Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Stop Auto-Play Web Videos

Kirk McElhearn:

Auto-play videos suck. They use bandwidth, and their annoying sounds get in the way when you’re listening to music and open a web page. I happen to write for a website that uses them, and it annoys me to no end. (My editors have no control over those auto-play videos, alas.)

But you can stop auto-play videos from playing on a Mac. If you use Chrome or Firefox, it’s pretty simple, and the plugins below work both on macOS and Windows; if you use Safari, it’s a bit more complex, but it’s not that hard.

To do the whole thing from Terminal:

defaults write com.apple.safari WebKitMediaPlaybackAllowsInline 0
defaults write com.apple.safari com.apple.Safari.ContentPageGroupIdentifier.WebKit2AllowsInlineMediaPlayback 0

(Or substitute com.apple.SafariTechnologyPreview.)

Jason Snell:

I fought for six months to get those [videos] turned off. When I left, they turned ’em right back on.

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But please read the comments under that article. While that setting does indeed prevent auto-play video, the next experience is less that nice. I’ve had better results with the “Video Needs User Action” setting.

It is really something that should be under user control from the UI (on both macOS and iOS), with an eventual whitelist of allowed sites (similar to the “allow notifications” options).

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