Update: This is now available on the Canary channel. It does not show thumbnails or album art yet.
Google recently added a new feature called Global Media Control that lets users control media playback from the toobar. The company is extending this feature to media that you “Cast”.
Global Media Control adds a play icon to Chrome’s toolbar. With this, you can play, pause or skip tracks without going to the tab where the media is playing. For example, assume that you opened a YouTube video on a tab and then moved to another tab to write an email. You don’t have to go to the YouTube tab to pause the video or to play the next video in the queue.
Adding Cast Support
A new flag that we spotted in the Chromium code today enables Chrome to expand this feature to Cast. This means you will be able to control media playback on your TV from anywhere on Google Chrome.
Flag Name: Global Media Controls for Cast
Description: Shows Cast sessions in the Global Media Controls UI. Requires #global-media-controls and #cast-media-route-provider to also be enabled.
The design document for this feature is private, so we do not have much details beyodn the flag description. We will need to see this in action and test it to to be able to tell you how exactly this feature is going to work. However, the bug associated with this change provides some additional details.
Similar to the existing Global Media Control, the cast-enabled version will also show thumbnails of the media that is currently playing.
It is unclear if this will work similar to the Cast notification on Android phones. If a device on your network starts casting, all other phones connected to the same WiFi network will show playback control in the notification area.
Such a feature was available in Chrome in the past. You could go to chrome://cast to pause or stop the media playback on your network. However, this was recently removed. This flag might add such an option to Chrome, something that we can use without going to a specific URL like chrome://cast.
Do you think this will be a useful addition to Chrome? Let us know in the comments section.