Mozilla has announced the latest Beta for Firefox 4, bringing with it visual sound options and faster graphics processing.

The visual sound element involves a new API, using HTML5, which can expose the raw data that is held within the audio and video tags "to redefine how people experience sound on the Web".

Mozilla's Mike Beltzner said, via the Mozilla blog:

"With this new API, developers can read and write raw audio data within the browser, presenting audio information in completely new ways that could allow, for example, for people to visually experience a speech or a song through Firefox."

As well as the audio elements the latest Beta also adds hardware acceleration of graphics, meaning smoother playback of videos and images whilst you're surfing.

Beltzner explains:

"Firefox 4 Beta now takes advantage of the built-in graphics hardware in Windows computers with DirectX 10 to improve graphics performance. On supported hardware, Firefox will use Direct2D by default to speed up the display of content on graphically intensive websites, giving more power to the Web."

Finally, Beta 5 brings the implementation of the HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS), which is a security protocol that increases the chances for a secure connections.

Sure, it's not as exciting as the audio and graphic improvements, but security on the web is a big deal - there are lots of cyber-nasties out there that are after your monies, after all.

Firefox 4 is expected to launch in November, but if you can't wait that long then check out the Beta version yourself, via a free download from