Saturday, September 09, 2006

Shut off those &%#! loud MySpace tunes... and more

If you're like me, you've probably come close to losing all sense of hearing after browsing to someone's MySpace page and getting blasted out of your chair by the page's chosen song. I don't know why these tunes have to play so damn loud, but I do know a way to shut them off.

First off, get the Firefox browser (, Mac and Windows), if you don't already have it. Once you have Firefox you can customize it with any number of add-ons that tweak the browser's action in some specific way. You can find add-on headquarters here..

Once you're at the add-ons home page, search for a program called Greasemonkey, which uses scripts (small pieces of code) to let you customize the way Web pages look and behave. You'll see a list of tags with a number beside each; this number shows how many scripts are available for that tag.

There are over 150 scripts devoted to MySpace alone, from how to download and play its media features to how to avoid them altogether. Beside each script's name is a description of what it does and a rating from people who've used it. The script I downloaded (unfortunately I can't find its name) disables the media player on MySpace pages so the tunes or videos won't play, but you can easily turn them on at any time.

There are Greasemonkey scripts for dozens of other MySpace features, such as removing the "Cool New People" box, stripping out the ads, and much more. There are also more than 270 scripts for tweaking various aspects of Google (and this doesn't even include the 72 covering Gmail), as well as scripts for, Flickr, and various design and color themes.

If you've ever wished that you could make one of your favorite Web sites work a bit better, you probably can do just that. Check out the Firefox add-ons page for Greasemonkey and other ways to customize and improve your Web experience.

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