Harry Harry - 10 months ago 82
Javascript Question

Autoplay sound in chrome background tab

I have an HTML5 game that uses audio notifications.

When users are searching for other players with match-making they frequently change tabs to do other things and rely on the audio notification to know when to come back. This no longer works after Chrome (desktop) changed to disallow audio notifications.

How can I ensure the audio notifications still work in the background?

Answer Source

Example 1

Here is an example that creates a div and uses HTML5 <audio> tag with a fallback to <embed> that plays an audio file 3 seconds after clicking the button.

To test it, run the sample and click the button, then change tabs and count 3 seconds. You should see the speaker icon on this tab and hear the coin drop sound after 3 seconds even though this tab is not the current tab.

function playCoinDrop() {
  soundDiv = document.createElement("div");
  soundDiv.innerHTML = '<audio autoplay="autoplay"><source src="http://themushroomkingdom.net/sounds/wav/smw/smw_coin.wav" type="audio/wav" /><embed hidden="true" autostart="true" loop="false" src="http://themushroomkingdom.net/sounds/wav/smw/smw_coin.wav" /></audio>';
<button onclick="setTimeout(playCoinDrop, 3000)">play sound</button>

You can replace the audio file as you see fit.

Example 2 - localStorage

Here is a more advanced way that utilizes localStorage which will probably be your best option. This allows you to preload the notification sound by downloading it into localStorage as Base64 and then you can invoke playing it when the tab is in the background without causing additional network transfers.

A major benefit to this approach is that there is only one download of the notification file, and then after that it is played locally from the browsers localStorage.

downloadCoin() function stores the file in localStoarge as base64
playCoinDrop() creates a div on the fly and plays the base64 data
playCoinDropJS() plays the base64 data without creating any div

function downloadCoin() {
  var coin = 'smw_coin.wav';
  var xhr = new XMLHttpRequest();
  xhr.open('GET', coin, true);
  xhr.responseType = 'blob';
  xhr.onload = function(e) {
    if (this.status == 200) {
      var blob = new Blob([this.response], {
        type: 'audio/wav'
      var reader = new window.FileReader();
      reader.onloadend = function() {
        var coinB64 = reader.result;
        var myStorage = localStorage.setItem('coin_base64', coinB64)

function playCoinDrop() {
  var coinB64 = localStorage.getItem('coin_base64');
  var soundDiv = document.createElement('div');
  soundDiv.innerHTML = '<audio autoplay="autoplay"><source src="' + coinB64 + '" type="audio/wav" />';

function playCoinDropJS(){
    var coinB64 = localStorage.getItem("coin_base64");
    var snd = new Audio(coinB64); 
<button onclick="downloadCoin()">download</button>
<button onclick="setTimeout(playCoinDrop, 3000)">play sound</button>
<button onclick="setTimeout(playCoinDropJS, 3000)">play sound JS</button>

demo on github