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Custom React hooks for controlling audio in the browser powered by the amazing howler.js library. The intention of this package is to provide an idiomatic way to use Howler in React via custom hooks. The currently available hooks allow you to set up an environment in which you can distribute the responsibility of managing a single audio source between different components in your React application.

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yarn add react-use-audio-player


For convenience, the library's type definitions are included in the package under index.d.ts.


This library exports a context Provider and two hooks for controlling an audio source, giving you the tools you need to build you own audio player or visualization.


This Provider is required for any of the hooks to function. The Provider encapsulates a reference to a single audio source and all the state. Besides the initial setup, you will never need to interact with the Provider directly. The useAudioPlayer and useAudioPosition hooks give you an interface to do that. The benefit of having a single, shared audio source is that it allows you to compose together multiple components that share knowledge about the audio. For example, you may have separate components PlayPauseButton, SeekBar and VolumeControls all working together on the same audio source.

import React from "react"
import { AudioPlayerProvider } from "react-use-audio-player"

const App = () => {
    return (
            <AudioPlayer file="meow.mp3" />


This is the main hook for controlling your audio instance.


import React from "react"
import { useAudioPlayer } from "react-use-audio-player"

const AudioPlayer = ({ file }) => {
    const { togglePlayPause, ready, loading, playing } = useAudioPlayer({
        src: file,
        format: "mp3",
        autoplay: false,
        onend: () => console.log("sound has ended!")

    if (!ready && !loading) return <div>No audio to play</div>
    if (loading) return <div>Loading audio</div>

    return (
            <button onClick={togglePlayPause}>{playing ? "Pause" : "Play"}</button>



useAudioPlayer optionally accepts some configuration as its only argument. The options interface is identical to the howler options.

Return Value

useAudioPlayer returns a single object containing the following members:

  • load: (config: HowlOptions) => void
    method to lazily load audio. It accepts the same configuration object that useAudioPlayer does.

  • loading: boolean
    true if audio is being fetched

  • ready: boolean
    true if the audio has been loaded and can be played

  • playing: boolean
    true is the audio is currently playing

  • stopped: boolean
    true if the audio has been stopped

  • ended: boolean
    is true once the currently loaded audio finishes playing. This will be unset if you begin playing again or load a new sound.

  • error: Error
    set when audio has failed to load

  • play: () => void
    plays the loaded audio

  • pause: () => void
    pauses the audio

  • togglePlayPause: () => void
    convenient equivalent to alternating calls to play and pause

  • stop: () => void
    stops the audio, returning the position to 0

  • mute: () => void
    mutes the audio

  • volume: (value: number) => number
    get/set the volume of the current sound. Volume values between 0.0 and 1.0

  • player
    an escape hatch to access the underlying Howl object in case you need to use a howler feature which is not supported by this library's API


This hooks exposes the current position and duration of the audio instance as its playing in real time. This data may be useful when animating a visualization for your audio like a seek bar. A separate hook was created to manage this state in order to avoid many rerenders of components that don't need the live data feed. For example a component which renders a play/pause button may use useAudioPlayer but does not need to rerender every time the position of the playing audio changes.

import React from "react"
import { useAudioPosition } from "react-use-audio-player"

const PlayBar = () => {
    const { percentComplete, duration, seek } = useAudioPosition({ highRefreshRate: true })
    const goToPosition = React.useCallback((percentage) => {
        seek(duration * percentage)
    }, [duration, seek])

    return <ProgressBar percentComplete={percentComplete} onBarPositionClick={goToPosition} />



  • (optional) config: { highRefreshRate: boolean }
    highRefreshRate will allow useAudioPosition to update state at a smooth 60fps rate via the browser's requestAnimationFrame API. This is ideal for when you want smoother animations.

Return Value

useAudioPosition returns an object containing the following members:

  • position: number
    the current playback position of the audio in seconds

  • duration: number
    the total length of the audio in seconds

  • percentComplete: number
    the percentage of the duration the current position represents

  • seek: (position: number) => number
    sets the position of the audio to position (seconds)


Streaming audio

In order for streamed audio content to work, make sure to force the audio source to use html5 and specify the format of the audio as shown below:

More information in this Howler thread

const { pause } = useAudioPlayer({
    autoplay: true,
    src: "",
    html5: true,
    format: ["mp3"]


To run the example applications follow the following steps:

  1. git clone the repository
  2. cd useAudioPlayer/examples
  3. yarn install
  4. yarn start
  5. follow the local README for further assistance


The most basic npm release strategy is being followed for now. A good explanation can be found here.


  1. commit work & tests
  2. yarn/npm version (preversion script will ensure code is tested and built)
  3. yarn/npm publish
  4. git push & git push --tags