If you’ve tried to use wave.ac in Safari, you’ve probably noticed that it doesn’t work. We put a lot of effort into building wave.ac to work well across browsers and platforms, and this means that we spend time building support for every modern browser on any operating system.
However, Safari — the default browser of iOS and macOS products — does not support the most essential part of wave.ac: audio streaming. We have attempted to bring support for Safari through a number of avenues, but have ultimately decided it is not a productive measure. For this reason, we have consciously decided to not support Safari.
The Problem with Safari
At wave.ac, one of our core goals is to provide the best audio quality possible without enormous increases in storage and bandwidth usage. In order to provide the best experience possible, we use the open-source Opus Audio codec. Opus provides the best subjective quality at any bitrate of any currently available codec. This allows us to stream audio at 128kbps, the same bitrate used by SoundCloud and Clyp, while providing significantly better subjective quality.
However, Safari only supports proprietary codec formats like MP3 and AAC. There are some other formats like FLAC, but they are not suitable for most streaming use cases. Safari offers no support for the Ogg container used by most modern open video and audio formats, and no support for the Vorbis and Opus audio codecs. Apple’s refusal to support modern codecs positions them as against innovation and deliberately creates problems for anyone attempting to stream high quality audio. It is especially confusing to us, considering that the aforementioned formats are supported by every other major operating system and browser vendor.
Apple claims to support Opus on very recent iOS and macOS versions, but they only claim that it works within a Core Audio container, a separate container format developed by Apple and supported by no other browsers or operating systems. For this reason, we are unable to reasonably support Safari without lowering quality, increasing encoding and storage costs, and — most importantly — developing a separate audio serving architecture exclusively to support a single browser that adamantly refuses to conform to user and developer expectations and the open standards supported by everyone else.
What You Can Do
If you are using Safari on macOS, we strongly recommend discontinuing your usage of Safari and moving to Google Chrome or Firefox, two fast browsers that support modern standards and wave.ac’s core software. We understand that not being able to use wave.ac on Safari and on iOS is inconvenient, but we have attempted to bring support to Safari through all available, productive avenues.
In 2019, we’ll launch an iOS (and Android!) app for wave.ac with formal support. However, until then, we will not make any efforts to support Apple if they will not support us.
If you have any questions or inquiries, feel free to inquire on the wave.ac Discord or send us an email at email@example.com. You can keep updated on wave.ac by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook, or joining our Discord.