This should be a quick project for whomever wants it, but potentially very powerful and popular.
The problem is pretty obvious: you load a new page, and some advertisement video starts yelling at you. Maybe the video is entirely hidden, or you opened up a slew of tabs, and now you're scrambling to find the right tab. You can mute the whole system sound, but what if you're watching a movie or voip/skype conferencing? You can mute firefox sound, but what if you're watching a youtube video?
The solution: An add on for firefox that does not allow sound to play from any tabs until you go to that tab and hit a button that says "allow sound for this tab". Simple. Build in an exception list for websites like ted.com or youtube.com and you're golden.
What I'd like to see:
Touch screen friendly. No tiny buttons! Even if the picture of the button is small, make the area that you have to click to activate the button much bigger.
The button placed in the bookmarks toolbar. It's already there for most of us, saving valuable screen space.
Button changes colors with sound on/off for that tab. Studies show that people identify the meaning of contrasting colors much faster than sentences.
Integrate with firefox personas. This is more of an advanced/down the line pretty feature.
I have looked through a few pages of firefox addons, and haven't found anything quite like this. If it does exist, I missed it, and I apologize.
Let me know what you think!