Interactive Audio rant

Sound and computers. We went from no sound to beep to unlimited sounds. Technically. On the development side, we went from being sort of straightforward to being an insane mess.

Please framework developers, listen: I should be able to loop a sound in browsers, game engines and apps without doing anything special. It’s 2018 and I have to do something special (hack and test and hack and test) for something ultra-basic: play a file on action (click) or loop an audio file seamlessly. So:

1. No more container

I don’t want to have to deal with this anymore. 18 years of that shit. One container that allows looping and multi-channel and this motherfucker works everywhere, forever. Like a damn wav file on Windows (reading those effortlessly since 1991, 27 years ago).

2. Basic stuff first

One shot and gapless loop, regardless of the lossy/lossless compression. I don’t care if we kill mp3 to do gapless loop. I don’t care if we need John Carmack and the best engineers in the world to solve this problem. GAPLESS AUDIO NOW, SON. A computer should be able to do that with a stream of audio data. Like a damn wav file on Windows (looping those effortlessly since 1991, 27 years ago).

Clicking a button and playing a sound should be part of HTML5 and shouldn’t require anything else to work. We should be able to do something like:

<a href=”new page”>

    <img src=”button.png” snd src=”woohoo.ogg”>

</a>

Where I click on a button to go to a new page and it plays a sound. It shouldn’t be harder than that. It is though.

Looping some music/ambience in the background and playing a sound on action are the most basic things, yet they are super powerful. But we sound designers and artists spend more time making this work than we should. People give up on this hot mess.

Don’t develop a 3D positioning system, a music system, a FFT analyzer or an ambisonic Web eXperience before solving those 2 crucial points and making them standards that audio people can rely on, natively (so yes, no libs ffs).

In the DAW world, we went from converting files to import them through drop-down menus to drag and dropping ANY kind of audio file in the timeline. That’s the kind of improvement that makes everyone a lot more productive and ultimately creative. We should be able to do that with interactive/game audio. Design your audio file, put it in the folder BAM it plays anywhere, you don’t even have to test that. It’s native, built-in. It’s a wrap.

We have that clarity with this terrible file system called Portable Document File. PDFs are readable everywhere. If you send a document to someone as a .pdf, you know this person will be able to read it on his/her device exactly like you do on your computer. Isn’t that pleasant? It’s dope.

Can we please have that with interactive and game audio, without libs or middleware? It’s definitely overdue.

Thank you.

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