Monthly Archives: March 2010

Dave Hacking the SoundCloud player (part 1)

A lot of people ask me about customizing the SoundCloud player, “I love the player but could you just add this…” or “the player doesn’t quite work with the background of my blog, is there a way to tweak it”. Well actually there are quite a lot of options so I thought I’d summarize a few of them here.

Hopefully you should all know by now, but SoundCloud currently has three really great players that can be customized in a number of ways. There is the mini, waveform and artwork player. Each can be used to great effect in different scenarios. And there are several standard customizations you can do with each. Please note, to access the mini and artwork players you’ll need a premium account.

As well as the standard player customizations there are a number of other ways that you can hack the SoundCloud player. You just need to know where to look in the embed code. There are a range of different parameters that you can change in the embed code when you share a player:

buying = true/false (show hide buy buttons)
sharing = true/false (show hide share buttons)
download = true/false (show hide download buttons)
show_bpm  = true/false (show hide bpm display in player)
show_playcount = true/false (show hide number of track plays)
text_buy_track = string (e.g. ‘Tweet’ and it goes to your buy link)
text_buy_set = string (for the buy all button)

You can of course also change the height and width.

height = number of pixels
width = number of pixels

But one hidden little feature that we wanted to tell you about are our new double height (or width players). All you need to do is double the number of height (or width) pixels eg.

height=”600″ width=”300″

In the above example I’ve changed two things. Example code is below.

1) I’ve changed the height to make a tall player
2) I’ve hidden the play count
3) I’ve turned the share option off

<code><object height="600" width="300">
<param name="movie" value="http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsoundcloud.com%2Fsmashingpumpkins%2Fa-stitch-in-time&color=ff7700&amp;sharing=false&amp;show_playcount=false"> </param>  <param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"> </param>  <embed allowscriptaccess="always" height="600" src="http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsoundcloud.com%2Fsmashingpumpkins%2Fa-stitch-in-time&color=ff7700&amp;sharing=false&amp;show_playcount=false" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="300"></embed> </object></code>

So that’s it. Fairly straight forward once you know how, but very handy. In part 2 we’ll share some more tips.

David Moto Boy (Or how to build a beautiful and functional artist website)

It has become quite easy these days to create functional and beautiful websites with all the different social media services available to artists. One great recent example is the website from Swedish artist Moto Boy, who has managed to combine different accounts from popular services like Flickr, YouTube and SoundCloud in a great way.

The site was created by Martin J. Thörnkvist and Max Adolfsson and here’s what they told us:

Our goal was to make “the best official artist site” around. Of course we decided to use as many existing platforms as possible. Soundcloud was the obvious choice for music. To me music should be the central (might seem obvious but if you look around at artist sites it’s not) part of the site. I’m really happy by the way the Soundcloud platform solved a handful of problems fort. Storage and data traffic is taken care of and the player is highly customizable enabling us to upload the music once and present it in different ways across the site.

Last year, Martin also wrote a great blog post titled “Revival Of The Official Artist Website” that I highly recommend reading if you’re currently considering to (re)build your own website.

Let’s have a closer look.

Site hosting:

The site is powered by publishing platform WordPress and self-hosted on the own domain motoboy.se with a customized design template. It’s free to use.

Start page:

In the top right screenshot, you can see that the start page combines different services structured in three columns:

  • Left column: the news items are posted as blog posts via WordPress, some include YouTube and Vimeo embeds. Makes it easy to go into the WordPress Dashboard, write a quick post and it jumps to the top of the news section when you hit publish.
  • Middle column: the SoundCloud waveform player, a Facebook Fan box, latest pictures on Flickr and a newsletter sign up box.
  • Right column: the tour dates each link to an individual overview page where they integrated the great cross-platform commenting tool Disqus. See the most recent comments and Twitter blurbs in the right column.

The Music page:

Click ‘Music‘ in the top menu it’ll bring you to Moto Boy’s discography where you can choose the album you’d like to check out. The screenshot below is the overview page for his most recent album Lost In The Call where you can either choose to play the full album in the artwork set player, watch the music video or jump straight to an individual track page with the waveform player, lyrics and credits.

The Gallery page:

The Gallery is a collection of recent picture sets pulled from photo hosting service Flickr. Click on a photo and you’ll first get a dynamic preview and if you want you can click-through to the individual photo page on Flickr.

The Shop page:

Moto Boy makes it easy to purchase his stuff. Either hit the link to iTunes or buy his albums and merchandise straight from the site’s own shop – powered by the WordPress Shop Plugin. You’re able to select either downloads, cds or vinyl records. Payments are possible with all major credit cards and are processed by PayPal.

Make sure to click-through to check the site out for yourself and we hope this post could give you some inspiration if you too are currently working or thinking about using a bouquet of highly useful services for your own artist website.

What’s your experience? Any suggestions? Post a comment below and let everyone know.

Dave SoundCloud at SXSW 2010

Last year I was lucky enough to go out and represent SoundCloud at SXSW as we were nominated in the ‘music category’ at the SXSW Interactive Web Awards. In a few weeks we’ll be back again and this time we have lots of parties, panels and plans to tell you about. It’s gonna be a great week.

If you’re going and would like to hook up then please get in touch or feel free to stop Alex & I in the street and ask for some stickers and a chat! We’ll be updating this post over the next few days as we confirm all our plans in more detail. There’s quite a few things going on during both Interactive & Music. Here’s where you’re most likely to find us.

Music Panel: How We’ll Be Listening To Music in 2020

Date: Wednesday, March 17
Time: 15:30-16:30
Location: Convention Centre, 16B

Alex will be joining a panel discussion with Ben Perreau, Jonas Woost and Steve Savoca. More info.

Five Possible Futures For The Music Industry
Date: Friday, March 19
Time: 17:00-18:00

I will be joining a panel discussion with Neil Schield, Adam Shore and Jack Horner. More info.

F*CK YEAH SXSW: hosted by Tumblr, Kickstarter, SoundCloud

Date: Saturday, March 13
Time: 18:30 onwards
Location: EMO’s, 603 Red River Street (at 6th Avenue)

Audio & Visuals by The Eclectic Method w/ DJ Mel & DJ Suspence. Sponsored by The Planet. Open bar with RSVP

MusicTech mixer: hosted by SoundCloud + Songkick

Date: Tuesday, March 16th
Time: 7-9pm
Location: Jaime’s Spanish Village, 802 Red River St

Margaritas, mexican food and conversation with folks at the intersection of music & technology. Free drinks and snacks until they run out – but don’t worry, there’s plenty to go around. RSVP required.

The Hype Machine’s Lose Control 2 party

Date: March 17, 18, 19, 20
Time: 12PM – 2AM everyday
Location: Vice (6th Street + San Jacinto, Austin Texas)

This unofficial party spans four whole days. That’s 56 hours of music and friends with 3 floors and many more bands & DJ’s. SoundCloud will be sponsoring, providing wi-fi and encouraging bands to upload their music to the HypeCloud Player. More info.