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See it in action

An example using the functions in this repo:

Some wicked WebAudio demos to get you excited: Web Audio API Demos


To have full control over audio files using the latest HTML5 APIs, your content must be of type arraybuffer, which is needed so you can decode it. The only way I can see to get your content as type arraybuffer is to load it using XMLHttpRequest with content of type arraybuffer.

That means you have to deal with shit like being limited to same-origin requests, asynchronous loading of your files (actually, you could do them synchronously if you wanted), home-grown AJAX (since everyone's favorite libraries don't support the arraybuffer responseType).

So, I wrote a function called loadSound which does all that for a single sound file.

Likely, though, you want a bunch files to load, and once they are loaded, you want to do something really fucking awesome, so I wrote a map function called loadSounds to use loadSound on an array of sound files.

Chances are really good that you will want to play the files. (Other awesome options include adding filters and otherwise editing the files before playing them). Playing back a file requires a bunch of gymnastics involving something called an audioContext, so I wrote a function called playSound which plays the sound.

With these three functions, you could load one or more audio files, and play them back. I'll be using them to create a couple browser toys to show off the possible uses.

Have fun!


Utility function for asynchronously loading a sound file into an audioBuffer to be played using an audioContext.


Pass loadSound the url of a sound file, an audioContext, and a callback which will receive the decoded audioBuffer.

var url = 'path/to/my/sound.ogg';
var context = new webkitAudioContext();
var callback = function (buffer) {

var request = loadSound(url, context, callback[, err]);


Map function for using loadSound to load an array of sound files into audioBuffers to be played using an audioContext. loadSound is a dependency of loadSounds.


Define an array of urls.

var paths = [

Execute loadSounds on this array to create an array of requests.

var requests = loadSounds(paths, [callback, progressCallback]);

callback will be evoked when all the sounds have either been loaded, or have thrown an error. progressCallback is evoked after each sound is either loaded or throws an error. Any errors will be available in the array requests.errors. If there are no errors, requests.errors will be an empty array.

callback and progressCallback will receive an array of sounds. Each item will either be an instance of AudioBuffer, or null, if the sound has not loaded or failed to decode.

var callback = function (sounds) {
    sounds[0] // AudioBuffer
    sounds[1] // AudioBuffer
    sounds[2] // AudioBuffer


Utility function for playing back audioBuffers in the same audioContext.


Play back a sound by calling the playSound function with an audioBuffer.