HTML5 Web Audio API becomes Candidate Recommendation

The W3C "Web Audio API" is one of the many different APIs of the HTML5 Landscape. In general, these capabilities promise to turn the browser into a more capable runtime platform for Web applications. Quoting from the introduction and the abstract:

"The introduction of the audio element in HTML5 is very important, allowing for basic streaming audio playback. But, it is not powerful enough to handle more complex audio applications. For sophisticated web-based games or interactive applications, another solution is required. It is a goal of [the Web Audio API] to include the capabilities found in modern game audio engines as well as some of the mixing, processing, and filtering tasks that are found in modern desktop audio production applications." (Introduction)

"[The Web Audio API] specification describes a high-level Web API for processing and synthesizing audio in web applications. The primary paradigm is of an audio routing graph, where a number of AudioNode objects are connected together to define the overall audio rendering. The actual processing will primarily take place in the underlying implementation (typically optimized Assembly/C/C++ code), but direct script processing and synthesis is also supported. [The Web Audio API] is designed to be used in conjunction with other APIs and elements on the web platform, notably: XMLHttpRequest (using the responseType and response attributes). For games and interactive applications, it is anticipated to be used with the canvas 2D and WebGL 3D graphics APIs." (Abstract)

The Web Audio API has been updated from W3C Working Draft (WD) to Candidate Recommendation (CR), meaning that this is a good moment for potential users of this new capability to look at the current specification, and to provide feedback to the community.

The Web Audio API is one part of the sizable landscape of HTML5 specifications. As it is tracked on, it currently has 138 active specifications.

The Author

Erik Wilde

Lead API Technologist

An expert in protocol design and structured data, Erik Wilde consults with organizations to help them get the most out of APIs and microservices. Erik has been involved in the development of innovative technologies since the advent of the Web and is active in the IETF and W3C communities. He obtained his PhD from ETH Zurich and served as Associate Adjunct Professor at Berkeley before working at EMC, Siemens and now CA Technologies.

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