Playing Audio Files Without a Player

There are many solutions available for playing audio, one of my favourites was the Yahoo Media Player. HTML5 introduced the audio tag, which is widely supported. There are also several jQuery media players for websites including jplayer.

I wanted to add a bit of fun to a website by allowing users to play audio by clicking on objects in an image. I know that this is not new, but I have not found any resource that ties up creating an image map linked to multiple areas and audio, controlled using jQuery.

Mapping Areas in an Image - Being Responsive

The first step was to create defined areas in an image that could be clicked. The co-ordinates of the areas also needed to be recalculated when viewed on different screen sizes, so that the clickable area is correctly updated.

There were four audio samples, each to be mapped to four objects. I tried calculating the coordinates of the objects manually, but in the end, decided to find an app.

There are several choices available, some are polished and have several functions such as coffee cup, but as I only wanted a basic map I found this simple, effective Online Image Map Editor by Adam Maschek. I chose a simple rectangle shape for the area coordinates. Here’s the finished HTML:

<!-- THE IMAGE THAT IS PART OF THE TUTORIAL see usemap="#my_image" -->
<img width="1200" height="519" src="/image/Victorian-Carol-Singers-Hire-UK-London.jpg" class="attachment-post-thumbnail size-post-thumbnail wp-post-image" alt="Victorian Carol Singers Hire UK London" usemap="#my_image" loading="lazy" sizes="(max-width: 709px) 85vw, (max-width: 909px) 67vw, (max-width: 1362px) 88vw, 1200px"> 
</div><!-- .post-thumbnail -->

<audio id="sound1">
 <source src="/audio/joy to the world.mp3" type="audio/mpeg" />
<audio id="sound2">
 <source src="/audio/jingle bells.mp3" type="audio/mpeg" />
<audio id="sound3">
 <source src="/audio/silent night short.mp3" type="audio/mpeg" />
<audio id="sound4">
 <source src="/audio/deck the halls.mp3" type="audio/mpeg" />
<map name="my_image" id ="my_image" >
<area shape="rect" coords="408,556,660,996" id="area1" />
<area shape="rect" coords="880,552,1096,852" id="area2" />
<area shape="rect" coords="1120,428,1360,732" id="area3" />
<area shape="rect" coords="1712,544,2444,1160" id="area4" />

There is the image with the usemap=”#my_image”, and the four HTML5 audio files along with the map of areas and their coordinates.

For the image map to be responsive by recalculating the area coordinates to match the actual image size I need an image map re-sizer. Note that some re-sizers are not compatible with Chrome on iOS. I’m using imageMapResizer by David Bradshaw.

In my page scripts, these are included. Note that jquery is required;

<script src=""></script>
<script type="text/javascript" src="/js/audioplay.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript" src="/js/imageMapResizer.min.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript" >imageMapResize();</script>

Using jQuery to Control the Audio

The controls I wanted to achieve were to play or pause the audio on the click of an object and pause any other audio that may be playing. This script was placed in a file called audioplay.js:

$("map[name=my_image] area").on('click', function () {
//$("#my_image area").on('click', function () {
var $this = $(this);
 var id = $this.attr('id').replace(/area/, '');

$.each($('audio'), function () {

 // $this.text('pause');
 } else {
 // $this.text('play');

this was then called from the page

<script type="text/javascript" src="/js/audioplay.js"></script>

Thanks to the following resources for their inspiration:

Toggle play pause of multiple audios

Determine which area was clicked

Stopping all audio playing

– Updated 26 May 2023 –

Special thanks to Don Wiss who contacted me to point out that the demo site was broken. See

That’s it, the final result can be found at audio image map play pause demo.

The source can be found at GitHub audio image map demo. This is the direct link to the page source

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