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Sometimes a website will load and immediately start playing audio, whether it be music or just general voice messages. Short of just hitting the mute button on my keyboard, is there a setting in Firefox that will prevent this from happening?

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I think this is a very important Question. It is a real annoyance to have unexpected "music" foist upon an unwilling party. This is a great opportunity for an app or plug-in that would surpress the audio and notify one that "there is audio available - do you want to hear it?". –  Xavierjazz Oct 23 '09 at 2:57
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3 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted
  1. You could block flash explicitly with FlashBlock.
  2. There is also FlashMute

    a small application that resides in the systray on Windows systems,
    and will disable or enable sound output globally from Flash movies.

  3. An old Mozilla thread reference (cites AdBlock): Next big thing for firefox?:Block Audio/Video Ads

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I already had Flashblock and AdBlock installed and running. But you get the check mark because of FlashMute. It's real close to doing exactly what I wanted. But I had to set it to block audio for the entire browser, as it lets audio in from unwanted You Tube videos. Beats muting my entire system. –  Patriot Oct 24 '09 at 2:24
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In Windows Vista and later versions, you can mute or reduce the volume for specific software, so you can turn off the audio from your browser; it works the same as the FlashMute option, but without having to install a new plugin, without any compatibility issue, works for any browser and even for non-flash ads.

Volume mixer allowing volume control for individual programs

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There are a variety of ways that audio can be played via your browser, so there is no single setting to disable audio. You could conceivably use something like NoScript to block all Java, Flash, and embeds by default, but that may have a greater impact than you want.

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I gave NoScript a try. Did a great job of blocking unwanted videos from playing, which in turn blocked the audio. The jury is still out on whether I'll keep it running permanently. As you mentioned, it does have a greater impact than I was looking for. –  Patriot Oct 24 '09 at 2:18
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