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Sweet! Google Chrome may get noise indicators on tabs

Audio assaults from mystery tabs in your browser could be located and eliminated quickly if a new Chrome test feature gets the go-ahead.

Chrome audio indicator
Chrome tester Francois Beaufort shared a video of the audio indicator in action. Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

The last time I really cursed at my computer, it was when I had about 15 tabs open in Firefox. I had just opened a bunch of new tabs when one of them starting playing sappy, tinkly music full blast from my speaker over the sound of a video I already had running.

I clicked through the tabs in a game of increasing desperation, trying to find the culprit. I ending up shutting down most of my tabs before pinpointing the guilty party in a haze of epithets. There has to be a better way, I thought. It looks like Google Chrome developers are one step ahead of me.

A feature being tried out in test versions of Chrome would place a small visual indicator on tabs that are generating audio. It is up and running in the latest Chromium and Canary test builds for Chrome, giving it a decent shot of reaching the masses in a regular Chrome release.

The feature is largely intended to help Chrome keep track of tabs that are actively being used for playing or recording audio so it won't discard those tabs when memory runs out, but I prefer to think of it as a sanity-saver.

All it takes is one obnoxious auto-start audio file to ruin what was otherwise a lovely Web browsing session. An audio indicator would be an elegant solution to the problem. It would also save me from exhausting my limited supply of expletives at my computer.

(Via The Next Web)