How to Control YouTube Playback While on Another Tab.
Streamkeys is a popular Chrome extension that lets you control media playback from any tab. It turns out that in the latest build of Google Chrome 77, you can do this natively using a custom Chrome flag. For the unknown: Chrome flags allow secret Chrome features to be accessed before they go public. Let’s see how it works.
Before we get started, make sure your Chrome is up to date as this feature was recently introduced. To do this, click the three-bar menu icon and go to Help About Google Chrome to check for browser updates. I tested it in Chrome version 77.0.3865.75.
To control YouTube playback from a different tab, open the Google Chrome browser on your computer and copy and paste the following URL in the URL bar. chrome: // flags
You will be taken to the Chrome flags page with a warning – these flags can cause security issues and potential data loss. Don’t worry, they are mostly harmless and you can always go back to your previous settings.
Since it is difficult to scroll through all the possible Chrome checkboxes, I suggest you use the search bar at the top of your screen to find “Global Media Controls”. Enable the appropriate flag by clicking the drop-down arrow next to it and select Enable. Alternatively, you can use the following URL for quick access. chrome: // flags / # global media controls
With the Chrome checkbox enabled, click the Restart Now button at the bottom of the screen. This will restart the Chrome browser and you are now ready to use the Chrome flag you just enabled.
After restarting your browser, open any YouTube video of your choice. On the right side of the omni box, next to the expansion area, you will see a small Play button. When you press the play button, a small window will open, which will indicate the name of everything that is playing, as well as the ability to play / pause and move to the next or previous item in the list.
The best part is that it supports just about any site that has multimedia. I’ve tried it on free music streaming sites, YouTube, Pandora, Ganna, Soundcloud, and a few others. And it worked with all of them. But only in the case of YouTube, the window showed a thumbnail of the video being played. Overall, while this is a great feature, Google may change or remove these flags at any time in the future. Let me know your thoughts in the comment below.