One thing that had been bugging me with the <audio> tag in HTML5 was that it while it was great at handling single files it doesn’t cope very well with being pointed at a shoutcast/icecast .pls file.
A bit of digging and I found that if you broke open the .pls file and used the actual stream source as the <audio src=”?”> parameter then it was quite happy to play the stream.
As a .pls file can contain a number of source files (subsequent items in a playlist, failovers in case one server isn’t running etc) the code also needed to cope with either an error or the selected stream coming to an end – luckily that isn’t too difficult with the event model supported by the audio tag.
I’ve shared a first cut of the code here on GitHub so feel free to edit/improve and share – for instance my code assumes that the NumberOfEntries parameter in the .pls file is the second line (in some instances it’s the last but one line) so there’s room to make it more robust.
Obviously it can’t perform magic … unless the stream is using a codec that your browser supports it will simply error out, but it does provide a fairly simple way to extend the capabilities of the <audio> tag