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Thanks, all, for the comments.
David: I believe HTML5 audio is in the “Gingerbread” (Android 2.3) release. Re: Test pages, it might not be a bad idea to put together a table of common canPlayType() sort of calls.
Tab: Good point re: canPlayType() and “no” responses; in testing I saw a mix of “no” and “”. The latter is smart, given it makes for a nice truthy/falsy test – even if the API is still goofy, it reflects the complicated situation of mixing containers, support and formats. In SoundManager 2, I look for a “probably” response as an indicator of support for a given format; I also specify codecs in the test and try a few variants to coax a best-case response out of the given browser. Despite best efforts, some browsers won’t say “probably” at this time.
Patrick: You are correct that HTML does not mandate a standard image format, but it was a different (i.e., research-oriented) environment back when browsers were implementing image support vs. today’s business/commercial web world, of course.
GIFs still work in browsers despite some copyright assertions, and we still have the IE 6 PNG problem, but that browser is finally – wait for it – fading, itself. ;) (zing! / groan / boo, hiss, etc.)
I forgot to mention, I’m on the twitters over at @schill and try to share interesting and nifty things I find about JS, audio, CSS and so on.