07 February 2020
Update: December 23, 2019
The feature that was once found in the Chrome Canary build 77 is now rolling out widely to Windows, Mac, and Linux versions of Chrome too. This isn’t different from what was spotted earlier this year in the Chrome OS and later on the web browser but in the most unstable Canary build.
The feature that puts media controls for all your tabs right at your fingertips is called “Media Hub.” This feature stays next to your profile picture and menu button in the top right corner of Chrome.
Google also announced this feature on the Chromium blog recently but later taken down, however, ArsTechnica was quick to mirror it as PDF. According to Google, this feature comes in the latest Chrome update which is v79 and it makes controlling audio and video easier in your browser. Clicking on the feature unfurls control cards of all our tabs that are currently playing media. The control card can display previous, next, rewind, and fast forward buttons, plus album art.
So far only YouTube has been seen supporting this feature fully. You can enable to feature right away by going into the flags settings to enable “Global Media Controls” or simply paste chrome://flags/#global-media-controls into the address bar to get started. The feature should work after the relaunch of the browser.
Original Post (July 5, 2019)
Google is continuously making its Chrome browser more productive by adding new features and capabilities to it via several upgrades. And, now an interesting feature is coming to the browser that will let you control media playback right from the screen, when you’re on a browser, of course. This way you may not need to go to the video page you’ve opened in one tab and press media keys to control playback.
The new feature will be helpful for the users who like to listen to music or video in another tab while they work. It will come out as a handy feature, in fact. The tech site TechDows has even shared a screenshot of this feature to let us know how it looks like on the screen. According to the site, it’s “Global Media Controls UI” introduced in Canary version 77 and it can be enabled and seen from the toolbar.
Note that currently, Chrome overlays media control for YouTube videos when media keys are pressed. But now these new Global Media Controls always stay on the screen when YouTube videos are playing; they don’t overlay nor do they require media keys usage.
If you want to see the new feature in action then update Chrome Canary to the latest version and visit Chrome://flags, then search for “Global” and find “Global Media Controls” flag. Select “Enabled” and restart the browser. And, to test this feature, visit YouTube and play any video, a play icon will appear on the toolbar with Global Media Controls enabled, click on it to see media controls UI.
But must note that the Canary version is the most unstable version and it contains bugs. In fact, as reported by TechDows, after updating to the latest Canary version, the browser crashed several times. So, you must be prepared for any kind of issue that occurs after this update.