Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Find And Mute Tabs Playing Music With MuteTab For Chrome

Sometimes when you are browsing the web, you have twenty to hundred tabs open and suddenly music starts playing through your computer speakers. You can’t find the offending page because all of them looks equally guilty. It could be a video, an auto playing flash advertisement, or heaven forbid, an embedded MIDI or MP3 file on a webpage. Lately, I’m less bothered by music playing Flash content since I use Flash block (which comes built-in with Opera) but the occasional background music playing webpage from the days of Geocities still cause trouble.

If such misbehaving webpages drive you crazy, you need MuteTab.


MuteTab is a Chrome extension that helps you manage the sound coming from tabs in Google Chrome. It helps you to discover the tabs which are making sounds and provides browser-wide management of tab muting including automatically muting all background tabs.

The extension sits in your navigation bar, and when clicked, displays a pop-up menu that lists all tabs that have Flash content or playing streaming music or video. From there, you can choose to mute all background tabs, or single out a specific source. The menu can also be accessed via right-click.

You will find three different mute actions - "Mute (Safe)", "Mute (Unsafe)", and "Mute".

The Mute operation just sets the volume to zero but will let the sound source continue to play. The other two Mute operations will first try to pause and if that doesn't work will try to mute. Mute (Unsafe) differs from Mute (Safe) in that it will actually hide a sound source from the page if pause and mute aren't supported (which is primarily the case for Flash files with no JavaScript API). It is called unsafe because hiding from the page means that when sound is restored, it will have to start a video or game from the beginning. If you mute (safe) something that can't be paused or muted, it won't actually do anything.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work for all sites. It also does not universally allow muting a video or game so that it can be played silently while listening to background sounds coming from another tab.

[via Lifehacker]


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