Howler.js simplifies browser audio

GoldFire Studios has released Howler.js to help simplify audio in the browser.

GoldFire Studios's CEO James Simpson said, although animation has come on in leaps and bounds along with other technical advancements (file system access, offline apps), browser audio had lagged behind.

HTML5 Audio, according to Simpson, is fine for music but not when you need low-latency precision feedback, such as for sound effects. Web Audio API is better for the immediate feedback required by apps and games, but currently lacks widespread support and is relatively complex. Because of these drawbacks, Simpson said developers of online games have largely settled for HTML5 Audio with a Flash fallback, which isn't great when more users are flocking to mobile platforms that can't install the Flash plug-in.

In order to deal with such problems, GoldFire Studios created and released the Howler.js library to default to the Web Audio API and use HTML5 Audio as a fallback. Simpson said it “greatly simplifies the API and handles all of the tricky bits automatically”.

Through automation and ease of use, Simpson said he now believed that audio in the browser was ready for use beyond basic streaming: “The tools are already in today’s modern browsers. High quality audio support is here today, and Web Audio API and HTML5 combine to offer truly plug-in-free, cross-browser audio support. Browser audio is no longer a second-class citizen, so let’s all stop treating it like one and keep making apps for the open web.”

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

The Creative Bloq team is made up of a group of design fans, and has changed and evolved since Creative Bloq began back in 2012. The current website team consists of six full-time members of staff: Editor Kerrie Hughes, Deputy Editor Rosie Hilder, Deals Editor Beren Neale, Senior News Editor Daniel Piper, Digital Arts and Design Editor Ian Dean, and Staff Writer Amelia Bamsey, as well as a roster of freelancers from around the world. The 3D World and ImagineFX magazine teams also pitch in, ensuring that content from 3D World and ImagineFX is represented on Creative Bloq.