A conversation in the popular 'Suffolk Business Stars' group this week about how to upload and share large audio files was the inspiration for today's top tip.
Sometimes it might be necessary to share an audio recording - maybe you carried out an interview with a customer, or recorded a talk - on social media. Whereas video is relatively easy to upload, audio clips are generally not so widely supported.
While you can go through a process of reducing the file size and making sure it meets all the requirements for uploading, often it's much quicker to simply upload it to a third-party cloud-based system which would then allow you to easily share and embed the file (they give you a snippet of code so you can add it to your website).
The system that we most often recommend is SoundCloud - the free plan allows you to upload up to three hours of audio and provides you with basic analytics to learn more about who engages with your resources. The paid plans give you more flexibility, and the unlimited plan even allows you to see which geographical areas your listeners are based in.
Creating your account
To get started, simply click on Upload and you will be promted to sign up for an account, or to log in. You can create an account simply and quickly by using the 'single sign on' with an existing Facebook or Google account.
Upload or record
As soon as you are logged in, you can either upload an audio file you might already have prepared, or you can start recording. It's important to note also that SoundCloud has a mobile application, so you can do the same steps above on your mobile phone!
Share or embed
Tracks can be shared individually, or you can create a playlist featuring several files - think of the playlist you might have on an MP3 player, or the track list on a CD. Both tracks and playlists have a button at the bottom which says 'Share'.
Click this to open the share dialogue! From this you can copy the link to paste directly, share to social media or email to a friend.
If you need to embed the SoundCloud track in your website, click on 'Embed' at the top of the page.
Tinkering with options
There are some important options which you can choose before copying the embed code from the text area above the widget:
- Wordpress code - if you have a Wordpress website tick this box and it will generate the code for the WordPress SoundCloud audio player - read this support article for more info: https://en.support.wordpress.com/soundcloud-audio-player/
- Size of player - you may wish to have a larger or smaller 'widget' for your player - this can be adjusted in the advanced options at the bottom of the page
- Automatically play - please think before you enable this! Personally, if a website starts playing something without me expressly asking it to, I will close the tab without even looking further - so use with caution and don't annoy your visitors!
I hope this is helpful - do share your experiences with embedding audio files in the comments below!