Media Session API

This is an experimental technology
Because this technology's specification has not stabilized, check the compatibility table for usage in various browsers. Also note that the syntax and behavior of an experimental technology is subject to change in future versions of browsers as the specification changes.

The Media Session API provides a way to customize media notifications. It does this by providing metadata for display by the user agent of the media your web app is playing, and allows you to create event handlers, to define your own behaviors for a user-agent playback controls. The aim of this is allowing users to know what's playing, and to control it, without opening the specific page that launched it.

Media Session Concepts and Usage

The MediaMetadata interface lets a web site provide rich metadata to the platform UI for media that is playing. This metadata includes the title, artist (creator) name, album (collection), and artwork. The platform can show this metadata in media centers, notifications, device lockscreens, etc.

The MediaSession interface lets users control playback of media through user-agent defined interface elements. Interaction with these elements even trigger handlers in the web page, playing the media. Since multiple pages may be simultaneously using this API, the user agent is responsible for calling the correct page's event handlers. The user agent provides default behaviors, when no page-defined behavior is available.

Interfaces

MediaMetadata
Allows a web page to provide rich media metadata, for display in a platform UI.
MediaSession
Allows a web page to provide custom behaviors, for standard media playback interactions.

Examples

The following example shows feature detection for the Media Session API. It then instantiates a metadata object for the session, and adds event handlers for the user control actions:

if ('mediaSession' in navigator) {
  navigator.mediaSession.metadata = new MediaMetadata({
    title: 'Unforgettable',
    artist: 'Nat King Cole',
    album: 'The Ultimate Collection (Remastered)',
    artwork: [
      { src: 'https://dummyimage.com/96x96',   sizes: '96x96',   type: 'image/png' },
      { src: 'https://dummyimage.com/128x128', sizes: '128x128', type: 'image/png' },
      { src: 'https://dummyimage.com/192x192', sizes: '192x192', type: 'image/png' },
      { src: 'https://dummyimage.com/256x256', sizes: '256x256', type: 'image/png' },
      { src: 'https://dummyimage.com/384x384', sizes: '384x384', type: 'image/png' },
      { src: 'https://dummyimage.com/512x512', sizes: '512x512', type: 'image/png' },
    ]
  });

  navigator.mediaSession.setActionHandler('play', function() { /* Code excerpted. */ });
  navigator.mediaSession.setActionHandler('pause', function() { /* Code excerpted. */ });
  navigator.mediaSession.setActionHandler('seekbackward', function() { /* Code excerpted. */ });
  navigator.mediaSession.setActionHandler('seekforward', function() { /* Code excerpted. */ });
  navigator.mediaSession.setActionHandler('previoustrack', function() { /* Code excerpted. */ });
  navigator.mediaSession.setActionHandler('nexttrack', function() { /* Code excerpted. */ });
}

Some user agents disable autoplay for media elements on mobile devices and require a user gesture to start media. The following example adds a pointerup event to an on-page play button, which is then used to kick off the media session code:

playButton.addEventListener('pointerup', function(event) {
  var audio = document.querySelector('audio');

  // User interacted with the page. Let's play audio...
  audio.play()
  .then(_ => { /* Set up media session controls, as shown above. */ })
  .catch(error => { console.log(error) });
});

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
Media Session Standard
The definition of 'metadata' in that specification.
Editor's Draft Initial definition.

Browser Compatibility

Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari (WebKit)
Basic support No support ? ? No support ?
Feature Android Webview Chrome for Android Firefox Mobile (Gecko) Firefox OS IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support No support 57 ? ? ? No support ?

Document Tags and Contributors

 Contributors to this page: jpmedley, bunnybooboo
 Last updated by: jpmedley,