[whatwg] audio vs. video

Benjamin West bewest at gmail.com
Sat Mar 17 21:12:47 PDT 2007

On 3/5/07, Håkon Wium Lie <howcome at opera.com> wrote:
> Also sprach Elliotte Harold:
>  > If we add a video element, should we for the same reasons add an audio
>  > element?
> Yes.

I agree.  I was thinking about what Christoph Päper said, in <video>
element proposal:
On 3/17/07, Christoph Päper <christoph.paeper at crissov.de> wrote:
> |video| should be used to embed audio files and streams, too, because in
> practice it is a superset.

* Should users be given a control to manipulate embedded audio?
* If using Audio(), who's responsibility is it to provide that
control/user interface?  UA? Authors?

I don't have any research, but I would suspect that in practice, it
would be beneficial to encourage the presentation of a UI for audio.
Just because the medium isn't visual doesn't mean users don't need to
see a control.  Typically, when web pages embed audio, there is a
control somewhere on the page for playing, stopping, pausing,
rewinding, and the features increase from there.  If end users can't
shut off the music embedded in a web page, I would consider that a
problem.  So, since it's important to actually show a visible UI, and
since the location of that control in the document is important, there
should probably be an <audio> element, or allow <video> to also play

Are there any usability or accessibility guidelines we're following
that would mandate providing some level of playback/volume controls
over multimedia?

Does anyone have research on how many instances of embedded media on
the web offer some sort of visible control?

I don't think any of this is an argument for introducing a <media>
element, nor for extending <object>.  If there were a newly named
element to support both video and audio, I would not expect it to be
called media, but perhaps something like "playback", because the
controls and authoring intent appear pretty similar to me.

-Ben West

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