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Shhhh — I’m Huntin’ For Noisy Bwowser Tabs (Chrome, Firefox)

by Adriana Lee | August 5, 2011August 5, 2011 10:30 pm PDT

Having 40 bajillion tabs open when a browser suddenly crashes has got to be the second-most annoying thing about Web work. The number-one most annoying thing, though, is the blaring video, music or ad stream that inevitably comes up when you re-launch the program. I don’t know what’s worse — being blasted with sudden blaring sound or the mad, nerve-wracking dash to find the offending tab.

That’s why this Chrome extension got my attention immediately: Mute Tabs not only hunts through your open tabs for the audio violator, but also puts a musical note icon on it, so you can actually find and silence the blasted thing. It may not work on all webpages yet, since some plugins may not be discoverable in HTML (which is what Mute Tabs scans), but it should work on many of them. And it’s better than the alternative — complete and utter frantic manual searching at every irritating instance.

Unfortunately, there is no version of Mute Tabs for Firefox, but I’ve been using BarTab, and this seems to do the job nicely, along with some other pretty terrific benefits. This extension can load or unload any or all tabs, while keeping their spots in the browser. This is the single most useful extension I’ve found, since you can keep a hefty string of tabs in place without using up resources or dragging your system down. The upshot of that is, if you force quit or crash, Firefox can start with all tabs unloaded except for the one you’re on. This means you restart in blissful silence.

I haven’t experienced any noise violations since I snagged BarTab. (I have FF 5, so I’m using the beta version 2.1b2. There’s also a full Version 2 for FF 4 or 3.) Between this and Mute Tabs, I may never have to deal with this annoying facet of modern internet life again. And you shouldn’t have to either.

Do you have any crucial extensions or add-ons for these or any other browser? What are the favorites you just can’t imagine life without?

[via TechCrunch]


Adriana Lee

Adriana is the resident writer-slash-culture vulture who has written about everything from smartphones, tablets, apps, accessories, and small biz...