Modify/hack a Google Hangout "feature": Press to Talk
October 1, 2013 6:22 AM   Subscribe

I want to use a Google Hangout "On Air" for a project, but a tiny limitation is getting in the way. I would like to bypass the 'Press to Talk' functionality with a tiny browser script/hack/modification. My programming knowledge is tiny, but I am sure this could be done super super simply with a script loaded in the browser. Perhaps there's better solution. Any ideas?

If you take a look at this screenshot I made of a typical Hangout you can see the 'Press to Talk' button highlighted. (I have also clicked 'Inspect Element' in Chrome and the CSS for this can be seen in the same screen capture.)

This option only appears when users want to watch a YouTube video simultaneously. It exists so that chat doesn't drown out the sound of the video playing. I want to turn it off, or design a script that keeps the button virtually pressed. The script would have to be easy to re-produce, so that people at different locations could install it into their browsers without much hassle.

Could you help me write such a thing? Is it even possible? Perhaps you can direct me to a simpler solution?

Many thanks
posted by 0bvious to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
I started digging into the page to see if it was possible, but then I realized that the button mouse over text says you can "click once to toggle on", that is, instead of holding the button down, just click on it like any other button, and it will stay pressed. Does that solve your problem?
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 7:23 AM on October 1, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks for the response.

That is indeed true, but the click to stay on doesn't seem to stick. For one, when there are multiple people it toggles on and off itself. Secondly, if you start a new video you then have to toggle the button again. I'd prefer to avoid that.

Basically, I want to use this for a project that would be stupid proof. I don't want to have to give any instructions to people, and I want everything to work out of the box without any issues. This might be a big ask, but as you seem to suggest from your digging in the code, I can't imagine it would be very difficult to code?
posted by 0bvious at 7:58 AM on October 1, 2013

The top two answers here might be the ticket, loaded as a userscript.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:20 AM on October 1, 2013

You might find Greasemonkey helpful. It's an add-on to Firefox and maybe Chrome too. It lets you create scripts that run on whatever website you choose. I used this to click on a button automatically every time I load a certain webpage, which was my first minor programming accomplishment. (I only have minor ones.)

Stackoverflow will be a good resource for you. Use your google-fu first and do as much as you can, then put together a very detailed and specific question, and the community there will help you. They get irritable if you don't follow the rules, though.

You said this button only appears in certain situations on the webpage? If you go the Greasemonkey or Javascript route, look into something called waitForKeyElements, which helps when the thing you want to change on a website is not there initially for some reason, maybe because it's dynamic, or AJAX, or node.js, or blah blah blah I don't really know anything about front-end web development.

You may also find Firebug useful. This is another add-on for Firefox and Chrome. It's like a souped-up version of the standard browser 'Inspect Element' thing.

Good luck!
posted by boghead at 4:24 PM on October 1, 2013

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