W3C promotes Web Audio API

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The Web Audio API was promoted by the W3C and is now an official standard as a JavaScript API for creating and manipulating audio content directly in web browsers.

The W3C describes the Web Audio API as a JavaScript API for creating, shaping, and manipulating sounds directly in a web browser.

The Web Audio API is already widely used by developers creating music and sound effects for web pages, and W3C reports that it is also used for creating musical instruments online, for web games. and for collaborative works of art such as sound installations.

What makes the Web Audio API different is that it was designed to be used for sound creation rather than just playing back recorded audio. W3C says it “provides a rich set of modular building blocks that web and application developers can combine to create a wide range of applications.” Suggested uses include auditory feedback in user interfaces, musical instruments, soundtracks and effects for entertainment and games, education, spatial audio for augmented and virtual reality, computer applications. online audio editing, crossfading and compression for in-car music management, as well as audio analysis and visualization.

Acceptance as a standard by the W3C is largely a formal step, as the API was already standardized and deployed as a royalty-free feature in web browsers and other devices and platforms, both on desktop and mobile computer. In view of this, the W3C claims that creating sound with the Web Audio API has become a reliable, widely deployed, built-in capability, eliminating the need to install plugins or download separate applications.

Looking to the future, the Web Audio working group has already started work on the Web Audio API v2. They say this will build on and enrich the first version of the API, adding more complex and high-demand features that were not sufficiently developed to be included in the first version of the API.

More information

W3C Web Audio Announcement

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