updated 12:10 pm EDT, Thu April 23, 2009
Safari audio controls?
Apple is considering integrating audio controls into the Safari web browser, a newly-published patent application shows. Although Windows and the Mac OS have dedicated volume controls, a recurring problem with websites is the tendency to impose unwanted audio, whether in the form of music, voices or sound effects. Many people are already listening to their own music while they browse, Apple notes.
In the proposed Apple scheme, users would have access to a volume slider and a Mute button, both located next to the search bar. The controls could be configured on a universal basis, but could also be applied page-by-page instead, remembering settings for each URL visited. Users could alternately specify the addresses from which they want no sound, or have audio muted or lowered only if another application is running, such as iTunes.
Apple remarks that any version of Safari could be enhanced with sound controls, including that on the iPhone and the iPod touch. Such settings could also be ported from one machine to another, synced along with other preferences from a desktop or notebook copy of Safari.