Animation.startTime

This is an experimental technology
Check the Browser compatibility table carefully before using this in production.

The Animation.startTime property of the Animation interface is a double-precision floating-point value which indicates the scheduled time when an animation's playback should begin. 

An animation’s start time is the time value of its DocumentTimeline when its target KeyframeEffect is scheduled to begin playback. An animation’s start time is initially unresolved (meaning that it's null because it has no value).

Syntax

var animationStartedWhen = Animation.startTime;

Animation.startTime = newStartTime;

Value

A floating-point number representing the current time in milliseconds, or null if no time is set. You can read this value to determine what the start time is currently set at, and you can change this value to make the animation start at a different time.

Examples

In the Running on Web Animations API example, the we can sync all new animated cats by giving them all the same startTime as the original running cat:

var catRunning = document.getElementById ("withWAAPI").animate(keyframes, timing);

/* A function that makes new cats. */
function addCat(){
  var newCat = document.createElement("div");
  newCat.classList.add("cat");
  return newCat;
}

/* This is the function that adds a cat to the WAAPI column */
function animateNewCatWithWAAPI() {
  // make a new cat
  var newCat = addCat();

  // animate said cat with the WAAPI's "animate" function
  var newAnimationPlayer = newCat.animate(keyframes, timing);

  // set the animation's start time to be the same as the original .cat#withWAAPI
  newAnimationPlayer.startTime = catRunning.startTime;

  // Add the cat to the pile.
  WAAPICats.appendChild(newCat);
}

Reduced time precision

To offer protection against timing attacks and fingerprinting, the precision of animation.startTime might get rounded depending on browser settings.
In Firefox, the privacy.reduceTimerPrecision  preference is enabled by default and defaults to 20us in Firefox 59; in 60 it will be 2ms.

// reduced time precision (2ms) in Firefox 60
animation.startTime;
// 23.404
// 24.192
// 25.514
// ...


// reduced time precision with `privacy.resistFingerprinting` enabled
animation.startTime;
// 49.8
// 50.6
// 51.7
// ...

In Firefox, you can also enabled privacy.resistFingerprinting, the precision will be 100ms or the value of privacy.resistFingerprinting.reduceTimerPrecision.microseconds, whichever is larger.

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
Web Animations
The definition of 'Animation.startTime' in that specification.
Working Draft Editor's draft.

Browser compatibility

Update compatibility data on GitHub
DesktopMobile
ChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafariAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge MobileFirefox for AndroidOpera for AndroidSafari on iOSSamsung Internet
Basic support
Experimental
Chrome Full support 39Edge ? Firefox Full support 48
Full support 48
No support 39 — 48
Disabled
Disabled From version 39 until version 48 (exclusive): this feature is behind the dom.animations-api.core.enabled preference (needs to be set to true). To change preferences in Firefox, visit about:config.
IE No support NoOpera Full support 26Safari No support NoWebView Android Full support 39Chrome Android Full support 39Edge Mobile ? Firefox Android Full support 48
Full support 48
No support 39 — 48
Disabled
Disabled From version 39 until version 48 (exclusive): this feature is behind the dom.animations-api.core.enabled preference (needs to be set to true). To change preferences in Firefox, visit about:config.
Opera Android Full support 26Safari iOS No support NoSamsung Internet Android Full support 4.0

Legend

Full support  
Full support
No support  
No support
Compatibility unknown  
Compatibility unknown
Experimental. Expect behavior to change in the future.
Experimental. Expect behavior to change in the future.
User must explicitly enable this feature.
User must explicitly enable this feature.

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

Last updated by: fscholz,