My friend Cole just got an iPad. It’s pretty neat. We quote Phil Dunphy ruthlessly everytime we pick it up. We’ve affectionally named it ‘game changer’ and flight control is a mezmerizing game. And for all you comics fanatics – even the Marvel app is pretty spiffy. It lets you view comics panel by panel or in full view.
Of course, the first thing I did when I got my hands on the game changer was to fire up audioshocker.com, and some other websites under the AS umbrella. Here is what I found:
nealshyam.com – looking good in the neighborhood (pure html)
stoutandporter.com – not bad baby. (WP, custom theme)
nickmarino.net – hot tranny mess (WP, customized theme)
audioshocker.com – 50% functional. (WP, customized theme)
75% of these sites run WP, and that alone should qualify them to run fairly well on the iPad – and they do. You can definitely navigate, view posts, read the main page, etc. However, without Flash the AudioShocker page is robbed of its most critical, longest running, and eponymous feature: the podcast!
I did a bit of searching for flash alternative mp3 players – and you know what – there really isn’t a comprehensive alternative. The main 1pixel out player we use is simply fantastic, but that’s clearly a no go. Next, up was the JW player we used to have in the sidebar. Again, no go. How about these newfangled HTML5 elements? The entire world is up in arms about streaming video from Hulu / Netflix, so clearly there must be a simple solution for audio, right? Wrong.
The most significant issue is the cross-browser implementation, where lack of a common supported audio format among browsers causes complications. If developers want to take full advantage of all browsers that support HTML 5 audio, they’ll need to create both MP3 and Ogg (and in Opera’s case, WAV) versions of the audio file they want to stream!
Funny isn’t it? I usually bash Flash for being a waste of bandwidth and a crutch for lazy web designers, but perhaps I should revise my statements. Flash is still terrible for plenty of reasons, but it does allow coders to effectively write out browser incompatibility problems. I have never had to worry about the podcast player not working on someone’s computer. Further, I challenge anyone to tell me, with a straight face, that they use ogg files.
There is no way on earth I am going to create (actually, there is no way Nick is going to create) three separate audio files, post them to the page using some hacked together css/html that prioritizes/uses fallbacks to trick your browser into playing the correct audio. That goes against everything the Internet stands for (easy info sharing).
Nope. WWC, Adobe, Mozilla, WebKit — get your shit together! Either standardize rendering engines to recognize multiple formats in the audio tag, or offload all of the necessary hackery to a simple js library. I want to make the AS website HTML5 compliant as soon as possible, and this is holding me up.