Occasional posts on subjects including field recording, London history and literature, other websites worth looking at, articles in the press, and news of sound-related events.

11 March 2013

Site update: Flash-only audio player for now

THE RECENT UPDATE to Flash player version 11.6.602.171 has clobbered this site’s HTML5/Flash hybrid audio players in Google Chrome. They just won’t work now and the company responsible for the software which builds them aren’t responding to support requests. Perhaps they’ve gone out of business.

This is a nuisance because various estimates of worldwide desktop browser usage put Chrome at number one. Therefore I’ve switched the players on the London Sound Survey back to their original Flash-only type. If you’re using any of the main browsers, you’ll be able to listen once more without difficulty.

It’s not so good for mobile devices. Neither iPads nor Android devices have native Flash support and, although there are ways round this, none of them seem straightforward. The best bet in the long term is to wait for Firefox to overcome its aversion to the MP3 format. It should be a lot easier to make custom audio players by styling the HTML5 audio element with jQuery and CSS without needing to integrate a Flash fallback player.

According to the Mozilla Developer Network, ‘Firefox will soon support the [MP3] format, but only when a third-party decoder is available.’

Better late than never.