Web Audio without the Flash
July 16, 2010 9:31 PM   Subscribe

Is there a web audio player that doesn't use Flash?

I have a website with mp3 audio samples (as in you click play to hear the sample - not one of those annoying websites that blasts you with music as soon as you land) and would like to move away from using a Flash player.

Is there any non-Flash web player that has a nice UI?
posted by stewiethegreat to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Well, if you just link to the file, it will open with a default media player- Quicktime for Firefox, WM Player for IE I think. That's not really a "player" though. I suppose you could embed a Quicktime movie of the audio?? But I don't know why you'd want to. This is what Flash is good at.
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:01 PM on July 16, 2010

this is possible with HTML5, just like this:

It will end up looking different on different browsers and may not work with all of them. The reason you would need both .oga and .mp3 is because Firefox doesn't support .mp3 in the default audio player.

Here's a good tutorial.
posted by azarbayejani at 10:13 PM on July 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

looks like my code didn't work. I really should use preview more. Just take a look at the tutorial
posted by azarbayejani at 10:16 PM on July 16, 2010

HTML5 is one option, and other proprietary plugins are another.

Ultimately though, Flash is the most widely-supported means of doing this. Is there a particular reason why you don't want to use Flash?
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 4:06 AM on July 17, 2010

If you're using Wordpress, wpaudio.com is a simple, sleek audio plugin.

If you're not using Wordpress, WPAudio is based on SoundManager 2, which also looks like it would do what you want.

Yahoo Media Player is javascript based as well, although I don't like the flyout widget at the bottom of the browser so much.
posted by chocolatepeanutbuttercup at 4:44 AM on July 17, 2010

chocolatepeanutbuttercup, SoundManager is Flash based (with HTML5 fallback), as is the Yahoo thing. Just because you don't see a typical Flash interface doesn't mean there isn't an invisible Flash object being instantiated in the page.

If you try to avoid Flash then you're just counting on the user having some other plugin installed (such as Quicktime, Windows Media Player, etc.) that can handle that file type, which is not always a true assumption. If the question is which browser plugin can you most count on being installed, then Flash is probably the winner.
posted by Rhomboid at 7:02 AM on July 17, 2010

...unless your target audience is using an iPhone or iPad or (like a colleague of mine) simply despises Flash and refuses to install it. HTML5 is taking over and being prepared for it is a good thing. I'd like to see more alternatives myself. Flash as a fallback as azarbayejani suggests is a good idea and is more what the original question asks for.
posted by caution live frogs at 7:27 AM on July 17, 2010

I'm also one of those people that block Flash, which is why I knew right away that those two links were Flash based players.

I guess we need to take a step back here and reconsider the question. Is it about accessibility, i.e. having the most number of people able to hear the sound? Or is it only about appearance of the UI? If it's the former then it's my contention that you can't get there without Flash, because there are an awfully large number of older browsers out there and not everybody can or will just run something newer (I'm also one of those.) On the other hand, it's also obvious that you can't get the best coverage with just Flash either, so a blended Flash/HTML5 solution is probably called for.

If the question is only about the appearance of the player then really we shouldn't be discussing the underlying technology at all.
posted by Rhomboid at 8:21 AM on July 17, 2010

Best answer: I used jPlayer on a project and was happy with it. It's a HTML5/fall back to Flash under the covers solution.
posted by snowymorninblues at 10:32 AM on July 17, 2010

Oh hell yes. +1 for jPlayer. Their demo seems to work perfectly on an iPhone.
posted by 2oh1 at 1:20 PM on July 20, 2010

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