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Support for the Web Audio API is growing

[2012-09-30] dev, html5, javascript, clientjs
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Previously, there were two competing APIs for computing audio on the web [1]: (Desktop) Chrome had the Web Audio API, Firefox had the Audio Data API. The former has won this competition and support for it is growing:

  • Firefox: the Audio Data API is now deprecated on Firefox and the Web Audio API will be supported soon. Quoting “Web Audio In Firefox” by Robert O’Callahan:
    We don't have a specific date set for Web Audio support, but it is a high priority.

    At some point we will revisit MediaStreams Processing to get the features that Web Audio is missing, e.g., seamless stitching together of an audio and video playlist from a series of clips. That is lower priority.

  • Safari 6: supported, including iOS 6.
The API is still not supported on Android and Internet Explorer, though. It’s good to see that we are moving towards a common API in this domain. Getting cross-browser audio right was a major challenge for the HTML5 version of Angry Birds [2]. If you want to find out more about the Web Audio API, you can watch the video “Turning the Web Up to 11” (by Chris Wilson at Google I/O 2012) on YouTube:
This session will cover the web audio capabilities for games and music. We'll walk through the audio element and the Web Audio API, and dive deep into using the Web Audio API for game audio and building music applications. We'll also cover how to use the Node graph structure to build audio processing chains, and how to use analysis to do interesting tricks.


  1. Web audio APIs and the low-level approach
  2. Why the Angry Birds webapp needs Flash