This feature is non-standard and is not on a standards track. Do not use it on production sites facing the Web: it will not work for every user. There may also be large incompatibilities between implementations and the behavior may change in the future.


The HTML Background Sound Element (<bgsound>) is an Internet Explorer element associating a background sound with a page.

Do not use this! In order to embed audio in a Web page, you should be using the <audio> element.


This attribute defines a number between -10,000 and +10,000 that determines how the volume will be divided between the speakers.
This attribute indicates the number of times a sound is to be played and either has a numeric value or the keyword infinite.
This attribute specifies the URL of the sound file to be played, which must be one of the following types: .wav, .au, or .mid.
This attribute defines a number between -10,000 and 0 that determines the loudness of a page's background sound.


<bgsound src="sound1.mid">

<bgsound src="" loop="infinite"> 


Similar functionality can be achieved in some versions of Netscape using the <embed> tag to invoke an audio player.

You can write bgsound with a self-closing tag <bgsound />. However, since this element is not part of a standard, making it XHTML-like will not make it validate.

Browser compatibility

FeatureChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafari
Basic support No No No1 Yes No No
FeatureAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge mobileFirefox for AndroidIE mobileOpera AndroidiOS Safari
Basic support No No No No1 Yes No No

1. Up to Firefox 22, even if not supporting this element, Firefox was associating it with HTMLSpanElement. This was fixed then and now the associated element is an HTMLUnknownElement as required by the specification.

See also

  • The <audio>, which is the standard element to embed audio in a document.

Document Tags and Contributors

 Last updated by: teoli,