WhatsApp & Opus

Despite many sites espousing WhatsApp and its usage of Opus for audio messages, I am unable to actually send an Opus file through WhatsApp that is playable within the app itself.

I’ve been using WhatsApp as my primary messaging tool with friends and family now for a few months. While the writing had been on the wall with Google Hangouts, my former go-to tool for communication, for a while, the tipping point came while, during my recent trip to Malaysia, I saw in KUL airport (a.k.a., KLIA) in a bathroom stall a poster informing people to call a maintenance number via WhatsApp only.

Yes, that is a phone number intended to be used only for communicating using WhatsApp. Someone working for the airport bought a SIM card, installed in a phone, and intended only to use that solely with a specific App for official purposes.

It was at this point I surrendered my holdout against the Facebook acquisition and began using it. And it’s been, overall, great, from the perspective of communicating and keeping in touch with friends and family. The fact that it espouses an end-to-end encryption philosophy and has an acceptable quality for voice & video calls (Google Duo is still superior in that regard, for one-on-one communication), made the tradeoff acceptable to me, all things considered.

I was pleasantly surprised to find out, despite the app always recording audio messages as M4A files, many sites online talk about Opus support. But when I tried to do so myself, while I can send an Opus file as an attachment, it cannot be played like traditional messages.

I’d love for folks to talk to this, explain what I am missing, or confirm what I found.

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