Audio Fades or Stops While Running Chrome Windows 8.1 Metro App In Background?

Audio Fades or Stops While Running Chrome Windows 8 Metro App In Background? That won’t be fixed according to Google. Read on, to find out why.

Audio Fades or Stops While Running Windows 8 Metro App In Background?

Today, while Soundcloud was playing some music for me on Chrome, I switched from the Chrome Metro app to another one, while leaving Chrome in the background. Music stopped as soon as I switched to the other app. It resumed when I opened Chrome again.

I found many users reporting the same issue on Chrome support forum. So, it was not my computer or my set up.

Is It Same for All Metro Apps on Windows 8?

No. I found this on Microsoft’s website.

In Windows 8, we made it really easy for you to develop an app that plays audio in a simple and power efficient manner. Windows 8 provides system level controls that are designed to improve the user experience within the MediaControl class, using stream categorization, and media transport controls. In this section, we look at how to make your app play audio in the background. We don’t go into details about actually playing audio or the Media Control classes. For more info about the audio technologies, see the Audio playback in a Metro style app white paper.

There are three important requirements that the app must meet to play audio in the background:

  • A background audio declaration must be in the app manifest.
  • You must set the stream category (msAudioCategory) to either Communications or BackgroundCapableMedia.
  • Your app must register for media transport controls.

The article has detailed instructions on how to get this working.

 So, Why Chrome?

I got my answer from this Chrome bug report. ts not just Chrome. IE 10 also will do the same thing if you play something with audio and change to another app, leaving it run in the background.

We were told my Microsoft that it was unsupported behavior for Metro-style browsers to continue audio playback in the background., a Chromium developer says.

The Music app on Windows 8 can play music in background, so why not other apps like browsers?

The Music app is a pure Metro app, whereas Chrome and IE are desktop apps under the hood. We’d love to be able to emulate this functionality, but Microsoft’s guidance is that we can’t.

Unfortunately, the OS is in control here. There’s no decision Chrome can make to continue playing music in the background; when Chrome is running as a Windows 8 app, and it goes offscreen, the operating system simply suspends us and we cannot continue executing any processes. It’s out of our control.

So, there you have it. Chrome will not be able to give you music in the background if you are running it as a metro app. Here is how you can switch between metro mode and desktop mode.

Is There Any Workaround?

So desktop mode is what you will have to use until someone finds a workaround. An alternative method you can follow for now is running Chrome Metro App in Snap In mode. That is, running Chrome and your second or third app side by side. To do this, you need to click and drag Chrome from top of the window and snap it to left or right and then open second app. Like this:

Stay tuned to this blog, I will update when a workaround is available for sure!

In Category: Windows


Dinsan made Google Chrome his default browser within hours of its release. He fell in love with Chromebooks from the day he first touched one and is currently obsessed with Chromecasts.

Show 8 Comments
  • Joe 04/11/2012, 7:05 pm

    Wow – this really stinks! There are so many things I can’t do because of this. It’s terrible!

    Please try to find a workaround.

  • R Gonzalez 15/11/2012, 4:47 am

    someone needs to fix this…I constantly stream sports radio and need to work via RDP. This was never a problem in Windows 7.

    • Nabeel S 02/12/2012, 7:50 am

      The fix is quite easy. Open chrome in desktop mode. Play music. Then do whatever you want. Desktop apps are not bound the same way as Metro apps. They can play music even when other processes are occurring.

  • Alex 01/12/2012, 12:42 am

    Actually IE’s “metro” app runs as a desktop app so audio keeps playing and you can multitask with no problem…but I’d like to keep using Chrome

  • BungieJumper 19/12/2012, 5:02 pm

    I think it’s a line of code missing from Chrome as I just did the following test:

    iPlayer Radio & TV on Firefox: continues to play in background
    iPlayer Radio & TV on IE10: continues to play in background
    iPlayer Radio & TV on Chrome: App is put in sleep mode until back in forground

    So get on with it Google. But having said that, I think the Chrome dev team haven’t done terribly well in the last 2 months and it’s really their fault. Youtube was not behaving properly (and Youtube belongs to Google). Choppy Flash video playback when video is playing & downloading simultaneously.

  • james 23/07/2013, 1:02 am

    Probably already found this out. but if you pin the original exe file to the taskbar and then right click and press new window, it’ll open in the desktop. If you minimize or do anything that way, it’ll still run in the background, it’s just annoying that you can’t make it open that way without that minor hassle.

  • thesunfei 06/09/2013, 1:12 pm

    Because of this,I can’t play music with chrome while playing games anymore.

  • Oscar 15/10/2013, 10:31 pm

    For all people having problems with this, go to the options menu in the top-right corner of the Chrome-app and select “Open Chrome is desktop mode”. You’re now running it just like you would in W7. You’re welcome.