tab-specific mute

I’ve heard from a number of folks that it’d be very useful for Firefox to let you mute a particular tab in the browser, since more and more sites are incorporating music or other audio content, and users are leaving more tabs open in the background, and they don’t necessarily want to hear those tabs while listening to tunes or working.

So I looked around for a way to do this (ideally something I could integrate with site-specific preferences, so you could specify which sites are allowed to quack), and the closest I could find is FlashMute, a small Windows app written by Einar Otto Stangvik that mutes all Flash (and other browser-based sound).

It’s like a global mute for browsers, and although it isn’t open source, its author says it will be once he gets around to pushing it to Google Code.

But it doesn’t let you mute individual tabs, much less specific sites, so it’s not quite the feature folks have been clamoring for.  So I asked around a bit, and smart folks seem to think it would be very hard to well nigh impossible to implement this on Windows, except possibly on Vista with major changes to our plugin architecture.

Anyone know different or know what the situation is on other platforms?


Myk Melez

Myk is a Principal Software Architect and in-house entrepreneur at Mozilla. A Mozillian since 1999, he's contributed to the Web App Developer Initiative, PluotSorbet, Open Web Apps, Firefox OS Simulator, Jetpack, Raindrop, Snowl, Personas, Firefox, Thunderbird, and Bugzilla. He's just a cook. He's all out of bubblegum.


6 thoughts on “tab-specific mute

  1. Perhaps it would be possible to expose the API that bfcache uses to freeze/thaw a window?

  2. I use Flashblock and used to use StopAutoplay to allow me to decide when the stuff plays. But that is still not a mute, and once you start the flash object or the HTML object, that’s it. No turning back, you must rely on the content creator to add the mute functionality.

  3. Yes! I am one of those people who needs this special feature for my precious browser mozilla 😛
    But I am soo sorry, I haven’t got a clue how to establish this..

  4. Yep! another anoyed user over Here!
    i bet there are thousands more using multiple Tabs… :S

    plllllz someone programm this plugin!!!! 🙂

  5. I am not a programmer anymore so will absolutely not grab this although I could try a few things.

    First this site shows how one can interact with Flash via Javascript –

    Simplifying and towards a simple muter for one tab at a time, I think it can be done with a simple bookmarklet that sends mute commands to all flash objects found via a “search and silence” loop.

    I would then use it with Ctrl+Tab / press bookmarklet, rinse and repeat.

    A more evolved way I presume can be done with the GreaseMonkey plugin and plugin programming… but I’ve never really entered that territory.

    Good luck and I hope these ideas have been useful.

  6. I've no idea how to make firefox do this, but a way to selectively mute stuff in different tabs in Windows is to open the ones you want to mute in a separate browser, such as Chrome, and then mute Chrome in the mixer. I do this with the Flash game HRmageddon, since the music is neither mutable nor good.

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