Help me post music samples on our church website
April 27, 2016 8:53 AM   Subscribe

I am pastor of a church that does many weddings each year. For years, we've provided couples a CD with 20 brief samples of classical/sacred music recorded by our church organist. This allows the couple to easily select music for every part of their ceremony, but I think it might be easier and cheaper to just post these online. Can you guide me in posting 20 or so samples of 1 minute or less on our website so we avoid the cost of copying CDs?

I've seen some websites that contain a list of links, but they're often not user-friendly. Along with the sound file, it would be nice to have the title and composer on the screen while the music is playing. This is a great example of what we're trying to do.

We use WordPress as the basis for our website, linked here. I'm also the web guy for the church and I can handle basics, but I don't have any experience posting music online. I have access to Windows 7 and 10 and Chrome operating systems. Any help or suggestions will be appreciated.
posted by rdauphin to Technology (6 answers total)
Why not put together a video (or a group of videos) and put it (them) on YouTube?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:04 AM on April 27, 2016 [2 favorites]

So for the sake of completeness, here are the steps I see involved (I'm assuming the songs already are in digital format):

1. Trim the songs to length.
2. Host them somewhere online.
3. Embed them in your Wordpress site.

For 1, I'd grab Audacity, a free audio editor (unless you're already familiar with another one).

For step 2, I'd get a Soundcloud account and post them there. You can even create one playlist for all of them, or a separate one for each section of the service as in your example.

And for step 3, Soundcloud provides Wordpress-compatible embeds. Here are some instructions.
posted by brentajones at 9:15 AM on April 27, 2016

As Brentajones says there are a few parts to this. SoundCloud is great, but you also might have space to save it on your website.

If you go that route, once you've got it uploaded you can just copy the files Web address and it will create a player for you.
Below that you can list the piece information.

There are other fancy WordPress audio plug-ins but there's no reason to mess with them, imo
posted by lownote at 9:21 AM on April 27, 2016

I'm going to second Chocolate Pickle and recommend a YouTube video playlist - mostly just because it's a format people are used to using. You will want to add some kind of visual, obviously - just a title card for a short clip, or some images of your church, the organ, organist(s), or wedding photos.

YouTube actually has a "create slideshow" option where you add the images and the music and it creates the video for you. It's pretty easy. Then you could embed those videos in the page and/or create a playlist to link to. Disable the comments.
posted by mskyle at 9:42 AM on April 27, 2016

Thank you for the great help offered here. Since our song files were already trimmed and digitized, I uploaded them to SoundCloud and created separate playlists for each category needed. I popped them onto a new page in our WordPress site and linked it on the main wedding page. The whole process took less than an hour, and now the files are easily shared, too. Here's the result.

posted by rdauphin at 11:32 AM on April 27, 2016 [2 favorites]

Nice job!

One small suggestion. Above the music, you say: "(or use the numbers next to each title)". I'd suggest changing that to read "(or use the numbers to the left of each title)" — Soundcloud is apparently putting the play counts to the far right, and that could be confusing to people. Alternatively, there might be an option when generating the embed code to not include play counts.
posted by brentajones at 12:06 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

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