Monthly Archives: April 2010

Adams How to Integrate a Secret Widget into a Promo Page

SoundCloud can be a really great tool for getting your music privately and securely to journalists, DJ’s and other key promotional contacts. In previous blog posts we’ve shown you how to do this by using our private sharing features or via a secret link. But sometimes you want to take people straight to your own website and do your own private promo there.

Well you can do this with SoundCloud too by using our secret widget feature. This allows you to keep your tracks totally private on SoundCloud but still grab a player widget that you can embed on your own promo page. From the promo page you can collect your own feedback, add extra promotional material such as tour dates, press shots and other related media. But still use a great looking SoundCloud player to stream and show off your tracks to the fullest. In this tutorial we’ll show you exactly what to do in four easy steps.

1) Set up your private release

Upload all the tracks to SoundCloud as part of a ‘set’ and make sure you remember to include as much metadata as possible eg. release date, descriptions and artwork. Then set the track to private. When a track is private a secret link and embed code for a secret widget are automatically created with every track.

Next you’ll need to set all the correct privacy options. Change your privacy options to make comments private and hide the stats. This is optional but you probably don’t want a journalist seeing other people’s comments or how many other people have listened to the track.

2) Embed the secret widget to your promo page

Now you’ve setup your player you’ll want to add it to your own site. In our example we’ll use a WordPress blog as it’s easy to setup and you can easily password-protect your promo page. To embed the player:

i) go to the private set that you’ve created on SoundCloud and click ‘Share’
ii) grab the embed code for the player you wish to embed. We highly recommend the Artwork player.
iii) edit the embed code in order to turn off sharing. ie. to make sure the secret widget is just shared to your promo page.

For this last step you’ll need to add the following parameter twice in your embed code: sharing=false
Here is what the resulting code looks like:

<object classid=”clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000″ width=”550″ height=”275″ codebase=”http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,40,0″><param name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always” /><param name=”src” value=”http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsoundcloud.com%2Fdavid-adams%2Fsets%2Fholy-yell-sessions%2Fs-0M74F&amp;auto_play=false&amp;player_type=artwork&amp;sharing=false&amp;color=d26e6d” /><embed type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” width=”550″ height=”275″ src=”http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsoundcloud.com%2Fdavid-adams%2Fsets%2Fholy-yell-sessions%2Fs-0M74F&amp;auto_play=false&amp;player_type=artwork&amp;sharing=false&amp;color=d26e6d” allowscriptaccess=”always”>

So now the Secret Widget appears like this:

For more customization options you can read our Hacking The SoundCloud Player tutorial.

3) Setup your promo page

Within this promo page you can add lots more things such as
i) Press material. For example quotes, press shots, tour dates etc.
ii) Additional media. For example video from Youtube or Vimeo
iii) Reaction forms. This is actually very easy to do using a service such as Forms in Google Docs. All replies to your Google Form are stored in a Google Docs spreadsheet.  You can even set the form up so that you get sent an email every time someone leaves feedback. And also have it leave a custom message for the person leaving feedback too.

Here is an example of a promo page with some of these features added:

4) Invite contacts to your promo page

With the promo page ready to highlight all the key facts around the release it is now how you wish to spread the word about this page. The page could simply be part of your blog which is the only place you access the promotional material and is for public viewing.

Or you may want to restrict access to the promo page by setting up password protection of some type. In our example we used WordPress (more info here) .

But most other blogging services have password protection of some kind. And it should be fairly easy for your webmaster to setup password protection on any HTML page if you’re using your own website.

You can check out this example promo page with password protection here. (The password is ‘Kaboom’. Ssshhh, don’t tell anyone!)

With the added safety of a password on the promo page alongside the secret widget on SoundCloud, without being granted a link with a password it is a safe position to share promotional material, such as adding download options to your secret Widget. At this point the choices are completely up to you on how you present your page.

But hopefully we’ve shown you how the Secret widget can be used with other free and easy to use tools in order to create a promo page that is totally secure and uses SoundCloud. For using a Secret Widget in the fashion of the example you will need the the use of the artwork player which is available as a premium feature to those with lite accounts and higher.

David Hello my name is SoundCloud, and it sure was nice to have met you!

Clear skies (no planes), sunshine, foods, drinks, great people, and a deck overlooking Berlin — what more can one ask for on a Saturday afternoon in April? Last Saturday we had a very successful inaugural SoundCloud meetup on the sun-deck of our cloudy Headquarters in Berlin, Germany.

About 50 of you made it out to spend some time with other Berlin-based users and most of the SoundCloud staff to talk about music, production, technology and the interwebs. It was great to finally meet some of you in person after having only known you “online” until Saturday.

We also witnessed an impromptu live session by SoundCloud user Onyx Ashanti who brought his Electronic Wind Instrument (connected to his iPhone for additional effects) and treated everyone with a fifteen-minute Beatjazz live improv’. Watch a short video of Onyx’s performance below:

It was great to catch up with all of you! Make sure to visit some of the attendee’s SoundCloud profiles: Michelle Owen, Gabor Molnar, Bleepstreet Records, Madeleine Bloom, Ric Colair, Santi Hernandez, Walter MarinelliShawn Balm.

I want to take this chance to thank all the users and potential users that came out and said “Hej”. See you soon for a second Berlin meetup! Pictures:

More pictures here and here and here!

We just confirmed more global meetups — next up is Amsterdam, London, Barcelona, Brisbane and Lyon. Check out our Meetups page for details and get in touch with us if you want to organize one in your city. It’s super-easy: select a date, a location and we’ll support you getting the word out to other users from your area.

(Photo Credits: Jan Berkel, Willy Rachow, JC Tu)

David Hello my name is SoundCloud, it’s nice to meet you!

The internet is mega-awesome, don’t you think? Every day it helps us bridge people and places; we get to interact with people we probably would have never been able to be in touch with. With SoundCloud, we want to make it easy for you working with and around audio, to expose your work, move your music and hopefully find the right people to work with. The internet is the perfect medium to do exactly that and we believe it works extremely well, obviously. However, there’s another powerful way to interact:

Meeting people in real life.

That’s why today, we’re announcing a first series of SoundCloud meetups in major European cities and we’d like to invite you to get involved moving forward by either coming to one of the upcoming meetups or organize your own in the city you’re based in.

SoundCloud meetups are a very casual event where existing users, staffers and possibly yet-to-be users get the chance to meet in real life to exchange ideas, learn about the different ways to use the service, ask questions, give answers, find projects to collaborate and anything else you might come up with during the “event” that is fun to do or talk about while having a couple of drinks in a cozy atmosphere.

We’ll be starting with four meetups in the coming weeks, check them out below and make sure to save the date and RSVP. We’re still wrapping up the details about some of the locations but the dates are pretty much confirmed:

Berlin: Saturday, April 17 – 12-3pm – Location: SoundCloud HQ

Since this is the first meetup, we’ll make it a special one: Come join us for brunch on our rooftop terrace and let’s hope the weather will be on our side. It’s great up there.

Amsterdam: Friday, April 23 – 9pm  - Location: tba

London: Wednesday May, 4 – 7pm – Location: Strongroom. RSVP

Barcelona: Thursday May, 13 – 9pm – Location: 7sins Bar. RSVP

The Barcelona meetup is organized by Mr. David “Awesomesauce” Domingo with the support of hisnetlabel support platform netaudio.es and the fine folks from the PLUG festival. Gracias, Compañeros!

We really hope you can make it to one of these meetups and if your city’s not on the list, why not organize a meetup in your city – we’ll send you a T-shirt, stickers and will help you promote it?

We just launched a first version of the SoundCloud Meetups page where you check the upcoming meetups, RSVP for one of the dates and get in touch with us to organize  a meetup in your city.