General Description: If the topic description is clear, we are trying to indicate that we are in Identify mode and playing an observation’s audio file. We submitted an ID and clicked the right-facing arrow to advance to the next observation. The audio kept playing without stopping from the prior observation. We are on PC using Chrome.
We are guessing this occurs because the next observation is by the same observer using the exact same audio file. The audio file contains bird vocalizations and duplicating the observation or reusing the same audio allows for identifying the multiple species present.
Detailed description: We were in identify mode and listening to the audio of this observation https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/148692200, we made an ID while the audio was still playing, and then used the right arrow to advance to the next observation https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/148692173 and the audio kept playing without any pause. The audio also continued without pause going in the reverse direction (back arrow), and it didn’t matter where in the audio we started, it continued seamlessly.
Playing the audio when viewing the observations (not in identify mode) did not allow the audio to continue.
We did not post this as a bug because it did not pose any barriers or problems for us. We were just curious if others have had this experience and what in iNat’s code might allow this?
That’s interesting! There also seems to be a Mourning Dove observation by the same user that uses the same audio (https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/148691466) and it’s possible to move back and forth among all three in Identify mode without interrupting the audio. This does NOT happen if you open any of the observations, start playing the audio and use the left/right arrow to navigate to another observation that uses the same file.
I’m guessing this is connected with how the HTTP calls are made from the browser. If you use the left/right arrows from an individual observation record, the browser is making an entirely new HTTP call and rendering the resulting HTML on the screen. This terminates any associated processes (such as playing the audio file) and everything starts from scratch.
But in Identify mode, the browser has already loaded a bunch of content for 30 observations (by default). When you click one, it pops up that overlay “modal” dialog, loads additional content as needed (larger photos, audio files) and displays them for you to interact with. I’m guessing that both the audio playback capabilities and the audio file are only loaded if not already present, so when you navigate between observations in Identify that all use the same audio, iNat doesn’t need to load anything new. Seeing as the HTML page hasn’t changed and it still has the same audio player component and audio file, it just goes on playing without interruption.
Overall it seems like a neat unexpected feature, and probably one that will be experienced pretty rarely.