I’m pleased to announce the immediate availability of Plasma Browser Integration version 1.7.6 on the Chrome Web Store as well as Firefox Add-Ons page. This release comes with a few bug fixes, performance improvements, and translation updates.
Plasma Browser Integration bridges the gap between your browser and the Plasma desktop. It lets you share links, find browser tabs in KRunner, monitor download progress in the notification center, and control music and video playback anytime from within Plasma, or even from your phone using KDE Connect!
(also see the Changelog Page on our Community Wiki)
Detecting camouflaged Chromium-based browsers
Chromium-based browsers such as Vivaldi and Brave have recently changed their user agents to match that of regular Chrome to avoid being spuriously blocked. However, this also meant that media controls and other extension features were mapped to Chrome instead. This has been addressed by also checking our parent process – something a website can’t so, so you’ll still be impersonating a “proper” Chrome on the web. If there’s any other Chrome-based browser you want to see explicitly supported, let us know!
Better video iframe handling
The extension is loaded into every website as well as its iframes. When navigating away from the page that is currently playing, media controls will be rescinded. Due to a bug this did not work for iframes, leading to a popuplar bug where Plasma would show ghost videos playing on pages like Tweetdeck.
Moreover, the website’s DOM is also monitored to notice when a player is dynamically added or removed, for instance when a video overlay opens or closes. Unfortunately, this monitoring can be quite expensive and became a bottleneck on pages with lots of dynamically loaded content like is the case when viewing a large merge request on KDE’s GitLab instance. This release significantly improves performance here.
Improved media controls
As usual, this release brings some improvements to media controls. Short sounds and videos are currently ignored to avoid trying to control e.g. a “new message” sound or short hover video previews. However, some live stream implementations don’t report the correct duration of Infinity but gradually fill up their time bucket every few seconds. Previously, the extension only checked duration once to determine whether to provide media controls. With this update duration is continuously checked and media controls would become available eventually.
Furthermore, for websites that do not set album art through Media Session API, the video player’s poster is now used as album cover. This is the cover image that is often shown when the video isn’t playing.