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How to stop websites from autoplaying audio

Friday, March 2nd, 2007...8:18 pm

How to stop websites from autoplaying audio


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A few days ago I wrote about how annoying it can be when sites play sounds and music in the background. I’d never given much thought to how to avoid it other than turning off my speakers, which wasn’t an option. But the internet being the way it is I thought someone would have had to have attempted a solution. And sure enough someone has.

Stop Autoplay is a Firefox plugin that can either stop audio from autoplaying, or replace it with a red frame which you can click to get it to start playing. It will cover you for most music and video formats (mp3, wma, wmv, avi, mpg, rm, etc), but unfortunetly it doesn’t block Flash.

But not to worry, that’s where another plugin called FlashBlock comes in. FlashBlock will stop Flash animations from playing until you click on them.

So between these two plugins you should be covered. There is one problem however. They don’t play nice with each other. At the moment there is a bug that will cause Stop Autoplay to disable FlashBlock, but the good news is the author of Stop Autoplay knows about this and is working to fix it in the next version.

There is also a standalone piece of software I found called FlashMute that will mute Flash animations. I haven’t tried it but it works with Internet Explorer as well. Personally I’m just going to use Stop Autoplay and wait till it starts working with FlashBlock.

While I was looking for these I came across the most useless yet amusing plugin yet. Stop Hammertime will play a small snippet of the song “Hammertime” by MC Hammer everytime you hit the stop button in Firefox. It would actually be pretty funny to install this on someones PC without them knowing.

Update:
It looks like FlashBlock and Autoplay do work together. I’ve been browsing around for a bit and both flash and audio/video is being blocked. It might have something to do with the new version of Firefox.

7 Comments

  • Some sounds are really maddening, especially those of flash sites. But it happened to stumble upon blogs that have really nice music… I don’t mind that. I have a widget with music on one of my blogs as well, but the users are free to choose whether they want to listen or not. The music doesn’t start the moment you land on the page.

    I think you are right. I always wonder what’s the use of an intro if people are given the option to “skip” it. People don’t seem to learn. Pop-ups are as annoying, yet there are still sites that use them.

    Well, I ramble and I fail to tell you: thank you for the tip!

  • [...] posted a Firefox how to on preventing a website’s audio and Flash files from autoplaying, which is a pretty big annoyance of [...]

  • You are crazy! How can u say that it is annoying the music of websites in the background!!!

    You should study first….go and go market research.—Then u can say that—

    Losers!

  • John McDonald, you are the loser!

    Let the users decide weather they want to listen to music or not. You know what I do, if your stupid website plays undesired music, I will never go back there. Now, if everyone did that you will have zero traffic! Zero traffic means you have no sales! Do, I want that? Hell NO!!! I want to sell to anyone who visits my site.

    That is why we have no music on any of our sites. Believe me when I tell you this, you are a freaking exception. 99.99% of surfers hate unannounced, forced-down-your-throat-music when they visit a site!

  • I use adBlock its free and most effective

    dont mind music as I can turn it off on my Mac with one keyClick

    love to all and TY for the rant lol

    Michal

  • Though musics are annoying i always have an option to mute.. i usually dont mind about music, but still since first impression is the best impression, music might make me never go back to that site..

  • I usually browse the web while listening to music, watching a movie, or a tv show. I can’t begin to describe the utter annoyance that occurs when my movie or tune gets spoiled by uninvited sound effects.
    I actually closed sites that I needed to look at just for the sake of not pausing my movie or turning off my speakers. I think it’s amateurish and plain rude, and a huge marketing error.

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