Without a doubt, there are many of us who browser with at least 10 or tabs opened at any one time. However, there are web authors out there that still believe music or menu videos should autoplay as soon as you load the page, and we all know how annoying it is having to sift through those many tabs to find the one with the unwanted sound.
First discovered by François Beaufort, any tab playing audio content (via Flash or HTML5) will be highlighted by an animated audio indicator just overlaying the favicon on the incriminating tab.
The feature already exists in Google’s Canary version of Chrome, which means it will most likely ship to regular Chrome in the near future. According to Beaufort, the feature has been put in place to help the browser identify which tabs are still ‘active’ should all temporary memory be used out. Many people use YouTube, Spotify, SoundCloud and other services to stream music, and browse via another tab in the mean time. Does that mean the tab with the audio file is inactive to the user just because they’re using another? No, it doesn’t, which is why they are now working on implementing this feature.
Of course we also get the additional benefit of knowing which tab plays music unintentionally, for instance when we let someone’s Tumblr page load up (with embedded music).
[Cover Photo: bburky/Flickr ]