If you ever tried creating audio content for the mobile web, you probably ran into a number of issues. Let’s face it, HTML5 audio isn’t all that great. In reality, the audio format was oversold by Apple in an effort to obliterate the Flash plugin.
Once the initial dust settled, programmers were left with an extremely limited audio tag that’s not supported well enough in most web browsers. Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari all have huge problems loading HTML5 audio files.
But that’s not all, here are some of the most common problems associated with HTML5 audio:
What’s more, when dealing with Safari, Apple created some new rules. That makes it difficult to create an app-like experience with HTML5 audio. Some people even suspect that the company created the rules intentionally in order to force the users to buy apps from the iTunes store.
The HTML5 audio stems don’t have an “auto-playing mode.” That means the audio won’t play until the page fully loads. Instead, the action has to be linked directly to a user-touch event. This is a huge disadvantage for gaming apps and micro-website that rely on audio.
While there are some “hacks” that can help you bypass the aforementioned limitations, every time Apple rolls out a new version of Safari, these hacks stop working. Moreover, certain iOS updates caused all types of additional problems for HTML5 audio.
So what can we do? Are we going to be forced to use this audio tag for the next few years? Isn’t there an alternative? Luckily, there actually is a great alternative – the amazing Web Audio API.
Web Audio API’s main objective is to transfer up-to-date audio capabilities, usually found in modern games into web and desktop applications. Although the API has been around for quite some time at this point, we’re only now seeing the browser support we need to rely on it.
Also, if you’re working on an API of your own and you’re looking for a solution that will streamline your workflow, you should definitely take a look at Stoplight.io. The platform gives users a new way to look at the API lifecycle – a perspective that spans across multiple dimensions, including visualization, design, and testing, just to name a few.
These days, the API is available on almost all widely-used web browsers on both desktop and mobile devices. It doesn’t even require an import. You can use the API to synthesize and manipulate sounds. For instance, you can create an authentic gun sound without relying on an audio file.
The Web Audio API gives a big opportunity for programmers across the globe to deliver better content than ever. In addition to all the advanced sound processing the API can do, it also allows you to create and mix some simple audio tracks.
And now, let’s look at some of the biggest benefits – as well as a few downsides – of the Web Audio API.
To sum up, here are some of the key benefits of the Web Audio API:
And there you have it, that’s just a short introduction to the Web Audio API. If you’re looking to start a music-related project or you want to improve the sound of your game, we strongly recommend using Web Audio API.
With that, we’re done. We hope you found the article helpful. Of course, if you have any questions regarding the article or you feel like we didn’t mention something crucial, feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below.
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