Thursday, 11 October 2007

One More Reason Why We Need Audio (And Video) In The Browser

Via Slashdot

But the content experience on the Web is crap. Go to Aquarium Drunkard, click an MP3. If you don’t get a 404, you’ll get a Save As… dialog or the SAME GOD DAMN QUICKTIME BAR FROM 1995. OMFG. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? THIS IS ALL WE’VE ACCOMPLISHED IN 15 YEARS ON THE WEB? It makes me insane.

So we have media consumption experiences with no context (desktop media players) and an incredible, endless, emergent contextual experience where media consumption is a pain in the ass, illegal, or non-existent (the Web). FIX IT. Your fans are pouring their music-loving hearts into blogs, Wikipedia, etc and what tools have you given them to work with? Not much, unfortunately.


  1. Hahaha!
    So true. So true.
    I wish Flash was open source, then we'd have a real cool HTML replacement.

  2. Splendid!
    Two questions:
    * will the new offline API work with audio and video, even a 10Gb+ music collection?
    * will the new HTML5 audio and video elements be ready in Firefox 3? :)
    If yes to both, that would be truly awesome.

  3. Don't even think of bundling QuickTime - I don't want, nor need that crap on my system.

  4. justsaynotoQT , I believe Mr. O'Callahan's context is the WHATWG/HTML5 video and audio media element tags, which would make the browser responsible for rendering these media formats. The browser can implement with whatever code it chooses. See
    Chris, in my limited understanding I don't think the offline API's opportunistic cache makes sense as the long-term repository for a huge music collection. BUT, perhaps the browser can be smart enough to remember "The user previously saved the media element on this page to My Music/Library/Elvis Costello/Alison.ogg" when you're offline.

  5. I like Quicktime, it does the job fine. But never mind that. It would still be nice if Firefox had native support for ogg and such (I guess mp3 is out of the question, which actually makes it kind of useless, but oh well), maybe showed a nice player with VU-meter and save button and such.
    �I believe Mr. O'Callahan's context is the WHATWG/HTML5 video and audio media element tags, which would make the browser responsible for rendering these media formats.�
    There is no relation between the ability of the browser to play audio and video natively, and the video and audio elements that the WHATWG is currently proposing.

  6. >> I like Quicktime, it does the job fine.
    God, I never seen a computer yet where Quicktime works. There are always glitches in the video, or it has taken over every video mime type but it can only play half of them or it is popping up some stupid box asking to download the next version - Only 200meg!! (over dial up - nice one!)
    You guy should do a post - the video tag and why you should care!

  7. Laurens Holst,
    I'm not sure what you mean. As I read it, the HTML 5 working draft does indeed require browsers to play audio and video media elements, and specifies a detailed DOM interface for pausing, looping, muting, etc. says "User agents should support Ogg Theora video and Ogg Vorbis audio, as well as the Ogg container format", and elsewhere "User agents may support any audio codecs and container formats. User agents must support the WAVE container format with audio encoded using the PCM format." It doesn't mention VU meters but says "Other controls may also be made available.".