W3C Promotes Web Audio API
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Tuesday, 13 July 2021

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

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

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Web Audio API is already widely used by developers creating music and sound effects for Web pages, and the W3C says it is also used for the creation of online musical instruments, for Web games, and for collaborative artworks such as sound installations.

What makes the Web Audio API different is that it has been designed for use for sound creation rather than just the playback of recorded audio. W3C says it "provides a rich set of modular building blocks which web and app 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 gaming, teaching, spatial audio for AR and VR, online audio editing apps, crossfading and compression for in-car music management, and audio analysis and visualization.

The acceptance as a standard by W3C is largely a formal move, 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. In view of this the W3C says creating sound with the Web Audio API has become a dependable, 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 Web Audio API v2. They says this will build on and enrich the first version of the API, adding more complex and much-requested features which were insufficiently developed to be included in the first version of the API.

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More Information

W3C Web Audio Announcement

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