Sunday, April 03, 2016

Musings... Auto-playing Videos Defaulting to Max Volume

Why, oh why, do websites with automatically playing videos start at maximum volume. Actually, I'm going to take that a step further, why do any video or audio playing widgets on websites default to maximum volume?

Where's Wald... the video?
Maybe this wasn't an issue years ago, but almost every site seems to have them now in the form of videos complementing text, or plain video ads. It's especially bad when I have multiple tabs open and am forced to play the "find the video" game. Even if the right tab is found with the help from an icon on my browser, I find myself looking for the video on the page itself -- they're not always at the top. Sometimes my game just isn't there and the solution is to mute my sound or just close every browser.

Then there are the few sites that don't even provide adjustable volume sliders -- if they're there, I can't find them. Those are the best: I have to adjust my master volume down, then back up when I'm done, or the next "normal" video I watch is inaudible.

If you're wondering, my computer's master volume is set relatively low. The videos scare the crap out of me because I'm usually in a fairly quiet environment and/or not expecting any noise. However, they probably aren't loud enough to wake the neighbors.

Getting Better -- Kinda
It seems like someone heard the complaints though because some video ads I've seen only play sound when my mouse pointer hovers over. On the other hand, these make for annoyingly loud pops or moments of noise when I accidentally roll my pointer over them.

There's even one site that I visit regularly that, get this, defaults the volume to the half-way point. Was that so difficult? I sometimes leave these running and even listen to them while reading the article because it didn't feel like I was greeted with a punch to the face.

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