I thought that since I was going to the Web Audio Hack Day here in Singapore, it would be great to have a more Web Audio focused Media Recorder demo, so I built a little demo that essentially asks for audio permission, then records a short clip of audio, decodes it as an audio buffer and uses it to loop a BufferSourceNode in Web Audio.
You wouldn’t believe what happened next… or would you?
Two Things That Happened When Sole Ran This Demo
1. Chrome Canary Just Totally Gave Up
I filed a bug, since there wasn’t really much I could do…
2. Nightly Sometimes Insisted In Returning Some Mysterious 596 Samples Length Which Was Totally Not What I Expected, And Did So Without Following Any Meaningful Reproducible Pattern
I tried to dump the contents of the returned blob once read as a buffer, using String.fromCharCode–perhaps looking at binary data while having my breakfast coffee would enlighten me?
The demo is here: instalooper (sources) … just in case you want to play with the code–maybe it will be fixed next month, who knows!!? Or maybe it is just a bug in my machine and it works in everyone else’s!
Disclaimer: I have not tested this anywhere else than Nightly and Canary. So I’ve no idea of how it works (or not) in mobile.
I have a more complicated version that not only loops the sample but also randomly changes its playback frequency. Sometimes the generated sounds are strangely fascinating. It still needs a bit of interface work, but hey… watch out, Steve Reich! 😎
And now… time to prepare to go to the airport and fly to Melbourne for JSConf.AU! More jetlag, YAY!
I gave my “Hands-On Web Audio” talk at the London JS meetup, held at the offices of Just Eat. It was broadcasted as a Hangout, and also recorded so you can replay or see if you couldn’t attend:
BAAAAH they seem to have deleted or disabled the video. BAHHHHH!
If you want to play along, the slides are live here and here is the source code as well. Disclaimer: depending on your computer, they might be a bit too much in both Firefox or Chrome. There seems to have been a regression and the intro sound is extremely stuttering in “slower” computers (slower as in “a MacBook Retina”).
It was a bit awkward because their big screen was actually six TVs and most of the content in my slides is centered vertically on the slide, which coincided with the middle of the frames, so it was quite unreadable. That is why you’ll hear a number of comments akin to “oh this is very inconvenient” from me, during the talk.
After I finished the talk itself, we had a round of questions, and I also showed how to debug web audio with the Web Audio editor in Firefox DevTools.
Feedback on the talk seems really positive and I’m happy people got interested in playing with the Web Audio API and making dubstep! YES!
Great talk! I left inspired to go play. I’d used some features of the audio API before but Sole’s enthusiasm and dubstep obsession triggered a string desire to get creative with it again.
Spectacular demo by Soledad. She really knows what she’s talking about
I’m really happy that people were happy and interested in the API 🙂
Side note, 1
A few people asked me about the slides: how are they made?! are they WebGL?! can they use the system to make their own slides?
Answer: they are WebGL, and they use three.js underneath. Right now the system is quite hardcoded, but I’m happy to announce that I’m working on refactoring the code so anyone can build their own 3D slide deck, using their own demo scenes. So I guess I am building a slide deck framework… 😬 #sendhelp
You can have a look at the project here, but don’t send me requests yet, kthx. An online demo is available as well. Right now it can only render basic H1-H4 and P nodes… in 3D! Not bad!
Side note, 2
I was really excited that I made it to the meetup (!), because I forgot my phone home that morning. I found out when I was in the office already, and I didn’t want to go back. So I printed the map and started cycling to the meetup place. Except I didn’t know very well the area, so I got lost twice. Not too bad though, I stopped and produced my paper map and let people look at me with weird looks (“she’s looking at a paper map!”). Anyway, I used:
a) my brain, instead of trusting everything to a GPS enabled device
b) those little maps in the street showing where you are
and I made it!
The way back was easier as I knew the area before. I tracked my route using my fitbit, and was really pleased to see that I had reached almost 30km/h on my humble Brompton.
It was coincidentally also Cycle To Work day yesterday, so I was doubly pleased that I cycled to work and also to meet up.
Should there be a Cycle To Meetup day too? I think so 😏
This topic came up last Sunday when we were recording an episode for WeCodeSign, but the episode will take two weeks to be published, and it will also be in Spanish, so unless you are able to follow my quickly spoken Spanish, you will miss my Important Insights™ on this topic. Which is why I’m writing about it here.
I spoke at ColdFront in Copenhagen last week. I joked that I just accepted the invitation because I wanted to go back to Copenhagen, and it actually wasn’t far from the truth as it’s a lovely city and I had a great time when I went there for At The FrontEnd last May: going through the airport is easy, the trains and metros are spotless and easy to buy tickets for, the city is beautiful in its flat Nordic way (Stockholm and Oslo are quite hilly), lots of interesting design stuff to look at, people were super kind and nice to me at every single point, attendees were really polite and so on and so on. How would you not want to go back to a place like this?
So when Kenneth reached out to see if someone could talk about Servo and given that I was working on Servo this summer, it sounded like the Perfect Plan.
Fast forward a few months, and I was in Copenhagen again.
I unfortunately had to miss the first talks of the day as Perfectionist Sole was obsessing over her talk and her slides, but what I saw was really interesting. It was a very good exercise of curation.
Bruce Lawson delivered a very interesting talk loaded with facts about how to deliver the web for everyone—not just rich people on the Western world! Lots of technical insights about Opera Mini optimisations and infrastructure (this was fascinating), lots of research insights as to how do people with unreliable expensive networks use their phones and data plan, etc. Building Proper Web Apps (my new rebranding for PWA, haha) is the answer to these issues. So… learn your tools for a brighter, speedier and more reliable future!
Then there was the break in which we tested our laptops with the A/V system. It turned out that the system was having some fun and introducing random glitches and red jitter so things could occasionally look funny. I was happy with the aesthetics but “sadly” the technicians fixed it during lunch—while we were enjoying the tacos and rye bread sandwiches outside!
It was then the turn for Mathias Bynens who talked about ways in which your browser can be fingerprinted via timing attacks, and other terrible things that left all of us really scared. Good talk explaining complex topics quite clearly.
I talked about Servo and how it is solving many problems, one at a time. You can watch it here:
Glen Maddern talked about strategies to avoid ending with “😈 Demonic CSS 😈”. He suggested a number of design ideas and even ‘tricks’ that you can actually use in most browsers (like currentColor), without having to add CSS preprocessors to a project. I think a gist could be: Just because you can write complicated stuff doesn’t mean you should. He also has started a series of screencasts where he talks about similar front-end topics in his funny and approachable way, be sure to check it out: Front End Center.
At the end of the talks, the two main organisers Kenneth and Daniel went on stage to tell us a bit about the history of the conference, how they started it, the debt they accidentally incurred in last year and how unhappy their accountant was, the terror of not selling tickets, and how this would be the last conference as Kenneth now lives in Vancouver and it’s very hard to organise a conference when you live so far away.
At this point everything got very emotional but fortunately Daniel and Kenneth hugged and said thanks, before we all broke down and started to cry. Then we clapped to thank them, Kenneth and Daniel took a deep breath and asked us to reposition to take the JS family photo, and we were off to the closing party which was at a well stocked brewery like 40 metres away (I had an alcohol free drink following my self-pledge).
It was lovely to talk with all the people there… I mean—I didn’t talk to all of them, but to the ones I talked to! Plus the weather was quite nice and we could be outside instead of yelling at each other inside the loud brewery.