A few days ago when talking with a colleague about a project to re-work our live flash player with some extra bells and whistles they joked that we should just do the project in html5. The next day I thought "Why not?".
So, here you have it: we now have a streaming audio client for our live mp3 stream using nothing but html 5. You can try it out right here.
After spending a day putting it together I'd say that the predictions of Flash's demise are probably a bit premature but the time frames floated by some people may not be too far off the mark. At the moment I can't think of any other platform that can deliver rich media reliably across all the different browsers out there.
Our html5 player appears to work well on Chrome and Safari (on Mac). Mozilla, which doesn't want to pay the Fraunhoffers - or anyone else - to license proprietary media formats has left Firefox with no native mp3 support so Firefox users will instead get our OGG stream. IE, it will come as no surprise, seems to be a lost cause.
While it might take awhile for standards to evolve that work well across all browsers and platforms this player offers a glimpse of a leaner, bloat-free future where browsers will hopefully be able to handle rich media natively.
Thanks go out to the fine people at Happy Worm whose nicely done jquery based jplayer did most of the heavy lifting.