Join MDN and developers like you at Mozilla's View Source conference, 12-14 September in Berlin, Germany. Learn more at https://viewsourceconf.org

Summary

The HTML <audio> element is used to embed sound content in documents. It may contain one or more audio sources, represented using the src attribute or the <source> element; the browser will choose the most suitable one.

Fallback content for browsers not supporting the <audio> element can be added too, inside the opening and closing <audio></audio> tags.

The most basic playback functionality can be made available using the controls attribute (see below); for more advanced usage, audio playback and controls can be manipulated using the HTML Media API, and more specifically the features defined in the HTMLAudioElement interface.

You can also use the Web Audio API to directly generate and manipulate audio streams from JavaScript code. See Web Audio API for details.

Usage Context

  • Permitted content: If the element has a src attribute: zero or more <track> elements, followed by transparent content that contains no media elements — that is, no <audio> or <video> elements.
  • Else: zero or more <source> elements, followed by zero or more <track> elements, followed by transparent content that contains no media elements, that is no <audio> or <video> elements.
Content categories Flow content, phrasing content, embedded content. If it has a controls attribute: interactive content and palpable content.
Permitted content If the element has a src attribute: zero or more <track> element, followed by transparent content that contains no media elements, that is no <audio> or <video>
Else: zero or more <source> element, followed by zero or more <track> element, followed by transparent content that contains no media elements, that is no <audio> or <video>.
Tag omission None, both the starting and ending tag are mandatory.
Permitted parent elements Any element that accepts embedded content.
DOM interface HTMLAudioElement

Attributes

This element includes the global attributes.

autoplay
A Boolean attribute; if specified (even if the value is "false"!), the audio will automatically begin playback as soon as it can do so, without waiting for the entire audio file to finish downloading.
autobuffer Obsolete since Gecko 2.0
A Boolean attribute; if specified, the audio will automatically begin being downloaded, even if not set to autoplay. This continues until the media cache is full, or the entire audio file has been downloaded, whichever comes first. This should only be used when it is expected that the user will choose to play the audio; for example, if the user has navigated to a page using a "Play this audio" link. This attribute was removed in Gecko 2.0 (Firefox 4 / Thunderbird 3.3 / SeaMonkey 2.1) in favor of the preload attribute.
buffered
An attribute you can read to determine which time ranges of the media have been buffered. This attribute contains a TimeRanges object.
controls
If this attribute is present, the browser will offer controls to allow the user to control audio playback, including volume, seeking, and pause/resume playback.
loop
A Boolean attribute; if specified, will automatically seek back to the start upon reaching the end of the audio.
mozCurrentSampleOffset
The offset, specified as the number of samples since the beginning of the audio stream, at which the audio is currently playing.
muted
A Boolean attribute which indicates whether the audio will be initially silenced. Its default value is false.
played
A TimeRanges object indicating all the ranges of the audio that have been played.
preload
This enumerated attribute is intended to provide a hint to the browser about what the author thinks will lead to the best user experience. It may have one of the following values:
  • none: indicates that the audio should not be preloaded;
  • metadata: indicates that only audio metadata (e.g. length) is fetched;
  • auto: indicates that the whole audio file could be downloaded, even if the user is not expected to use it;
  • the empty string: synonym of the auto value.

If not set, its default value is browser-defined (i.e. each browser may have its own default value). The spec advises it to be set to metadata.

Usage notes:
  • The autoplay attribute has precedence over preload. If autoplay is specified, the browser would obviously need to start downloading the audio for playback.
  • The browser is not forced by the specification to follow the value of this attribute; it is a mere hint.
src
The URL of the audio to embed. This is subject to HTTP access controls. This is optional; you may instead use the <source> element within the audio block to specify the audio to embed.
volume
The playback volume, in the range 0.0 (silent) to 1.0 (loudest).

Time offsets are specified as float values indicating the number of seconds to offset.

Note: The time offset value definition has not yet been completed in the HTML5 specification and is subject to change.

Events

An audio element can fire various events.

Examples

Basic usage

<!-- Simple audio playback -->
<audio src="http://developer.mozilla.org/@api/deki/files/2926/=AudioTest_(1).ogg" autoplay>
  Your browser does not support the <code>audio</code> element.
</audio>

<!-- Audio playback with captions -->
<audio src="foo.ogg">
  <track kind="captions" src="foo.en.vtt" srclang="en" label="English">
  <track kind="captions" src="foo.sv.vtt" srclang="sv" label="Svenska">
</audio> 

Audio element with source element

<audio controls="controls">
  Your browser does not support the <code>audio</code> element.
  <source src="foo.wav" type="audio/wav">
</audio>

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
WHATWG HTML Living Standard
The definition of '<audio>' in that specification.
Living Standard  
HTML5
The definition of '<audio>' in that specification.
Recommendation  

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support 3.0 3.5 (1.9.1) [1] 9.0 10.5 3.1
autoplay attribute 3.0 3.5 (1.9.1) 9.0 10.5 3.1
buffered attribute ? 4.0 (2.0) ? ? ?
controls attribute 3.0 3.5 (1.9.1) 9.0 10.5 3.1
loop attribute 3.0 11.0 (11.0) 9.0 10.5 3.1
muted attribute ? 11.0 (11.0) ? ? ?
played property ? 15.0 (15.0) ? ? ?
preload attribute 3.0 4.0 (2.0) 9.0 (Yes) [2] 3.1
src attribute 3.0 3.5 (1.9.1) 9.0 10.5 3.1
volume attribute          
Feature Android Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support ? 1.0 (1.0) [1] ? ? ?
autoplay attribute ? 1.0 (1.0) ? ? ?
buffered attribute ? 4.0 (2.0) ? ? ?
controls attribute ? 1.0 (1.0) ? ? ?
loop attribute ? 11.0 (11.0) ? ? ?
muted attribute ? 11.0 (11.0) ? ? ?
played property ? 15.0 (15.0) ? ? ?
preload attribute ? 4.0 (2.0) ? ? ?
src attribute ? 1.0 (1.0) ? ? ?
volume attribute          

[1] For Gecko to play audio, the server must serve the file using the correct MIME type.

[2] Supported under the older name autobuffer

See also