If you’re like me and spend a bit of time browsing the Internet to get your daily fix of news, then you’ll know all about auto-play media and what a pain in the ass it is. Open a news story, and a video starts playing. Scroll down a story that doesn’t look like it’s got an auto-play video, and all of a sudden, there’s an auto play video!
Some Australian news sites (read: Sydney Morning Herald and News.com.au) are absolute bandits for this, and it’s all in a drive to have you consume more of their content. Video views are just one metric that can be sold to advertisers, so the more they shove down your throat, the better.
YouTube, sadly, has been following this same path. It’s been auto-playing videos on the Home tab for a little while now, but the ‘feature’ is now expanding to the subscription tab too. At least they don’t automatically play back with sound, but the auto-play feature is annoying, especially so on the subscriptions tab when its videos you might actually want to watch.
Why? Well, if you do actually want to watch it, chances are you’ll want to watch with sound. Click on the video, and it’ll resume – with sound – from where the auto-play left off, so you’ll have to manually wind back to the start.
Fortunately, there is a way to turn this ‘feature’ off. Pop into YouTube settings, under General, and look for “Muted playback in feeds” and turn it off. This will stop these videos on your home tab but also on subscriptions (and anywhere else Google decides to enable it later).
Or you can leave it on … if you’re in the mood for punishment.