Audio player for the iPad era: jPlayer

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Known fact: you cannot use Flash-based applications when browsing the web on the iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch. That means that most audio players that we see and use everyday on the web (magazines, artists’ websites, myspace, etc.) are useless on those devices.

Solution: you’ve probably heard of HTML 5, as Wikipedia puts it “the next major revision of HTML (HyperText Markup Language), the core markup language of the World Wide Web”.
HTML 5 will let our browsers deal with audio and video contents without the need of proprietary tools like Flash, Silverlight and so on.
Good news? Well, yes. Unfortunately things are not ready for prime-time yet. But the commercial/social impact devices like the iPad are having is pushing companies and developers to move quickly towards the new standard. Youtube and Vimeo are testing their HTML 5 players since a few months.

But what about audio players that let users listen to your latest album on your website when browsing on your couch with your brand new iPad?
An interesting (and elegant) solution comes from a small Italian/Scottish web company, Happyworm.
Their player is called jPlayer and it has already reached a quite mature 1.1.0 version.

In a few words jPlayer allows you to:

  • play and control audio files in your webpage
  • create and style an audio player using just HTML and CSS
  • add sound effects to your jQuery projects
  • stream faster using HTML5 and alternative ogg format support

All of this with HTML5 audio support for compliant browsers that allow mp3 or ogg format, while supporting other browsers using mp3 format with no visible Flash.

Even better: jPlayer is an Open Source project, released under the MIT license. So, feel free to download, tweak things and contribute to the development. Donations are also welcome.
A Google group is available to discuss the project.

Did you find out about similar projects? Please share them with us…

(Photo CC by Na’ on Flickr)

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