Auto-play is everywhere.
Every day, you mindlessly scroll through your endless social media feeds to get bombarded by videos that conveniently trigger.
On one hand, making snapshot judgements about whether to halt or not becomes easier. On the other, it’s a distraction, a nuisance, and yet another excuse to waste a few more precious seconds of your life.
Make no mistake — companies, creators, and advertisers love auto-play. It’s an in-your-face tactic to ensure unavoidability and inescapability reign supreme.
That said, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn feeds, for example, are where auto-playing content is most tolerable. Especially these days, as most sites have acknowledged it’s obtrusive to blast out sound every time a video appears, so muting them is a reasonable compromise.
The same can’t be said for YouTube and the BBC iPlayer though.
We’ve all seen the ‘Up next in 8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1…▶️’ on YouTube or the ‘Next Episode in 15…14…13……▶️’ on the iPlayer (despite having just finished a two-hour programme).
Sure, you can turn both off, but isn’t it funny how often they sneakily turn back on?
Talking of sneakiness, the worst offender is Apple Podcasts.
I listen to several weekly podcasts, and usually, they last for 40–60 minutes. The norm is to play one and then take a break — I don’t binge-listen.
That was no different today, as I caught up with the latest episode of one of my favourites.
Immediately after finishing, what happened? That’s right — last week’s boomed out. Moreover, its status went from ‘Played’ to ’51 min left’, meaning I had to forcibly set it back.
I know why this happened. The latest iOS update was downloaded yesterday, and previous experiences have taught me your preferences are not respected.
I had to go into my iPhone’s settings to toggle the Continuous Playback switch because it had reverted — AGAIN!
Do you like, dislike, or are indifferent about auto-play? Let me know your thoughts!