How To Mute Tabs In Google Chrome

Mute Google Chrome

If you’ve been on the internet, you have surely met one of it’s most annoying traits: audio adverts. Like auto-playing videos, ads that play audio disturb your usual browsing experience. Luckily, at least when it comes to Google’s Chrome browser, there are a few ways on how to fight against these noisy, loud and intruding sounds.

Learn How To Stop Videos From Autoplaying On Browsers

Unfortunately, not even we can stop ads from popping up and playing music or weird voice overs in a new browser tab. But we can tell you how to mute tabs in Google Chrome! This is not only helpful for those noisy ads, but also for blogs that play background music, embedded HTML5 players and more!

 

How To Mute Google Chrome Tabs

Chrome is already doing us a huge favor by indicating which of the many tabs we have open are actually playing music. You can easily identify them by the small speaker icon inside the tab-description:

This makes it easy to find the annoying tab and simply close it. If you still need it, however, there are two other ways to mute Chrome tabs.

 

1. Mute Tab Via Right-Click

This works with tabs playing music as well as tabs that do not even have audio or a video playing. Hover over the tab and right-click. In the menu, choose “mute tab” and that’s it. The tab will be muted until you un-mute it again.

 

2. Set A Flag To Mute Tabs With One Click

If you want a faster way to mute your tabs in Chrome, there is a flag you can set to easily do so. In order to set this flag in your browser, enter the following into your browsers URL field:

chrome://flags/#enable-tab-audio-muting

There, click on “Enable” under “Tab audio muting UI control”. Afterwards, a relaunch of your browser will be needed. Once restarted, you can find a minimal change when it comes to the small speaker icon shown above. Now, when hovering your mouse over it, it changes to a crossed out speaker symbol.

Now, all you need to do, is click on the speaker and the tab will be muted!

 

Note:

Please note that muting a tab will NOT pause the video or music that is playing. It will merely mute the tab so you can’t or don’t have to hear the sound anymore. If you want to pause a video that is open in another tab, you have to go to the respective tab and pause it.


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Which Audio File Format Should I Use?

Best Audio Format
Image by Didgeman http://bit.ly/1Hi6Asw

When you’ve been out and about, collecting music from the web, or digitizing your music collection, you have surely found out that there are way more audio formats out there than just MP3 – or Apple iTunes’ AIFF. Usually, it doesn’t matter much in which format you download or save a song or piece of music. But especially when iTunes or Windows Media Player aren’t able to open those files, a fast solution is needed.

Furthermore, with so many file formats for audio files alone out there, which one should you choose when digitizing your collection? Sure, MP3 is the most popular one, but which one is the best for your individual preferences and purpose?

Lossy vs. Lossless Audio Files

In earlier blog articles, we have talked about lossless and lossy audio file types already. In sum, both lossless and lossy describe the quality in which you can save your music files.

Lossless files keep the original audio quality of the medium it was ripped from intact, whether it was a CD or an audio recorder.

Lossless formats include:

WAV, AIFF, FLAC, Apple Lossless ALAC, or APE

 Lossy files compress the audio files to reduce the file size and thus save space on your hard drive. Thus, they are far more common to the casual music listener and collector. Depending on the bitrate, you may not even here a difference between them and a lossless audio file.

The most common lossy file formats include:

MP3, AAC, Ogg Vorbis, and WMA

 Which One To Use?

Putting aside that you have any special needs regarding the file, which file format should you use for either downloading or ripping music from a CD? The most secure way to go is with either MP3 or AAC. Why? Because these formats are the most common, widely spread, and supported by a big variety of media and music players. If you rip your music using a high bitrate for either MP3 or AAC, it will be almost impossible to notice any difference to the source when it comes to audio quality.

However, this is a very easy answer, and every easy answer has it’s tricky part.

The problem with lossy formats like WMA is that, if you want to convert said file later one, e.g. to MP3, the quality of the music will be noticeably reduced. To prevent that, you can either choose a high bitrate before converting your audio file and thus reduce the quality loss, or you use a lossless format! Converting between lossless formats will result in no quality loss at all. Thus, if you plan on archiving your music collection for future usage that may involve converting or professionally using the files, you should go for a lossless format like FLAC or ALAC.

In the end, every format that is widely compatible with a variety of players and devices is the best choice. As long as you do not convert between lossy formats without setting the bitrate, you can enjoy your music in the best quality.

Cloud Music Storage – Amazon vs iTunes

Does anyone remember “back in the day” when you could only hear your favorite songs at home or from the radio if you happened to be listening when your song was played?  Those days are long gone.  In today’s online world, you can take your entire music collection with you where ever you go.  However, in order for this to be as cool as you want it to be, you have to pick the right system to keep all your music.  We’re going to compare the two most popular cloud music storage options – iTunes Match and Amazon Cloud Player to help you make the right choice for you.

cloud music storage
Image by Grace Kat http://bit.ly/1u6QLg4

Both of these cloud music storage services allow you to store and stream your music, which is the ultimate goal.  However, there are clear differences between the two that you should consider before making a decision. In some instances, when you go through the process of getting all your music on the same platform, you will have to convert some of your music to a different type of audio file format.  If you go through this process once, you definitely don’t want to have to do it again.

Audio File Formats

The type of audio files that are supported by each system are shown below:

  • iTunes Match: MP3, AIFF, WAV, MPEG-4, AAC
  • Amazon Cloud Player: MP3, AAC, WMA (Windows only), OGG, WAV, ALAC (Mac only), AIFF and FLAC.

If you plan to use music files that are FLAC, OGG or WMA, you will need to convert them to a different type of file first.  Neither iTunes or the Amazon music service have the ability to handle those files.

Differences Between Cloud Music Storage Options

The first difference between these two cloud music storage services is that iTunes only has one type of service available while Amazon has a free version of their cloud player and a paid version.

The free Amazon version allows you to add 250 songs (that you didn’t purchase from Amazon).  If your music needs are minimal and you only want a few of your favorite songs or CDs available when you’re away from home, this is a good choice. However, if this limit is too low, you will need to move to one of the paid options.

Another difference between these cloud music storage systems relates to organizing your music library.  Amazon’s cloud player doesn’t help with that.  However, if you have music on multiple devices and would like your music player to have the ability to consolidate those, remove duplicates and keep a synced version available on each device, iTunes is your best bet.

Since the Amazon cloud music storage system is web based, it means your music is available on any device that has a web browser.  It also works with both Android and iOS so if you have multiple devices, or plan to share the account with others who have different devices, this works well.

On iTunes, you can only access your music where the iTunes platform resides, or on an iOS device, but that nowhere else.

One big thing to keep in mind is that while these are two of the best options available for cloud music storage, you are basically only renting them.  If you don’t continue to pay the yearly fee (if you’re using the paid version of Amazon), you will lose access.

Your Weekend Music Cleanup Project

music cleanup
Image by Jason Toney http://bit.ly/1rARPEH

The time has come, hasn’t it? You’ve been collecting music for years now and just haphazardly adding those music files to your hard drive. However, if you’re like the rest of us, at this point you probably have no idea what music you have. If there is a song or a cd you want to listen to, chances are pretty good you won’t be able to find it. It’s time for a music cleanup weekend.

Select the Player You Will Use

The first step probably wasn’t an issue when you started collecting music because the options were so limited. You likely used whatever music player was suggested when you acquired the tracks. However, there are many more music players available now, and they don’t all work well together with the devices you’re using today to listen to your music.

There are dozens of different players available now and you should take your time to select the one that will work the best for you. In some instances, you may have to convert your music to a different format so that it can be used on your chosen player. This is the part of your music cleanup project that can be the most cumbersome, but it is essential.

Here are a few of the music players you should consider as you start your project to organize music files.

  • Windows Media Player
  • iTunes
  • Sonora
  • Zune Player
  • Clementine

Clean Up Your Music Library

After you’ve selected the music player you want to use for your music cleanup project, it’s time for the fun stuff. This step includes looking at your music.

The first part of this is to track down all the places you have music stored. Then, start looking at the actual music. You are likely to find some really odd stuff that makes you wonder what you were thinking when you bought it. Delete those. Also take a look at the quality of the track. If the quality is so low that it would now be annoying to listen to it, either delete the track or download an upgraded version.

While you’re doing this review, you are also likely to find that you have some duplicates (which is a reminder of why it’s a good idea to spend time on your music cleanup project!) Decide which one to keep and delete the other.  When you’re done, make sure all your music is in the format you want.  If you need to convert your music, you can do so here.

Meta Data

The next step in your music cleanup project is to clean up the meta data. You could do this by hand, but there are many different apps out there that can do this for you, and it will save you a great deal of time and trouble. TuneUp, MusicBrainz Picard and Mp3tag are a few to consider.

Sync Your Music

Since most people want their music to be available when they’re on the go, the next step in your music cleanup project is to sync your music on your mobile devices. iTunes, Winamp, Media Monkey, Windows Media Player and Music Bee are a few to consider.

Stream Your Music Anywhere

The final step in your music cleanup project is to set up your music on a music streaming service. This will allow you to take every music track you own with you, everywhere you go. Some options to consider are Google Music, Spotify, Rdio and Amazon Cloud Player.