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Apple may give Safari audio controls to silence irritating websites

post #1 of 80
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Apple may be looking to give web surfers using its Safari browser relief from a growing number of social networking and other websites that often thrust undesired audio playback into the browsing experience.

A filing published this week shows the Cupertino-based company to be exploring the possibility of adding advanced audio preferences to Safari that will allow users to silence audio signals from some or all websites without interfering with welcomed audio playback coming from other applications running on their Mac or PC.

"When a user browses [a website], various audio signals may be presented in the browser application. These audio signals can be music, advertising jingles, noises, sound effects, speech, etc," Apple explains. "Concurrently, the user may be listening to music from the user's personal music library. In some cases, audio signals from audio sources may interfere with the listening enjoyment of the user."

While the Mac OS and Windows operating systems already provide users with audio controls, those audio controls adjust all audio signals playing on a computer at once, thereby affecting desired audio playback at the same time as undesirable playback, which may not be the intent of the user.

To address this issue, Apple proposes the addition of mute and volume controls tailored specifically for controlling audio playback coming from web sources. With these controls, users could mute or adjust the volume of audio coming from all websites. Alternatively, rules could be set and maintained for handling audio from websites on an individual basis.

"In some implementations, if an audio source is encountered for the first time in a browser application, then audio control settings specified by the user for controlling a audio signal from the audio source can be stored in a [database]," Apple says. "Once stored, the user specified audio control settings can be recalled and applied to the audio controls when the audio source is encountered in another session by the browser application."

A specialized audio preference pane could further fine tune the experience, allowing users to specify the URLs of websites (such as "www.myspace.com") from which it does not want to receive audio playback. In other cases, users could specify that volume levels for audio signals from a specified audio source be automatically adjusted over time until the audio signal becomes audible. Alternatively, users could specify that audio signals from a specified audio source be muted or adjusted only if another application is running.



"For example, the process can determine if a media player is playing music, videos or other content," the filing says. "If a media player is playing music, videos or other content, then the audio controls of the browser application can be enabled. Otherwise, the audio controls of the browser application can be disabled."

Apple goes on in the 9-page filing to explain that such a version of Safari could "run on any device capable of hosting a browser application, including but not limited to: media players, mobile phones, smart phones, email devices, game consoles or devices, personal computers, personal digital assistants, etc."

Preferences set on a traditional Mac or PC could also be stored in a data structure of a network storage device for downloading by the user on other devices such as their iPhones or iPod touches.
post #2 of 80
Not "moot" them as the diagram indicates.

Seriously, I think this would be a great faeture. I hate websites that auto-launch media in ads, etc.
post #3 of 80
While I guess I appreciate any new add-on, where is the most important missing Safari feature for me and many others- the ability to roll up the address/tool bar and give me a full screen experience with the click of a button? Like on most browsers. \
post #4 of 80
I've long been shocked and disappointed that it's taken so long for per-app audio controls to become a proper feature of popular operating systems. We'd never allow apps to fight over screen real estate, yet everyone has seemed content to leave audio a mess.

Per-tab/site audio controls within the browser is just the natural evolution of that desire, for the net-centric place we find ourselves.

Here's to hoping this shows up sooner, rather than later and includes an option to whitelist sites for audio playback.
post #5 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

While I guess I appreciate any new add-on, where is the most important missing Safari feature for me and many others- the ability to roll up the address/tool bar and give me a full screen experience with the click of a button? Like on most browsers. \

But since its Apple doing its automatically a bad idea. If FireFox had this feature it would be the greatest thing since sliced bread.

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post #6 of 80
Safari also needs a way to stop all animations (GIFs).
post #7 of 80
It's about time !!!
post #8 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post

But since its Apple doing its automatically a bad idea. If FireFox had this feature it would be the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Never said it was bad- that's your own interpretation or lack of comprehension.
All I'm saying is give us something that would be univerally appreciated- not just for those who listen to music. But speaking of Firefox- yes they do have a one click full screen window button and yes I do love it. IE had this feature as well.
post #9 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc Ingersol View Post

I've long been shocked and disappointed that it's taken so long for per-app audio controls to become a proper feature of popular operating systems. We'd never allow apps to fight over screen real estate, yet everyone has seemed content to leave audio a mess.

Per-tab/site audio controls within the browser is just the natural evolution of that desire, for the net-centric place we find ourselves.

Here's to hoping this shows up sooner, rather than later and includes an option to whitelist sites for audio playback.

To be fair, there are "per-app" audio controls and have been for a long time. The most obvious is QuickTime. However, this would be a first for a browser and much needed, IMHO.
post #10 of 80
I really hope that this feature comes to Safari. This wouldn't just be good for annoying ads, it would also be good for websites like MySpace where music automatically starts playing. My wife always mutes the speakers when she goes on MySpace, but then it also mutes the music she might be playing at the same time. Pretty annoying.
post #11 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple may be looking to give web surfers using its Safari browser relief from a growing number of social networking and other websites that often thrust undesired audio playback into the browsing experience. ...

Sounds great to me.

Apple has a history of *not* allowing the user this level of control over the details though, so I wouldn't hold my breath for this feature to be implemented. Safari in particular has often been criticised for it's minimal preferences and controls. Unless this is something that directly bugs Steve Jobs, it may not happen.
In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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post #12 of 80
Would be a great boon to me. At work I was researching German military aircraft for a project while playing itunes and next moment we were subjected to nazi marshal music blaring through the studio. Scary and almost had us goose stepping through the office ready to invade the warehouse.
post #13 of 80
Sounds like an interesting development... I've long been annoyed by sites that automatically start playing loud background music or ads. While we're on the subject of audio controls; perhaps Apple can also build in a normaliser or limiter-function then... I absolutely hate how some sites with video and audio play one clip soft and the next one ridiculously loud... especially streams with ads in between ten to do this.
post #14 of 80
Yeah, great idea and long overdue. It would be cool if somehow Safari remembered your volume preference for each site, too.

I just hope that Apple sees fit to put Snap-Back back into Safari. It's loss is about the only thing I dislike about Safari 4 beta.
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post #15 of 80
Brilliant.
post #16 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

...websites that often thrust undesired audio playback into the browsing experience.

You mean like the video ads that sometimes appear in the upper left-hand corner of the AppleInsider homepage?
post #17 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by zbell View Post

You mean like the video ads that sometimes appear in the upper left-hand corner of the AppleInsider homepage?


Sometimes?

Welcome.
post #18 of 80
This is perfect, and needed!
post #19 of 80
The question that leaps to my mind is: Is something like this patentable?

It seems utterly obvious to me, especially to anyone whose scrambled to find a way to mute an obnoxious website.
post #20 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Never said it was bad- that's your own interpretation or lack of comprehension.
All I'm saying is give us something that would be univerally appreciated- not just for those who listen to music. But speaking of Firefox- yes they do have a one click full screen window button and yes I do love it. IE had this feature as well.

Wouldn't work for me...I usually have to many windows open at once to have one fullscreen, I'm typically switching from at least 3 different windows...a full screen would only get in the way.

Guess it all depends how you use the computer...
post #21 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffharris View Post

Yeah, great idea and long overdue. It would be cool if somehow Safari remembered your volume preference for each site, too.

I just hope that Apple sees fit to put Snap-Back back into Safari. It's loss is about the only thing I dislike about Safari 4 beta.

Yes, me too! I hated this about Safari 4, so I went back to Safari 3.

Agreed, website audio control a great idea.
post #22 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by sisyphus View Post

Wouldn't work for me...I usually have to many windows open at once to have one fullscreen, I'm typically switching from at least 3 different windows...a full screen would only get in the way.

Guess it all depends how you use the computer...

Sorry- I meant to say it gives you a full window (I hate that word- I wonder why?). Within the window there is nothing but the website's information- very helpful when scrolling through many products on a site or text because there is no address or tool bar - just the webste's own info. The tool/task address bar takes up a lot of real estate - full window requires less scrolling and is easier on the eye. Try it in Firefox- it's the button on the upper right.
post #23 of 80
FireFox is the devil!

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post #24 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post

FireFox is the devil!

I thought that title was reserved for Microsoft - the lifelong keeper of that title.
Are they related? Or are they joined by legion in the destruction of Apple?
post #25 of 80
Sounds great, but is this really a patent worthy idea?
post #26 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

While I guess I appreciate any new add-on, where is the most important missing Safari feature for me and many others- the ability to roll up the address/tool bar and give me a full screen experience with the click of a button? Like on most browsers. \

My Mac is at home, Firefox for Windows doesn't seem to have any such button.

Full screen as in it takes over everything, or as in it's like maximize, I can still see the dock and menu bar?

Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Never said it was bad- that's your own interpretation or lack of comprehension.

Still, you did say it was an unnecessary feature. Depending on assumptions put into it, it can be seen as bad, waste of time developing, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post

FireFox is the devil!

In some ways that is true, but it there is also a very simple to use plug-in for Firefox that lets me selectively play Flash objects, which I find to be indispensable. Nothing I've found so far for Safari is as easy to use or install.

I think this feature is long overdue, I've been wanting something like this for some time, but as it's a patent filing and not software implementation, I'll still be waiting. I just don't see how this should be patentable given the stated purpose of the patent office. Just because no one has cared to implement it yet doesn't mean it's non-obvious or no one has thought about it before. The per-site settings aren't special either, lots of internet plugins offer ways to set per-site preferences.

I also think we need per-app adjustments too. There are standards for audio levels but different programs, different media types and media authors have their own levels. No standard is going to be useful because people with certain misguided agendas would take advantage of uniform levels and crank their own media to stand out, even if it means damaging your own product. Look up "music loudness wars" and you should get several articles that discuss this problem.
post #27 of 80
10 years. 10 years I've been waiting for someone to do this.
post #28 of 80
Two words: THANK YOU!!!

Two more words: About time!!

And 2 final words: Nuff said.

BJ
post #29 of 80
[QUOTE=JeffDM;1406885]
Quote:
My Mac is at home, Firefox for Windows doesn't seem to have any such button.

Full screen as in it takes over everything, or as in it's like maximize, I can still see the dock and menu bar?

It's like quicktime -without the control bar on the bottom except this is at the top- right up to the border. great for eBay, Amazon, HOt jobs anything with a list of items or text.

Quote:
Still, you did say it was an unnecessary feature. Depending on assumptions put into it, it can be seen as bad, waste of time developing, etc.

Ok - that was a slightly harsh term but many won't use it or care. I only enhance if you listening to something else. Otherwise - the mute key would suffice.



Quote:
It does however, have a very simple to use plug-in that lets me selectively play Flash objects, which I find to be indispensable. Nothing I've found so far for Safari is as easy to use or install.

Interesting - I have to check this out.

HI Jeff- It's def on Mac firefox- I use it all the time for like 10 years. Try it tonight- upper right hand button. The old IE had it as well. Safari has never had it- and I've always wondered why? It's a one click, simple solution - very Apple like. I use Safari 90% of the time but when I have intensive web viewing - I use this feature on Firefox. Indispensable for me.
post #30 of 80
Love it
post #31 of 80
It's a shame Rogue Amoeba never updated Detour for intel
post #32 of 80
This is what I really want:

A way to use iTunes right inside Safari. Just like Foxy Tunes add-on for Firefox.

Is there any plugin like this? I have looked almost everywhere, but no positive results!

Any ideas guys?
post #33 of 80
The article states that Windows only has the option to "adjust all audio signals playing on a computer at once".

I was under the impression that Windows Vista had application-specific volume controls.
I have never used it, and on reading some of the comments I get the idea that it doesn't work perfectly, but it does seem to offer some of the features mentioned in this article.
post #34 of 80
FINALLY!!! i have been waiting for somebody to implement this idea for so long. I really hope they include controls for individual tabs, as well as volume controls for each, not just the ability to completely mute them.
post #35 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by nite41 View Post

This is what I really want:

A way to use iTunes right inside Safari. Just like Foxy Tunes add-on for Firefox.

Is there any plugin like this? I have looked almost everywhere, but no positive results!

Any ideas guys?

Now that I like. I presume its sound would automatically override everything else?
post #36 of 80
Doesn't Vista already have per-app volume control?
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post #37 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcorban View Post

Doesn't Vista already have per-app volume control?

Maybe it does- but who gives a sheet? The is an Apple fan-based website. Apple will always do it better! Get lost before I call you troll.
post #38 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmas View Post

Sounds great, but is this really a patent worthy idea?

if they allow it, may as well take it...

i can't believe it took so long. it would be the greatest thing to happen to the internet since bill kurtis
post #39 of 80
This would be a nice and very welcome feature.

Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Maybe it does- but who gives a sheet? The is an Apple fan-based website. Apple will always do it better! Get lost before I call you troll.

Not that you're bitter or resentful.
post #40 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

While I guess I appreciate any new add-on, where is the most important missing Safari feature for me and many others- the ability to roll up the address/tool bar and give me a full screen experience with the click of a button? Like on most browsers. \

You can achieve something like this this with a javascript bookmarklet in your bookmarks bar.
This particular bookmarklet will open the current URL in a new window that is full screen and has no toolbar or bookmarks bar. When you are finished with that window, just close it and your regular safari window is underneath, tabs and all.
You could rewrite the bookmarklet to suit your needs if they are different to this.

• Copy this to the clipboard. **For some reason, whether or not I use Code tags, this code gets two unnecessary spaces added, so copy and paste this into a text editor, delete any spaces in titlebar and height (there should be no spaces anywhere in the code), then copy it again** :

javascript:window.open(self.location,"_blank","tit lebar=0,scrollbars=1,width="+screen.availWidth+",h eight="+screen.availHeight).moveTo(0,0);

• In Safari, Show all bookmarks
• In Collections, click on Bookmarks Bar, then click in a blank space in the list of bookmarks
• Paste.

This will create a new bookmarklet in your Bookmarks Bar which you can rename (maybe call "Kiosk" as it is like kiosk mode).

If you place the bookmarklet at the top of the list/far left of your Bookmarks Bar, you can activate it with cmd-1 (other positions will be cmd-2, cmd-3 and so on), or you can simply click on it if you are more of a mouse user.

I found the script here.
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