Google is partially and temporarily removing a recent change from Chrome that blocked automatic audio playback, after web developers complained that it had broken countless games and applications. The update was released with Chrome's version 66 in early May, and its intention was to silence annoying ads and videos that would lead users to ad blocking software. But it also completely eliminated the audio of interactive web projects that were based on specific commands, which created problems for the artists and condemned to silence any abandoned project.
"The team here is working hard to improve things for users and developers, but in this case we did not do a good job of communicating the impact of the new automatic playback policy to developers," writes the product manager. from Google, John Pallett.
This does not completely remove the Chrome Autoplay blocking elements 66. Instead, Google is reducing the limits of the Web Audio API system used by application developers, while leaving the limits of automatic playback of the system intact. audio and general video. Nor is it a permanent measure. Pallett says the limits will come back in version 70 of Chrome in October, and he's still urging developers to change their code according to Google guidelines.
Developer Benji Kay, who created several online audio tools that were affected by this change, responded critically to Pallett's publication. "Simply delaying the enactment of this policy does not solve any of the major concerns" with its content, says Kay. Another developer, Ashley Gullen, previously presented a proposal to solve the problem, but Pallett says it is a "non-trivial user interface challenge" that Google is still examining. "We're still exploring options to allow great audio experiences for users, and we'll post more detailed ideas on that topic later," he writes.
This is not an absolute win for developers, since Google is not making any promise to address its core problems with the update. But by pushing back the changes until October, Chrome's players and team feel a bit pressured.