According to multiple reports, Netflix is testing a new pop-out player for those who use Netflix’s website to stream their favourite shows. While I tend to only use Netflix’s apps, there’s something elegant about this new approach — if you have access to the feature, clicking a little button on Netflix’s player will launch it in a separate floating window.
This window sits on top of anything else you’re doing on your computer, which means it’s the perfect way to distract yourself when you have eight hours of joyful spreadsheets awaiting you at work.
The problem? This is what Netflix sent to Engadget when the site asked about the feature:
You don’t need to wait on Netflix to let you try this feature — if it ever does. With a tiny tweak or two, you can create a Netflix pop-out player of your very own.
To turn any HTML5 video player into a pop-out player, just create a bookmarklet. Create a bookmark for any site, and then right-click on it and edit the bookmark’s address to replace it with this code (all one line):
Then, whenever you’re on a website such as YouTube or Netflix, you can click on that bookmark to pop out the video into its own player. Similar to Netflix’s implementation, the picture-in-picture video will sit on top of whatever you’re working on. You’ll have to keep Chrome open, but you don’t have to be in a Chrome window to see the picture-in-picture player.
If you’re having trouble getting this to work, make sure you’ve updated to the latest version of Chrome’s browser.
Picture-in-picture functionality should be arriving with Firefox 68 (releasing on July 9). Until then, you’ll have to use an extension to replicate this picture-in-picture feature. Install Floating Player, and then click on the icon in your browser toolbar whenever you’re watching a Netflix video. You’ll have to close out the video in the original tab once the floating tab has opened up, but it’s... something.
You’ll also notice that this pop-out player doesn’t sit on top of your other windows. To fix that, grab the DeskPins app for Windows, which allows you to pin any window you want on top of others. (Pennywise or Helium also work, if you don’t feel like fussing with an extension+utility combination.)