Google Chrome on Android is first to receive Media Session API support, after that, it has been enabled on Chrome for desktop. The aim of the API is to let the user know what the album/video is currently playing in the browser and manage it without reaching the page. Mozilla has added partial support for the Media Session API to Firefox in version 71, today, the company has enabled it by default in Firefox 76 Nightly.
Chrome’s Global Media Controls UI aka Media hub uses Media Session API to display what’s playing in tabs from the toolbar and it lets you pause and play the next/previous track for a playlist. Chromium browsers such as Edge, Vivaldi, Opera support hardware media keys and show an overlay with the Volume bar for the playing media when you use them. The overlay shows information about the current video such as its title, thumbnail, and offers play and other controls.
There are reports from users in the past about Chrome hijacking keyboard multimedia keys as they don’t work in Spotify or iTunes when Chrome is open, If you’re affected, stop complaining, visit about: flags page in Chromium-browser and disable the “Hardware media key handling” flag.
As of now, Firefox Nightly with Media Session API enabled by default supports hardware media keys and shows a media overlay if you press any one of them on your keyboard.
When a video is playing in Firefox Nightly, you can now notice media controls appearing on Windows10 Lock Screen, we’ve covered about it here recently.
The Media Session API isn’t yet fully implemented in Firefox Nightly, this is still a work in Progress (follow this meta bug), that could be one of the reasons for Nightly not to show video thumbnail/metadata in the overlay. If you don’t want media overlays to appear in Firefox (when you interact with media keys) and on Windows lock screen, visit about config and change
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