Google Chrome feature shows which tab is playing sound.

Google Just Fixed One of the Most Annoying Things About Browsing the Web

Future Tense
The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Jan. 15 2014 3:17 PM

Google Just Fixed One of the Most Annoying Things About Browsing the Web

147367658-sundar-pichai-senior-vice-president-of-chrome-speaks-at
Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Chrome, speaks at Google's annual developer conference on June 28, 2012.

Photo by KIMIHIRO HOSHINO/AFP/GettyImages

It looks like Chrome has finally implemented a very useful beta feature for all users: It now shows a small speaker icon next to whichever tab is playing sound. While this may not seem like a big deal, it is for tab junkies (ahem) who become quickly frustrated when they can't figure out which tab is blaring an American Idol ad.

The icon looks like this:

140115_ft_chrome

This simple feature doesn't go as far as the Chrome extension MuteTab, which lets you select one or multiple tabs to, well, mute. A Firefox extension, Muter, also lets you mute tabs in the browser. However, those extensions don't solve the specific problem of finding a tab that is playing audio. Chrome just fixed that for you.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Emma Roller is a Slate editorial assistant. Follow her on Twitter.

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