HoverPlay is for audio files what HoverZoom is for images
HoverZoom is one of those extensions that makes life a lot easier on the Internet, at least when you are browsing images regularly on image boards, forums and other websites. The extension, or one of its many variants, displays the full image when you hover over the image's thumbnail on a website so that you do not need to click through to open it right away. That's especially great if the thumbnails are rather small in size on the site. So, instead of clicking through to look at a larger image, you simply hover the mouse cursor on the thumbnail to do so.
HoverPlay is a relatively new extension for Google Chrome that adds similar functionality to audio files that you may encounter in the web browser. So how does it work? Once you have installed the extension in Chrome, you can start to preview any audio file that is directly linked on a website by hovering over it with the mouse cursor.
Note that this works only for audio files that are linked directly, not for audio players or audio files that are not linked directly but by using scripts or other means. An example page where it works right away is Nasa's Audio File resource. The audio files start to play right away when you hover the mouse over them. It also works really well on Archive.org's music and audio section if you hover over individual files there.
The audio files plays automatically from that moment on and you can move the mouse around without stopping it. You can use the audio player that is displayed in the lower right corner of the screen to stop it, or with the space-key on the keyboard.
The audio player did not appear on all sites I tried the extension on, but if you remember to use space to pause and start the audio file once it has started to play you should not have any issues controlling the playback. You can remove the player at any time with the ESC key on the keyboard.
The extension options enable you to disable the feature on sites you select here, and let you specify the delay before the audio starts playing when you hover the cursor over an audio file.
HoverPlay is a niche extension for users who spend time regularly on Internet sites where audio files are linked directly on.