Nothern Utah WebSDR Logo - A skep with a Yagi The Northern Utah WebSDR

Dealing with audio issues:
  • Apple devices
  • No audio with the Safari browser
  • No audio with the Chrome browser.

To go directly to the "fix" for Chrome browsers - use this link.
Problems with Safari or Apple computers/iPhones/iPods in general?

If you are using the Safari Browser - or any Apple products, you may have noticed a recent problem in which you get no audio - even after pressing the "Audio Start" button.

Because I don't use Safari, it didn't affect me - and I couldn't test it, either.  Fortunately, Stan sent me the following note:

I enjoy your SDR but a couple of weeks ago I had no audio on my Mac Safari ... apparently after an update. After a couple of weeks trying to figure out why, I found on Safari v12 the following settings that restored the audio:

Safari -> Preferences  -> Websites -> AutoPlay = Allow All Auto-Play

Don't know if you've had this question, but it worked for me.

Thanks for the heads up!

There is another  problem that shows up with some apple products - particularly iPhones:  It is often the case that you must "un-mute" your phone's ringer (which may be a button/switch on the phone) to hear web-based audio, even though you may be able to hear audio from media files.

Also, if you can play YouTube and other things on your Apple device but don't hear WebSDR audio after trying the above, read this information about fully-enabling sounds on your device.

For Apple users having audio issues (as of December, 2019):

If you hear NO audio in Chrome:

First, If there is a button on the WebSDR interface to the right and above the waterfall display that says "Chrome Audio Start", press it!

Check these first:

Did you mute the audio yourself?  Before you go any farther, you may have muted the audio in one (or more) of several places:

Do you get audio on other programs/web sites using Chrome?  If so, not all of the suggestions below may apply.
Using Chrome on a mobile device

As you may have noticed, when you are using a mobile device such as a phone or a tablet, you are given the option to use the "mobile" version of the WebSDR interface.  When you do this, a "lightweight" version of the web page appears with fewer options - but streamlined to work better on these types of devices.

Support for Chrome was recently added - which also requires one to press the "Audio Start" button - and although it seems to work, it may be buggy.

One issue with the Chrome+Mobile option is that when the screen goes dark, the audio may also stop:  We are looking at ways to work around that.

If you choose to use Chrome with the "normal" Web page, there are reports that the audio will stutter and drop out due to the browser/processor providing enough time to properly service the audio routines.  If this happens, there are two options:

- Disable the waterfall by clicking the "blind" button above and to the left of the waterfall.  You may need to click on the "one band" and then back to the "blind" button for it to take effect.

Use a different browser.  It would seem that the Firefox browser works reliably on (pretty much) all mobile devices - and it seems to work properly if you run either the Mobile or "Full" versions of the WebSDR - although the battery consumption of the mobile version may be slightly lower, particularly if you turn off the waterfall using the "stop waterfall" button.

Once you've ruled out operator error and you still don't have audio, read on.

The next thing to try:  Click the "Button"

Increasingly, some web browsers are requiring the user to "activate" the multimedia (audio/video) if a site has it - and Chrome is no exception.  To do this, the code on the web site itself needs to be modified to provide this button - but not all web sites have this.

We have added this button on the Northern Utah WebSDR - so you need only click on the button that says "Chrome audio start" which, if present, will be just above the waterfall and to the right.

Note:  Not all WebSDRs have this button.

Work-around #1 - the most reliable:

Use a different browser such as FireFox, Seamonkey or PaleMoon to name but a few.

It is possible that these other browsers will eventually follow suit in disabling audio by default, but we'll deal with that if/when it happens.

The suggestions below may work to enable sound in Chrome with the WebSDR, but reports indicate that it may not be consistent - or continue to work after software updates.
Figure 1:
Check to see if the browser tab shows a tiny "muted speaker" icon.  If it does, right click on the muted speaker to open up a dialog box:  If you see "Unmute site", click on it.  If it says "Mute site", it is not already muted.
Important:  Chrome "remembers" if you muted the site last time you visited it which means that even if you reboot or restart Chrome, it will still be muted!
Location of audio muting in tab while using Chrome

Work-around #2:

Disable the security "feature" in Chrome so that audio works on all web sites that have it, just like it did before - this option seems to be the most reliable if the site doesn't have a "start" button of some sort: Work-around #3:
Figure 2:
A screen shot of what might need to be changed to always enable "auto play" to get WebSDR audio in Chrome.
Select the "No user gesture is required..." option (highlighted) and then click the "Relaunch Now" button at the bottom of the screen (not shown) to restart the browser.
Click on the image for a full-sized version.
Changes in Chrome to permit audio to work with a WebSDR

Enable the sound on the browser for that specific web page.

While this option may be present on Windows-based computers, it may not be available on other operating systems.

It also seems that these settings may not "stick" and quit working and/or the option disappears entirely after it is used.  If this is the case, use work-around #2, above.

"What did you do on the Northern Utah WebSDR to provide work-arounds with some of the Chrome and Apple audio problems?"

Do you run a WebSDR system and wish to know how to modify the code to allow Chrome and newer browsers running on Apple systems to work?  Go to the Chrome WebSDR fix page for details - and yes, it's for things running on Apple systems, too.

Additional information:

Go to the Northern Utah WebSDR landing page