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.
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.