Google Chrome toolbar

Chrome engineers are working to add a play/pause button to the Google Chrome toolbar, it is first spotted by ZDNet. The button will on Chrome’s toolbar and will let users play or pause a video or music that’s playing in a tab. The button role would make it easier for the users to pause or resume multimedia content that’s currently playing in the browser, regardless of the tab it’s coming from.

This new feature is named Global media control (GMC) and has been enabled this week in Chrome’s testing playground the developmental browser Canary distribution. In its present form, the button appears to the right side of the URL bar. Also, it will show a popup that slides down from the button itself, allowing users to stop or resume currently playing media. Based on tests the button works with both audio and video content and will work across multiple Chrome windows.

It means that users would be able to pause a video which is playing in a different window altogether, and not necessarily the ones playing in the current one. However, the GMC play/pause button will add to the Google Chrome toolbar, the desktop versions for Windows, Mac, and Linux. For now, the feature is buggy and crashes almost all the time when you attempt to pause a video, but things are expected to improve and will work smoothly in future versions.

Furthermore, no ETA has been given on the for the GCM Play/Pause button, but Chrome users can track the feature progress with the help of the Chrome bug tracker, here. How users will get the GMC play/pause button is not clear yet, because this was really not highly requested on anyone’s list. But users will most likely to love it when it comes. The reason is that in the fall of 2018, Google removed the ability to mute a tab by pressing the “speaker” icon which appeared on tabs that played audio or video.

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Users could still mute the open tabs by right-clicking a tab, but clicking on the “speaker” icon doesn’t work anymore. Over the past few months, users have been requesting that Google should re-enable this option as it instantly pauses audio from tabs with auto-playing sound. The new Play/Pause button works better than the old clickable “speaker” button because it doesn’t need the user tracking down the offending tab. Users can stop the auto-playing sound from any tab they’re navigating.

If you have any Canary browser then you can check it for yourself. You just have to go to its experiments page, chrome://flags/, and search for “Global Media Controls.” When the result pops up, you can then enable it. After relaunching the browser, you’ll see a tiny play button next to the URL field.

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