Sound files not playing in the iNaturalist player

NB this is partially related to this post :

I encounter some problems to play some sounds in the iNaturalist player while I can read all of them if I download the file locally on my machine.

My config :
Xubuntu 18.04
Firefox 68.0.2
Chromium 76.0.3809.100

Examples :
.mpga file
Both Firefox and Chromium are unable to read them.
I can read them locally (VLC + the system default player called “Parole”)
.m4a file
Firefox is not able to read it but it is OK with Chromium
Reads fine locally
.wav file
Firefox is not able to read it but it is OK with Chromium
Reads fine locally

Strangely I can read without problem the following sound that is also a .wav file :
I can also read the following one that is a .x-m4a file :

Most audio files seem to be in .mp3 and I can read them without any problem.

I have found FF to be a useless for audio playback - endless problems on several sites. I have found Brave to be splendid in all regards, including much faster page loading and no problems with playback (on Ubuntu Studio 19.04). Give it try! {It’s a fork of Chromium.}

I tried a few of the above examples, and the only one that doesn’t work is the .mpga file. But that may be an issue with the file type not being web-compatible or iNat-compatible?

FWIW, we just rely on the browser to play sounds, so results will vary based on browser capabilities. Some things we could do to address this include

  • Prevent people from uploading sound formats we know won’t play in most browsers (we already do this for some formats, but clearly we’re missing others)
  • Try to convert all sounds to a relatively universal format like WAV or MP3 (harder for us since we don’t always know if conversion will succeed).