Troubleshooting AutoPlay Policy and Audio Issues With ScreenCloud

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by Santino
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This article discusses ways to troubleshoot and resolve autoplay policy issues, while using media streaming apps such as YouTube, with ScreenCloud for digital signage. You might notice when running into autoplay policy issues that your videos (e.g. such as Youtube) will continuously stay stuck on a loading screen, or audio will not automatically play. To learn more about autoplay policy and how to get your media to play on affected platforms, please refer to the guide below.

Table of contents:

What is the autoplay policy and how it affects ScreenCloud?

How can I manage the autoplay policy for video and audio?

Frequently asked questions

 

What is the autoplay policy and how it affects ScreenCloud?

Autoplay policy is a feature enforced automatically on web browsers to enable restrictions on websites which try to autoplay video or sound automatically. For example, if you visit a webpage and notice a video or music track does not play until you select the “Play” button or enact a user gesture. 

When was the last time you’ve visited a website and music played without you pressing anything through your speakers? You may have visited websites in the past where video or audio content would play immediately, without needing to make a user gesture, but now this has been changed when you’re browsing the internet. Popular and modern-day browsers, such as Google Chrome, don’t allow websites to do this to you anymore without your permission. 

However, this can impact specific services or third-party applications from running videos and sound to play automatically in some use cases. Autoplay policy can impact services and apps with ScreenCloud, requiring users to:

  • Enable or allow sound to play for specific websites on their browsers
  • Have a sufficiently high “Media Engagement Index” for the website they’re using (i.e. the site was able to play videos over 7 seconds long with sound multiple times in the past before the policy was enforced)

Please note, on most of our ScreenCloud Player Software (e.g. Android, Amazon, etc.) we’re able to control how the players react when trying to play video or audio automatically, while on Chrome OS this cannot be managed unless changes are made in your settings. For more information, you can refer here for Google’s Autoplay Policy changes or review resources on Media Engagement Index.

 

How can I manage the autoplay policy for video and audio?

Below is the current list of all known players, extensions, and apps related to ScreenCloud which are affected by the autoplay policy issue. You can refer to our instructions below on how to resolve your video or audio not automatically playing respectively for your use case:

i) Previewing screens from your account (browser)

ii) ChromeOS Player (non-managed or no Chrome licenses)

iii) Chrome Browser Extension

iv) Embeddable player or channel

v) Live News App

 

i) Previewing screens from your account (browser): while previewing or testing screens from your web browser in your ScreenCloud account, you may notice that Google Chrome does not allow for videos to be auto-played with sound on. In order to fix this, you can change your Google Chrome Settings to enable autoplay on specific websites.

 

You can manage this from your Google Chrome browser settings. Visit your “Settings” and you can manage autoplay by following the steps below. You can also copy and paste chrome://settings/ or chrome://settings/content/sound into the web address bar on a Chrome browser to visit the settings directly:

  1. Click on the “Privacy & Security” option

    Screen_Shot_2020-08-12_at_9.16.30_AM.png

  2. Select “Site Settings” and then “Additional Content Settings”. From here, select "Sound".

    Screen_Shot_2020-08-12_at_9.16.47_AM.png

  3. Click “Add” to the right of the “Allow” option, please add the following sites:

    Screen_Shot_2020-08-12_at_9.17.39_AM.png

https://studio.eu.screencloud.com

https://studio.us.screencloud.com

  

ii) ChromeOS Player (non-managed or no Chrome license): Chrome devices (e.g. Chromebit, Chromebox, etc.) do not allow for videos to be auto-played while the sound is on. In order to resolve this, you must enroll the devices in Kiosk Mode using a Chrome device management license. This license is required by Google while using their products and services to enable autoplay automatically, in addition to activating kiosk mode and other advanced device features. You can refer more to information on Kiosk Mode and managing your Chrome devices with licenses below:

How to Set up ScreenCloud in Kiosk Mode on a Chrome Device with a Chrome License

Google’s New Autoplay Policy: How Is This Affecting You With ScreenCloud?

If you have any questions regarding this process, please contact support@screencloud.com and we can help guide you in the right direction.

  

iii) Chrome Browser Extension: the Chrome browser extension is available for download from a Google Chrome Browser to run the ScreenCloud app. This allows you to run ScreenCloud from your browser, instead of downloading the application to your Windows OS or macOS device. However, the extension does not have the ability to override autoplay policy by default as this is specific to your web browser.

 

Please note, the Chrome browser extension is not recommended for long-term use and there is not a way to change autoplay policy for the extension at this time. We recommend for Windows OS and macOS devices to visit https://release.screen.cloud and download a more stable version of the ScreenCloud app to your device or desktop.

You can also try using the Chrome Web Browser Player separately from the extension. You can easily use the web browser player by visiting the site https://player.screen.cloud/browser/index.html and use your browser as a screen to pair.

 

You can manage the web browser player autoplay policy from your Google Chrome browser settings. Visit your “Settings” and you can manage autoplay by following the steps below. You can also copy and paste chrome://settings/ or chrome://settings/content/sound into the web address bar on a Chrome browser to visit your browser settings directly:

  1. Click on the “Privacy & Security” option

    Screen_Shot_2020-08-12_at_9.16.30_AM.png

  2. Select “Site Settings” and then “Additional Content Settings”. From here, select "Sound".

    Screen_Shot_2020-08-12_at_9.16.47_AM.png

  3. Click “Add” to the right of the “Allow” option, please add the following sites:

https://player.screen.cloud/browser/index.html

  

iv) Embeddable player or channels: this feature runs on your own web browser, so ScreenCloud does not have the ability to disable or override the autoplay policy. However, users have the ability to interact and choose when content can play while using an embeddable player or channel. This gives users the convenience to control how content auto-plays, rather than allowing videos or audio to play once visiting an embeddable link automatically from their browser.

To resolve the issue, you can do either of the following:

  • User Gesture (press play): Videos, such as YouTube, show a play button that is pressed to start the video. You can click on the play button for the YouTube video to begin while being used in an embeddable player.

 

  • Change your browser settings: You can manage this from your Google Chrome browser settings. Visit your “Settings” and you can manage autoplay by following the steps below. You can also copy and paste chrome://settings/ or chrome://settings/content/sound into the web address bar on a Chrome browser to visit your browser settings directly:

 

1. Click on the “Privacy & Security” option

Screen_Shot_2020-08-12_at_9.16.30_AM.png

2. Select “Site Settings” and then “Additional Content Settings”. From here, select "Sound".

Screen_Shot_2020-08-12_at_9.16.47_AM.png

3. Click “Add” to the right of the “Allow” option, please add the following sites:

https://player.eu.screencloud.com
https://player.us.screencloud.com

 

v) ScreenCloud Live News App: this app streams links from YouTube directly and is affected by the autoplay policy automatically. The app requires that you toggle “Subtitles” while setting up Live News in ScreenCloud. This disables autoplay automatically and allows for the video/sound to play. Our team is actively looking into a workaround we can implement to resolve this automatically without requiring to toggle subtitles for the autoplay policy to enable.

 

Frequently asked questions

Will autoplay policy resolve on its own, or do I need to manually change my settings?

Yes, manual changes to your settings from your web browser or platform directly depending on how you use ScreenCloud are required. The autoplay policy is not controlled or enforced by ScreenCloud as it’s a feature in place from the web or operating system services, such as Google and related Chrome OS products (e.g. Chrome OS, Chrome Browser, etc). Our development team is actively looking into automatic ways we can force the ScreenCloud Player to enable autoplay on more restrictive platforms.

 

I’ve changed my autoplay settings and a YouTube video still won’t load or play, why?

Please note, for streaming apps such as YouTube, there are also restrictions on sharing or embedding videos set up by YouTube users and channel owners. For example, YouTube users have the ability to control how their uploads can be shared or embedded into third-party apps. This also can be enforced from users sharing content on other services, such as Facebook, Vimeo, and Instagram. This can affect the content from loading or displaying in ScreenCloud and you can learn more about playback restrictions here.

 

I’ve changed my autoplay settings and audio still won’t play, why?

If you’re still having any challenge with playing audio after changing your autoplay policy settings, this could also be related to your hardware or set up. For example, it’s important to note if the audio issue(s) only affect a specific device, or multiple devices while running ScreenCloud. Please refer to ScreenCloud’s troubleshooting for hardware here, this can help check off common steps to take which can also help fix other audio related issues.

 

If you have any additional questions on autoplay policy, or any other questions or feedback about ScreenCloud, feel free to reach out to our support team at support@screencloud.com or give us a call at our toll-free support line at +18885575335.

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