Videos that auto-play when you first up a website are the worst. Worse than accidentally squirting lemon juice in your eye, stepping on a Lego piece in the middle of the night, or even watching the US Presidential debates. (Although I guess you could technically get even more evil by having a website that auto-plays this most recent Presidential debate when it loads, but hey, you get my point.)
Today, some arbitrary website I had to browse to for work was the straw that broke the camel’s back when the website started auto-playing a 20 minute long infomercial in the sidebar, and I decided I absolutely needed to figure out how to tweak Chrome so I could prevent auto-play videos while browsing the web.
I found it more than a little ironic when PC World’s article on how to stop auto-play videos had an aggravating auto-play video of its own in the sidebar:
Even more aggravating? the PCWorld’s instructions don’t even work for their own auto-play videos, since the instructions are only applicable to Flash content and not HTML5!
In the end, I found a few more useful articles, including this one that instructs how to disable auto-play Flash content and then provides a helpful link to a Chrome extension called Disable HTML5 Autoplay to take care of the HTML5 side of things. So far, so good – it even restrained the PCWorld video from starting up when I reloaded their page!