Experimenting with the HTML 5 audio tag

Optimistically and naively I replaced the current method of playing audio content in Twitizer (QuickTime plugin) with the HTML 5 audio tag.

Result

  • Playing MP3 files only worked in Google Chrome.
  • Opera showed a control box, but the control buttons didn’t work.
  • Firefox just showed a box with an “X”. Not what I had expected.
  • There’s no agreement on what formats to support, at least at the moment, according to this: HTML5 Audio.
  • There’s no support what-so-ever for mobile audio formats like AMR and 3GPP.

In part it could be a problem with the URL to the MP3 file, but clearly it worked well in Chrome. I know HTML 5 is not locked down yet, so…

Bummer!

it seems I’m not alone: The State of HTML5 Audio – PhobosLab

Advice to W3C

Decide on and enforce a minimum set of media formats (this applies also to the video tag) that all browsers must support, and I mean all, including browsers in mobile phones. This is not a problem today, as all audio is anyway “decompressed” in software, and decoders are readily available.

At least the following should be supported: MP3, OGG, AMR, 3GPP, WAV, MID/RMI.