In the latest update for Google Chrome (starting from version Chrome 77) for PC a new hidden feature has been added that we could describe useful even if perhaps too simplified. These are the playback controls for videos and music, so that you can manage listening to multimedia content open in Chrome, even if you are looking at another tab. This allows you to stop, pause or go to the next video directly from the Chrome interface and is particularly advantageous for those who open many tabs, without being forced to search for the site where the audio comes from, without frantically clicking on each tab or Google Chrome window open.
A bit like the function to mute a site’s sound in Chrome, that of multimedia controls is a somewhat hidden feature, which can escape most users if it has never been used before. The button for the multimedia control of Chrome, in fact, is not visible normally, but appears only when you open a video or start listening to music from a website.
The video control button is located in the upper right corner of the toolbar, between the address bar and the profile picture and has the icon that looks like a hamburger with a musical note on it.
As said, even if the feature is enabled by default in Windows 10, this button becomes available only when you start playing a video or any other audio content. You can then check Youtube videos, online radios, music from Spotify or other music streaming sites and also any advertising videos.
Starting any video on YouTube will cause the Chrome multimedia control button to appear at the top right and, once clicked, it will be possible to stop the video or go back and forth. In the control box you can read the name of the video or song you are listening to, the website from which it is played and, on Youtube, also the name of the person who put it online and a preview image.
The controls can be used from any tab and gives the possibility to stop or change videos without having to go to the Youtube tab (or any site that transmits audio).
In the event that there were two or more tabs that transmit streaming audio, the Chrome control box gives the possibility to manage them together, therefore also to reproduce the content of one tab and then that of another, all from the Chrome interface that brings tracks and videos together from each active tab in each open Chrome window.
If you are playing a playlist, in the control box there will be buttons to pause, go forward or backward and also to go to the next and previous song or video.
Pressing the X button in the upper right corner of the box stops playback and the multimedia controls disappear.
To access the tab that is playing the video, just press the title in the multimedia box, even if it is located in another Google Chrome window.
On Windows 10, the media control options of Google Chrome are enabled by default. However, if they did not appear or if we were on a Mac, you can enable them by opening a tab with the address chrome://flags/#global-media-controls. Then change the Global Media Controls option from Default to Enabled and press on Relaunch at the bottom to restart the browser and apply your preferences.
The multimedia control options of Google Chrome are, therefore, a great way to manage what is played online without navigating between tabs and windows, minimizing interruptions if you are working or reading a site.