Google is working on improving the Global Media Control UI, the little popup on your Chrome toolbar that controls media playback. The improvement includes an option to drag this screen away and make it an always-on-top overlay.
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Global Media Controls – Drag Away
If you look at the Media UI related feature requests and bug reports, you will see a lot of items mentioning Global Media Controls, GMC. Recently, one such feature request was picked up by the team and added to the Chromium code.
“Add ability to drag a notification out of the dialog”
As the name suggests, the feature request is an option to detach the GMC from Chrome window.
“We want the user to be able to click and drag a notification out of the media dialog and into an always-on-top overlay” the bug request explains further.
This feature is being added to Chrome. Earlier today we spotted a code change request adding this feature and an experimental flag to go with it.
“This CL allows the user to click and drag a media notification out of
a MediaDialogView and into an always-on-top overlay. This allows the
user to continue to control media without having to go back to the
Here, you can see that you will be able to separate the GMC screen from the toolbar. With that, you can have an always-on-top media control option whenever you need it.
Want to quickly play and pause media while you take notes from your online class session? This can help.
Flag -Enable overlay controls for Global Media Controls
The new flag, as usual, will be available in the Canary channel in coming weeks.
Enable overlay controls for Global Media Controls: Allowing controls to be dragged out from Global Media Controls dialog. Requires #global-media-controls to also be enabled.”
Volume Control – Coming Soon
Another feature request awaiting the team’s approval is volume control.
“GMC: add volume controls”
The only comment we see so far on this bug that it is being considered as a bug feature request. We might soon see this well coming to Chrome. We shall update you when that happens.
Flag – Global Media Controls Seamless Transfer
Another flag that we noticed for GMC in the recent days is called “Seamless Transfer”
Global Media Controls Seamless Transfer – Enables selection of audio output device to play media through in the Global Media Controls UI. Requires #global-media-controls to also be enabled.
The flag is currently available in the Canary version of Chrome. We might need some testing to confirm this. However, this might be a feature that allows us to play only audio on a separate device while playing media on Chrome, and maybe even while casting.