Friday, August 17, 2012

Changing my audio player again [updated]

| »
Computer speaker

I’m still on vacation (though it’s over in a few days – nooooo …), but I’ve managed to kidnap my computer back from my Facebook-addicted friend just long enough to notice how crappy the recently revamped music player I updated my music posts with really is. It turns out it doesn’t work at all on Chrome (at least from what I’ve heard and tried), and only a few specific plugins even allowed it to work with Firefox at all. In addition, it automatically buffers the entire audio file on each page load, which practically overwhelms my already limited monthly bandwidth allowance from FileDen.

So, after a bit more searching and tinkering around, I’ve arrived at the HTML5 <audio> element, which is the most promising so far. It boasts cross-browser compatibility (so no more being left out for you poor Chromians) thanks to the ability to swap between audio sources (MP3 or OGG), a relatively decent interface (though the Firefox version oddly lacks any volume level controls), and (particularly important on my end) the ability to prevent it from auto-loading the audio before clicking ‘play’. Here’s a little comparison (though note that the Firefox player I’ve seen doesn’t have the empty ‘X’ space above the control bar):

Comparison of HTML5 audio players in Chrome, Safari and Firefox

So, yet again, I am to spend the following few hours slowly and tediously converting all my MP3 files to OGG, then slowly and tediously uploading all my songs to FileDen (and re-uploading the ones that inexplicably fail to load the first or second or third time(s) around), then slowly and tediously revising every one of my 50-or-so music posts, then (slightly less) slowly and tediously testing them out to make sure they actually work this time around. Expect some major stability issues with the song posts until this is all sorted out.

Aren’t my vacations just the best?

UPDATE: 08/18/12 1:43 AM ET —

Okay, so that took even longer than I expected. But I did manage to safely upload all my tunes and update my song posts accordingly with the shiny new HTML5 <audio> with surprisingly few complications (at least for now). The only problem – because of course there’s a hitch somewhere – is that the player interface doesn’t appear to agree with my Firefox (v14.0.1) and has a nasty tendency to simply disappear the second I click “play”. At least, that’s what it does on the random songs I try it on.

So, yeah, instead of screwing over Chromians, looks like I’ve now kicked Firefoxers, instead. W00t.