Author Archives: Dave

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.

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.

Dave What you always wanted to know about Privately Sharing your music (and weren't afraid to ask)

SoundCloud is great for putting up tracks and sharing them across the web. But sometimes you want a little more privacy right? You want to send your music to a journalist or pitch some tracks to a music supervisor. Or maybe you’ve got an unfinished track that you need your vocalist to hear but certainly isn’t ready for primetime.

supermegasendfile

And most of the ways people currently use to share music privately are broken, cumbersome or plain ugly. FTP is fiddly and long. And generic file sharing services mean that the recipient sit through spammy ads, whilst waiting for the link to even become active. These links aren’t secure either, often expire and can hide viruses. Not nice!

SoundCloud is easy for the recipient, easy on the eye and let’s your music take center stage. And of course, we can also help you keep it private and secure.

HOW DO I SHARE A TRACK PRIVATELY?

1. Upload your release

If you want to send a release, showreel or playlist then upload all the tracks at the same time. This will create a ‘set’. Complete as much or as little metadata you want. The great thing about using SoundCloud is that you’re not just sending files, you’re creating a beautiful page on the web that can include cover artwork, video links and full descriptions or promo text.

2. Mark as ‘Private’

This will make the track completely private and secure. It won’t show up on your public SoundCloud page and can’t be searched for either. No one can get to the track unless you have given them access.

3. Select who has access

There are 4 different ways that you can give people access to the track or set that you just created.

i. add their email address(es)
ii. add their SoundCloud username(s)
iii. add a previously created Contact List
iv. create a ‘secret link’

SoundCloud Private Sharing

4. Mark the track for download

Now you can decide if you want the track(s) to be downloadable by the recipient or if you want to give them streaming access only. If you mark as downloadable the recipient can access the original file (WAV, MP3, AIFF etc) as well as the preview quality stream that SoundCloud creates.

HOW WILL THE RECIPIENT GET THE TRACK(S)?

Once you have given someone access to the track they will receive an email notification that you have shared the track(s) with them. Inside the email there is a unique link that takes them directly to the track page that you created on SoundCloud that includes all the information you added. They can also download the original artwork or view any video links that you included.

If you marked the track for download then they simply click to get the download. There are also direct download links in the email notification (they’ll need to be logged in to download of course).

email notification

DOES THE RECIPIENT HAVE TO SIGN UP?

Yes, and no. If the person you’re sending music to doesn’t already have an account then we automatically create them a temporary account and all they need to do is put in a password, known only to them. This has to be done in order to make sure your track is only available to those you’ve given access. But it’s an extremely quick process for the recipient and they don’t have to create a full account on SoundCloud or spend anytime inputting their details. Also, they can use this same password the next time you send them a track.

signup to get track

If you want still want your tracks to be private but you don’t need this top level of security then you should use our ‘Secret Link’ feature which is available for anyone with a premium account.

YOU MENTIONED IT WAS SECURE?

Yes, you control exactly who has access to which tracks. Recipients are sent a unique link which is tied to their own account. The link is secure and can’t be accessed by anyone else unless they also know that persons account details. You’re also able to see stats on your track. How many plays or download it has had and even who listened when.

Of course no audio on the web is completely secure. But we make it as secure as possible without making the user experience totally suck. And if you’re only making a stream available this is a lower MP3 quality file encoded at 128kbps.

If you have any questions on using SoundCloud for private sharing then please feel free to get in touch or leave comments below.