr needs to write a plugin that stops auto-redirects based on a site blacklist, I hate when I watch a video and then want to read the comments and find the page redirecting to some other video.

    • That would have been way too easy and that's what everyone asked for. No, for Google, the convoluted cheesy hack that doesn't solve the underlying problem is a much better idea.
    • If I recall, the autoplay crap was stopped with the channel design before the crappy "YouTube One" design they released a few months ago. Maybe just move back to the old channel designs since the new ones keep breaking stuff and remove personalization options. Meanwhile, YouTube's site interface continues to have bugs that have gone years without being fixed.... but we have a play icon on a browser tab.
    • by roger6106 (847020)
      My browser handles autoplay fine. If I open a new tab it doesn't start playing it until I activate that tab. Although when I use Firefox instead of Safari everything starts playing at once and drives me crazy.
  • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Monday August 05, 2013 @02:31AM (#44474749)

    = no autoplay

  • Focus on the Video (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tuppe666 (904118) on Monday August 05, 2013 @02:32AM (#44474755)

    Ignoring the whole Google+ war on facebook which is a larger topic in itself, and maybe a more interesting one(Google+ si growing vs The numbers are a lie). I would have hoped for real support for VP9 already, wasn't that the point already, Google own the codec and the largest browser share (paying firefox a few dollers too), and right now VP9 is the best quality codec. I would love a purge of low quality duplicate content with a merge of comments, and lyrics videos should become .kar files. The feature mentioned is a a welcome touch...but its simply that a touch. How about focus ion the higher quality video.

    • Ignoring the whole Google+ war on facebook

      Way ahead of you...

      • by mspohr (589790)

        Someone here uses Facebook?
        What war?
        Do I get a vote?
        Are there drones involved?

    • Ignoring the whole Google+ war on facebook

      Isn't that like Luxembourg deciding its at war with Germany? Or Polish knights on horseback charging the Panzers?

      • Ignoring the whole Google+ war on facebook

        Isn't that like Luxembourg deciding its at war with Germany? Or Polish knights on horseback charging the Panzers?

        Maybe a more sensible analogy would be Google Search vs Yahoo; Gmail vs Hotmail; Android vs iOS

    • by Lennie (16154)

      Let's see:
      - Google transcoded a large part of the YouTube videos to VP8, they'll need time to transcode them to VP9.
      - Firefox doesn't even support VP9 yet.
      - VLC doesn't even support VP9 yet, 2.1.0 will have it, it's the current development release.

      I think you you need to have a bit of patience.

  • old problem (Score:4, Informative)

    by Black Parrot (19622) on Monday August 05, 2013 @02:54AM (#44474843)

    I haven't had that problem, with youtube or a great number of other sites, for quite a while. For two reasons:

    1) disallow scripting by default, stops a lot of autoplay.

    2) sometime in the last couple of years Firefox quit trying to load every tab when you reload a saved session. For each window, it only loads the "active" tab, and leaves the other tabbed pages blank unless/until you select their tab.

    The second also stopped the internet choke you used to get when you restarted a session and it tried to load several hundred pages at the same time. Hurray for progress!

    • by BitZtream (692029)

      The second also stopped the internet choke you used to get when you restarted a session and it tried to load several hundred pages at the same time. Hurray for progress!

      Seriously ... several hundred pages open in different tabs?

      I can say, without any doubt in my mind, that is the most retarded thing I've heard in a while.

      The browser isn't the problem there bud, its you. Hurray for progress indeed. You've proven that advanced technology just makes a more advanced idiot, not smarter browser.

      You've heard of bookmarks, right?

  • News? (Score:2, Informative)

    And this minor usability improvement on Youtube made the Slashdot front page why?????

    Is this really "News that matters"?

    Seriously?????

    • Re:News? (Score:5, Funny)

      by OhANameWhatName (2688401) on Monday August 05, 2013 @03:24AM (#44474961)
      No????? not????? seriously????? but????? outrageously!!!!!
    • And this minor usability improvement on Youtube made the Slashdot front page why?????

      Many have expressed here their desire to have some information on which tab is making noise.

    • by lxs (131946)

      Summertime. Not much real news going on. It's almost like a real paper.

    • I know, right? Now, a usability improvement facebook, that would be worth reporting, if only to keep the public alert as to the dangers of being struck by airborne swine.

    • Because it's not a minor story, it's a major story.

      Let me put it like this: Remember the old joke about NASA spending a billion dollars developing a "space pen" that can write in zero gravity, and then finding the soviets were just using pencils?

      Now, that'd have been newsworthy if it were true, right? And here's Google doing the same thing. "I just opened seven Youtube videos in new background tabs", says Sergey Brin, "and I can't tell which one is making noise! I need to know, fast, pronto, double qu

  • A mind-blowing concept that doesn't seem to exist in the default form of any browser I have come across; only in a few extensions and add-ons that don't always work exactly how I would like them to.
    The ability to individually mute tabs. I'm no expert in browser-progamming, but surely if Chrome can have a separate process for each tab, muting individual tabs can't be much of a stretch. Every time I open up a range of tabs, with one having a stupid auto-playing video, I have to look through every single tab t

    • by Anonymous Coward

      oh http://news.slashdot.org/story/13/02/25/2331248/google-chrome-getting-audio-indicators-to-show-you-noisy-tabs

    • A lot of that can be alleviated by having Flash applets to play only when you click the plugin. You can accomplish this by following this route:

      Settings > Advanced Settings > Content settings... > Plug-ins > Click to play

      Of course some advertisers have started to use HTML5 to play audio, so some jingles might still get through.

  • by palemantle (1007299) on Monday August 05, 2013 @04:34AM (#44475163)
    Flashblock (extension for Firefox and possibly other browsers) is particularly convenient to stop auto-play and start when necessary. Any decent script blocker will take care of this as others have pointed out.
    • by pla (258480)
      This.

      Thanks to Flashblock, I never wonder which tab has started making noise, because none of them do unless I manually tell them to start playing Flash.

      FireFox actually has similar content built in as a config option, but unlike Flashblock, the stock click-to-play feature seems to break a lot of sites (I think it works by not even loading the plugin, so if the page uses a script to detect your browser's capabilities, they report that you don't have Flash and give up).
    • by BitZtream (692029)

      Or just get a browser that doesn't suck and doesn't auto-play flash by default without extra plugins.

      • And which one(s) do that? Chrome, Firefox, and Opera all have Flash enabled by default if it's installed, and all of them auto-play videos that are in background tabs. By your standard, they all suck, it would seem.

        You can obviously use a Flash blocker or use browser settings to disable plugins until they are clicked, but none of them are configured that way on first launch. Personally, I like to whitelist Flash on certain sites (e.g. Hulu, YouTube), but I still don't want videos playing in background tabs

  • by Anonymous Coward

    brought to you by Slashdot!

  • I noticed this yesterday when I restarted my browser and all several hundred tabs opened across five windows. A very welcome addition!

  • too bad this displays as a square in firefox in the title bar.
  • Any sane person already disables autoplay.

    • Any sane person already disables autoplay.

      I think you're right, that's mostly true. However, not all your co-workers are sane, and you can still hear them and their speakers . . .

  • by Blaskowicz (634489) on Monday August 05, 2013 @07:58AM (#44475743)

    Lately the controls have been sliding out incorrectly when going full screen, the top of the time bar stays visible and functional.
    I can't get the bar back with mouse over so I have to exit full screen mode to change sound. I can trick it to stay up by mousing over before it half disappears, or try going back and forth between window and full screen.

    This happened when I switch to Opera (12.16) but back on Firefox (22) the bug is there so it must have been a coincidence and Google updated their code. It's running on Flash 12.2, because that's all that is available. I have a feeling Google doesn't test their stuff on 12.2, as there was some other breakage before : the obnoxious sound volume control bug, which would deafen you at 100% volume, after you unmuted, after you muted by error / because of the bug of the auto-hide slider that didn't pop out on mouse over.

    I don't have or use an OS or browser with Flash 15 or 16 or whatever it is to know how it behaves. I even want to believe it's a conspiracy to make me move to Chrome or Windows but that's probably just bad support. Chromium seemed to use system-wide flash by default on my OS, by the way. I still prefer flash to html5 video somehow (or worse, stumbling on a raw file randomly opened by totem or mplayer plugin).

    • by MattskEE (925706)

      Lately the controls have been sliding out incorrectly when going full screen, the top of the time bar stays visible and functional.
      I can't get the bar back with mouse over so I have to exit full screen mode to change sound.

      ...

      I even want to believe it's a conspiracy to make me move to Chrome or Windows but that's probably just bad support. Chromium seemed to use system-wide flash by default on my OS, by the way. I still prefer flash to html5 video somehow (or worse, stumbling on a raw file randomly opened by totem or mplayer plugin).

      I've been having the same problem using Chrome on Windows, so that's not going to fix it yet.

  • There are lots of alternatives that can play back YouTube videos without using Google's JavaScript or Adobe Flash (e.g. ViewTube [userscripts.org], youtube-dl [github.io], UnPlug [mozilla.org], quvi [sourceforge.net] and youtube-viewer (which also supports viewing comments) [github.com].

    • by aloniv (1972020)

      Also, the add-on LinkTube [userscripts.org] replaces embedded video with a link, which you can feed to youtube-dl or to the other programmes.

  • How can a browser change the favicon being displayed after the page is done loading? Is Google opening up the floodgates to a new plague, the animated favicons?

    • It's been possible for a long time. There's an optional GMail extension that puts a number (number of unread emails, obviously) on the favicon that's continually updated, I have it installed for obvious reasons.

      Unnecessary animated favicons I suspect would be so pointless that any website that used them would soon suffer a boycott, so I don't see that happening.

    • by Dynedain (141758)

      They aren't changing the Favicon, they're changing the contents of the title tag.

      This is actually really simple, cross-browser supported, and a nice gesture for visitors.

      This can be done in one line of Javascript if you add it to your play event. Here's a JQuery-flavored example:

      $('title').html( "&#9654;&nbsp;" + $('title').html() );

      Talk about an mind-boggling easy and straightforward solution. Surprising no one implemented it before.

  • Safari has always paused YouTube and other Flash-stuff nicely until you first view the tab. I thought every browser did simple things like this, I had no idea it was an actual problem.

  • YES...YouTube. I need it for...YouTube. Because I have dozenz of...YouTube windows open that, after 10 minutes, spontaneously start playing loud, embarrassing ads or other noises.

    Yes...YouTube problems. Thanks for helping my...YouTube...embarrassing issues.

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