Firefox beta gets HTML5 sound and vision

Mozilla's latest version of the popular Firefox browser has some new audio and video tricks up its sleeve, thanks to the HTML5 web standard.

Firefox 4.0b5, which is available for free download right now, offers a new audio API which allows users to manipulate a sound file's raw data rather than just passively listening. HTML5's improved video capabilities can radically improve video frame rates, especially when combined with DirectX 10 hardware acceleration on suitably-equipped Windows machines.

Mozilla also says the latest beta is more secure thanks to the inclusion of HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS), a new security protocol which allows websites to insist that Firefox always uses secured connections.

The latest version remembers what sites use the HSTS protocol and will only connect to those sites using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) in the future, helping to prevent 'man in the middle' attacks.

Both the Winows and Max version have been given a lick of paint and an updated user interface. Linux users will be getting some love soon.

You'll find more details and a couple of slick demo videos of the new package in action on Mike Beltzner's blog post.