Other comments call for a response from the Chrome development team, particularly with regard to suggestions for modifying the policy to indicate when audio is being disabled, and to enable users to easily switch it back on, either temporarily or permanently.
Google scaled back a new auto-play policy in the latest version of its Chrome web browser, meant to stop unwanted video ads with sound from serving up and playing without notice.
Meanwhile, the implementation delay is created to give "Web Audio API developers (e.g. gaming, audio applications, some RTC features) more time to update their code".
"The team here is working hard to improve things for users and developers, but in this case, we didn't do a good job of communicating the impact of the new autoplay policy to developers", Google product manager John Pallett writes in the Chromium bug tracker.
Pallett said that the change will not affect Chrome's silencing of most autoplaying video and audio on the web. Developer Benji Kay, who specializes in audio tools and games for the web, explained that postponing the policy will not fix the many issues that have appeared.
The "more time for developers" angle is an - ahem - interesting one, because Chrome 66's beta debuted on March 21, 2018 and discussion of its features played out for several months before that date.
Google has made it clear that this is a temporary change and that it has been made to give developers time to change their code. The policy will be back with Chrome 70 in October 2018. One of this release's features was its ability to block web pages with auto-playing audio. As others have pointed out, this is a non-trivial user interface challenge with a lot of nuances. Unfortunately, it has been blocking more than anyone bargained for. Unless web developers scramble to use the Web Audio API instead of those tags, Chrome should continue to save your ears from unwanted and potentially obnoxious noises while you browse. Affected developers will have until then to add a few lines to their code, thus re-enabling the auto-muted audio when a user first interacts with the page.