Friday, September 19, 2008

Adding an Audio File to Blogger

by Terry Thornton
email: hillcountrymonroecounty@gmail.com

Thomas MacEntee, Administrator of the GeneaBlogger Group, requested that I post a "how to" explaining the steps required for adding audio files to a blog. I had requested help on the group's discussion board specifically requesting names of an audio hosting site to use.

As no sites were recommended by group members, I went to Blogger Editor and followed the steps recommended there which enabled me to add the audio file that can be heard in my article, Come, O Thou Travelor Unknown: My First Digital Audio File.

In the article which accompanies the audio file, I established the sort of recording equipment I bought (Olympus Digital Voice Recorder, WS-110: $45 before tax at Sam's Club in office supplies rather than electronics); I described how I made a digital recording (of my playing the piano) and how simple it was then to download the digital audio file in its WMA format to my computer.

The problem then became how do I insert a WMA file into Blogger. Blogger Help Resources to the rescue. At Help Center, I clicked "Multi-Media Blogging" and was carried to "Audio and Podcasts." Within that help article was the "How Do I Post Audio/Music to My Blog?" (All of the following screen captures can be clicked for a larger image)

On the Quick Answer list, I decided that I'd better elect to let a host store my audio files --- so I read further and found this information:

This help article continues . . .


As soon as I saw the list of four suggested hosting services, I did a Google Search for "free audio hosting site" and looked for any from the list of four above. I was on a quest for a free hosting site. The one I found first was Box.net.

Before I did anything else, I went to Box.net and set up a free account with them to host a small amount of audio files. Box.net offers a free hosting account for a 1 GB site; larger plans start at $ 7.95 per month. They also offer a free 14-day free trial on any of their plans if you wish to try them out.

Once I got a user name and password established with Box.net, I then attempted to transfer a copy of my audio file from my computer to my new account there. I was successful on the first attempt to move a copy of my audio file to Box.net. No mean feat for one as computer challenged as I --- and encouraged by this seemingly good turn of events, I returned to Blogger Editor to see what I could do with my audio file.

First, I wrote the article to go with my audio file. I didn't have a clue as to where the link would go, so I left out specific references to the music file within the article until I got it all set up. I opened Blogger Editor to a test blog site I maintain that only two people in the world can access --- me and footnoteMaven. I opened the Setting/Formatting tabs in my Layout features and set "Show Link Field" to "Yes." I then attempted to post an article in my test blog including the URL to the audio file housed at Box.net.

That attempt failed. There was one additional step I missed --- adding the widget to my layout page to indicate that I'm allowing enclosure links. Here is the skinny on that step.

After you've enabled "Yes" on "Show Links Field" open your blogger editor as if you were starting a new article or a new post. This header should appear in your Blogger Editor:

Notice that below your title box you have a new one --- a "Link" box. This is where you will paste the URL for the audio file you've stored at Box.net or some other hosting site. But before you paste in the URL to your audio file, I suggest you click the "Learn more" button at far right (see red arrow). That opens up an interesting help page which includes the following code you will need to place into your layout:

I pasted the code into a text box and added it to my layout. I've got my link widget at the top of my page but will soon migrate it to the footer as it is a clutter I don't need at the top of my pages.

Here is how my Blogger Editor now looks when I'm ready to post an audio file --- remember the URL of the audio file you've placed at a host site is needed to insert into the box "Link" --- just cut and paste and you'll have a title that is also clickable to your audio file.

Once you've got the audio file URL inserted into the Link box, proceed to write your blog article in the usual manner. Click post --- and the world will be able to listen to your audio file.

In my case the first audio file I made was me playing the piano. I hope to do some interviews soon and post them with the permission of the one being interviewed.

Audio file posting offers all sorts of possibilities. I hope you will investigate how to make digital recordings, load them to your computer, load them to a hosting site, and then share them with your readers by loading the audio file into your blog article.

Disclaimer: I'm sure there are numerous ways to accomplish this process. The above is how I did it --- and I have two left feet when it comes to dancing with computers. If I can figure it out, your placing audio files on your blog should be easy. I would appreciate, however, any comments from you computer savvy young'uns on how to make this process easier and more streamlined. I would like, for instance, to be able to have an audio tape of a person I've interviewed playing behind an image of that individual. Perhaps one of these days I'll be brave enough to tackle that possibility.


2 comments:

Ian Hollingworth said...

v interesting. How do you migrate the link box to the foot of the page?

Jo said...

Terry, very interesting article. Great job outlining steps for non-techy persons. Have you figured out how to accomplish your other goal of audio playing with a picture?