My name is Ania - I'm a part of the Firefox Desktop Product team, and I'm excited to start a conversation with Firefox Community on Mozilla Connect.
Our team's recent work focused on some exciting updates to the video experience and Picture-in-Picture, and we want to take it even further - with your help.
We would love to hear what can make your experience with watching videos (in tabs and PiP) and live streams in Firefox better and more fun. No idea is too big or small, and we are as open to discussing big "blue sky" ideas as we are to introducing new handy keyboard shortcuts.
I will be checking this thread multiple times a day, and I'm looking forward to your feedback!
Thank you! The audio icon replaces the site favicon only when you hover on the tab, but I agree that having the tab audio icon and favicon always remain visible when audio is playing will make it easier to find "noisy" tabs.
Are there any other scenarios where the current icon/favicon behavior doesn't work for you?
No idea is too big or small, and we are as open to discussing big "blue sky" ideas
OK I have kind of a weird idea. What if I could drag and resize the video from within the page itself.
Take this YouTube example or a YouTube video embedded on a page. Instead of YouTube's own controls, I somehow click the edge of the video and drag it to an arbitrary size I want. Maybe the act of resizing the video pushes the contents of the page around or just overlays it. So it's sort of like the PiP mode (which allows resizing), but still within the page.
Thank you, lovelyjubbly. In what cases/situations would you like to resize a video in page rather than in a separate view like Picture-in-Picture?
Speaking of blue sky ideas, and if you're looking to isolate in-page content, not just videos, would it be helpful if you could "screenshot" any area of the page and put it in a standalone window, like Picture-in-Picture?
The NASA page https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html is a good example. If you view it on desktop you'll see their video is pretty tiny. I start watching it and realise I'm squinting. "Is this a video for ants!" So I drag and resize that video a bit larger.
For your second question, that's really interesting idea but can't think of when I'd do that, except for video of course. Or an image maybe, a gif even, but just as a novelty factor (by which I mean memes).
For example, on YouTube, the cinema/theater mode for viewing videos doesn't really optimize for size on some displays. Sometimes using that mode doesn't increase the size of the video at all. There are instances where the ability to resize the YouTube video player would optimize the screen real estate the video takes up even after enabling theater mode.
Volume control buttons and buttons to skip forwards / backwards 10 seconds at least would be really nice.
If it can't be universal (I know different sites have different formats that might break it or something) it would be nice if Mozilla tried to support the major sites like YouTube or Twitch.
You may even want to make a Hotbar button thing to start Picture-In-Picture mode for a tab because I doubt many people can remember the shortcut for it to be useful for them regularly lol.
Thank you, CD. We have the volume slider and playhead scrubber support on our roadmap (and you are correct, it would require site-specific adapters for supported websites).
Do you find that skipping back/forward 10-15 seconds is a more common case for you than using a full-on scrubber for you?
Thank you for the hotbar suggestion - we'll look into it. I agree that the current shortcut is a bit complex indeed, especially on mac.
I only usually use the slider bar to skip back to the beginning of a video if I want to see it again or skip a large portion I know I don't want to watch, and this would usually be done before I would use Picture-In-Picture mode.
If I am using Picture-In-Picture mode in the first place there's an extremely good chance that the video isn't my primary focus (despite it being on top of the screen) but if I see something exciting or a streamer laughing uncontrollably for instance I would just need to click a "rewind 10 seconds" button twice, as of now I have to send the video back to the tab to do an action like that which is annoying and oftentimes why I avoid Picture-In-Picture mode.
One thing that would be game changing is playback controls for tutorials, as of now most of the time I have my program shrunk on one side of the screen (if even possible) and the video on the other, being able to pause and rewind a resizable video overlay that you don't have to alt-tab back to would make literally everything about learning new things much better and would be almost novel (Windows Media Player has a similar thing but involves downloading the video to the PC and the 30 seconds skipping it has is much too large of a skip for me in most cases).
I also just thought that you could make a small pop-up for starting Picture-In-Picture mode near the search bar (that might get annoying to some people though) or Right-Click the tab with the option to Picture-In-Picture mode the video content if the Hotbar option doesn't work.
Lastly I just remembered sometimes I browse forums that link a lot of YouTube videos, I open up a couple of Picture-In-Picture mode for the tab, close the tab (because I don't want to read the forums anymore) and the video disappears unexpectedly (I know they're connected to the tab but a lot of time it catches me off guard). It would be nice to be able to close the tabs (or even "exit" Firefox) without the videos closing but I know that would probably be a whole can of worms to deal with (and could see people being confused why the videos didn't close too) so I understand this never being implemented. Maybe a prompt that closing a certain tab will close a Picture-In-Picture mode video (with a checkbox to ignore that warning it the future) would suffice for most people (it would for me anyways lol)
Thanks for replying!
Thank you, CD, your feedback is super helpful and would be really valuable with making decisions on how additional playback controls should look like in PiP.
Regarding tutorials - I just wanted to confirm that I understood the case correctly - will "rewind 10-15 seconds" be particularly helpful in tutorials (vs a full-on playhead scrubber)?
Right now, you can do this via a combination of keyboard shortcuts in PiP:
A button near the search bar or right-click menu works well for pages with one embedded video, but I feel like the experience becomes more confusing on pages with multiple embedded videos.
> Re PiP behavior on closing the tab - we have looked into this functionality because we felt similarly, but there are some security concerns with the implementation. It will probably not be on our radar this year.
Do you know what I like about PIP in FF? (No other browser)
On double-clicking it, it maximizes. I discovered this when I wanted to maximize it and surprisingly that happened. Plus, left and right arrows can be pressed for skipping.
These details prevent me to leave FF. Vivaldi has too many features on comparison, its team has stopped looking for details which makes it not a decent browser.
Do you know what I like about PIP in FF? (No other browser)
I had no idea this was a feature I only tried the J / L commands for sites like YouTube this changes everything thank you for posting that!
I didn't know PIP had more controls. You are right about some of us. Sometimes we don't read articles to find shortcuts.
There's a solution to this problem. How about showing the tip to user about specific feature (with a notification or something which leads to another webpage) when the user starts using it more frequently?
I'd like the ability to right click a video and have the option to download it. I'd also like an option to right click a video and get a direct URL that points to it. It would also be nice to be able to right click a video and have the option of copying the HTTP headers that were used in the request that loaded the video.
I'd like more controls in the PiP window, like the ability to seek, skip or stop, or change playback speed, along with volume controls, as well as a minimize button next to the exit button.
On KDE Plasma Desktop, the PiP window does not float above all other windows, including Firefox's browser windows. That means when you open a video in PiP, the PiP window will end up hiding behind the browser when you go to interact with the browser.
I had to make a special Kwin rule in order to keep the PiP window above others:
[Window settings for Picture-in-Picture] Description=Window settings for Picture-in-Picture above=true aboverule=3 title=Picture-in-Picture titlematch=1 wmclass=firefox wmclassmatch=1
The ability to cast a video or tab to a Chromecast or Roku would be nice, as well.
Just a heads up about chromecast - since you're at the mercy of google and their closed-source, constantly updating firmware, I don't think FF could ever properly support it. It's a bit like Apple stuff, you might be able to "hack" it to work, but it's really just designed to do what google allows it to do sadly.
Agree with all of that, however the Chromecast does support 3rd party applications that allow you cast tabs and content, and the CASTV2 protocol, along with the DIAL protocol, are used by hardware outside of Google's. For example, the Roku, Fire Stick and related products support CASTV2 and DIAL despite not being Chromecasts or Google's products, and iPhones and iPads support screen casting to Chromecasts.
But beyond proprietary hardware, there are protocols like Miracast and others that exist that are meant to be cross platform.
As it stands, if someone wants to take something they're viewing in their browsers on their TVs, they'll need to use Chrome/Chromium, Google products or Apple products.