Many of us now listen to music through their web browser – be it through YouTube Music, Soundcloud, Google Play Music or any of the myriad of other cloud-based music services out there. However, controlling the music in the background can be quite annoying, especially when, like me, a lot of tabs are open at one point.
A new feature of Google Chrome was announced on the official Chromium blog, even though the post was quickly discontinued, is a media controller that can be accessed from anywhere within Google Chrome.
As can also be seen in Google Chrome Story, there is more to the function than is apparent at first glance. It seems to work with Chromecasts, so you can control casting content from almost anywhere in Google Chrome. This comes from the official description of a new flag called “Global Media Control for Cast”.
There was a similar feature that allowed you to access chrome: // cast in your URL bar and control the current casting devices on your home network, although this no longer works.
The original function, simply called “Global Media Controls”, can now be activated. It started as part of Chrome OS this year but took some time to reach Google Chrome on other platforms like Windows, macOS, and Linux.
The media control looks the same as on Android – a pause/play button, the currently playing URL and the title. Sites can also implement advanced features such as skip, fast forward, and album art.
The notification even changes color to match the content currently playing, just like Android. The function is similar to the introduction to Chrome OS 79, which used media control for websites that can be accessed from the lock screen.
At the moment it is fully supported by YouTube and Soundcloud also works. You can activate and test the function by simply navigating to chrome://flags/#global-media-controls in your address bar. Let us know what you think!