I just wanted to embed two short audio clips in a web page. Just two little "play" buttons. Thats all. I started with a Flash player, "borrowing" one used by Google Reader:
This worked fine, but its a brave new world. I decided to use HTML5's <audio> tag, falling back to the Flash player if <audio> is not supported. This results in:
Loaded it into Chrome, it looks nice and plays fine. Life is good. I feel like a real web-enabled kindof guy. Before posting I try it in Firefox... whoops, it doesn't play. Firefox 3.6 doesn't handle MP3 files, most likely due to patent issues. So Firefox has an empty gray box with a little "X" through it.
In fact there is no single audio format supported by all common browsers. Supplying both MP3 and Ogg Vorbis is recommended for maximum compatibility. Next step: re-encode the audio and supply multiple formats. Ogg has to be first, because apparently if Firefox cannot play the first format it does not try subsequent ones.
This sortof works. Not really, but sortof. Chrome doesn't seem to like the Ogg file and plays static for the last half second instead. It probably doesn't play in Opera, which considers the src attribute of the audio tag to be mandatory. I have no idea what IE will do. At least Firefox is happy.