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Google Is Reportedly Testing A Play/Pause Button For The Chrome Browser Toolbar

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One of the annoying things that websites can do is load music and videos in the background without your explicit permission. This means that you could be loading up multiple tabs when suddenly music starts blaring and you have no idea where it might be coming from. However, Google has tried to address that in the past by introducing icons that shows which tabs could be playing audio or video.

Google later introduced the ability for users to mute tabs that are playing, but now according to a report from ZDNet, Google could be looking to introduce a global “Play” button to Chrome. This would place the button in the browser’s toolbar where users will be able to see what is currently playing, even if the tab you’re in isn’t the tab that is playing the audio or video.

The “GMC” thing is basically just a fancy name for on-demand Play/Pause controls. In its current form — yes, this could all change before it goes live for real — the button appears right in your toolbar, the same place you find icons for extensions like LastPass, just to the right of the URL bar. Selecting the icon makes a pop-up window will appear, showing whatever’s currently playing alongside a simple set of standard media controls. The feature (as of now) works with audio and video both, and lists everything — even if it’s playing in another tab or window.

That should be welcome news if you’re the sort of Chrome user that keeps 20-plus tabs open at all times. What’s not clear is when the feature will be finished. It might be in Canary now, but it’s apparently very buggy. According to the report, the current version of the feature “crashes almost all the time” whenever you try to pause a video.

This means that the feature is far from being ready, but we expect that it should eventually find its way to the main release of Chrome soon.

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