Tabbed windows were a delight when they first made an appearance on browsers, but nowadays they have started to become an annoyance. Why? Because of websites that place video content that runs in the background even when you haven’t hit the Play button. Let’s face it. These are nothing short of annoying and despite Google's latest update that displays a speaker icon indicating that a page is playing video content, it doesn’t stop the videos from playing.
In fact if you have multiple tabs open, you have to get to the noisy tab and then scroll down and search for the annoying content to turn it off. Mute Inactive Tabs is a Chrome extension that aims to help you get rid of those annoying noisy tabs instantly.
Mute Inactive Tabs Chrome Extension
Mute Inactive tabs Chrome extension can be downloaded from the Chrome Web Store and once installed it will automatically block or mute sounds from any open tabs on your browser.
You will notice a speaker icon displayed next to the address bar and you can tap on the icon if you want to listen to the video content at any specific point in time.
If for some reason you want to listen to streaming radio services or YouTube videos while working in another tabbed window, you can open them in a new window rather than in a new tab. That way you override the Mute Inactive tabs feature and continue working with multiple open tabs.
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The extension has a few downsides to it though. It tends to behave differently on different sites. For instance YouTube videos that are muted sometimes play from the paused points while in other cases they start from the beginning. In some instances, the videos just keeps playing in the background, which I happened to notice on SoundCloud.
The Pro version of the extension provides a couple of additional features. Users can make use of the ALT+M shortcut to mute all tabs and take advantage of the Whitelist feature to add websites they don't want to mute.
The Mute Inactive Tabs Chrome extension is a pretty handy concept with a flawed execution. Its not completely useless though. If you frequently visit sites that have content playing in the background, you could give this extension a try and see how it works for you.