Web Audio: The Search Goes On

For a while now I’ve been using Plaino’s Wimpy Player, which give me an audio button option for single tracks, and a player option for playlists. For the most part I like it because I can drag/drop audio into a folder and it just works (for existing players I’ve configured with some coding). For new players, there’s some light coding, but Word Press doesn’t always get along with it. The other major downside for me is that Wimpy requires Flash, so iPad and iPhone users can’t hear anything. Wimpy has lots of tracking capability that can be programmed, but since I hate programming, it is of little use to me.

When I recently maxed out my 1.5 GB of server space, I began studying SoundCloud. Many of the electro and DJ folks seem to like it. SoundCloud gives you 120 upload minutes (not GB). That’s enough to play with it and see that their player is superior. It runs on HTML5 and has some major tracking built in, but that requires a paid account. I’ve been seriously considering SoundCloud because I needed an faster, easier way to set up my players, and I also needed space.

One downside to SoundCloud is that the time it saves you in coding, you spend in identifying tracks with meta data. It seems to ignore all of the detailed info that I already have on file via ID3 tags.

SoundCloud may ultimately be the direction, but I’ve negotiated more space with my ISP (like 3x as much for no charge) because they are changing how their hosting plans are structured. Space has become very cheap, so it is no longer something my ISP can hold back on. So I now have more than enough space to host all of my radio shows, albums, etc, but now I’m back to the player situation, and the coding time.

The company that makes Wimpy also makes a Word Press plugin called Rave. It is very slick compared to my previous Wimpy experience, and integrates very well with WP. One main difference, because it works with WP, is that files aren’t just drag/dropped via FTP – they have to be uploaded as media into the WP database, then assigned to playlists from there. But since it requires zero coding, and works very well, I don’t mind. So the player you see at the top here is Rave:

It’s is “demo” mode because I don’t have a full license for it yet. Metadata is also stripped somewhat though I may be missing something and need to study it some more.

The players you see here are still Wimpy:

Yet, Rave still requires Adobe Flash :-(. Doesn’t run on my iPod touch.¬†So now it is a question of:

A) Sign up for a premium subscription model with SoundCloud to cover all bases:

B) Purchase Rave (one time $50) to at least make things easier for now. It comes down to whether or not I care if someone in Guam listened to “Ones & Zeroes”, or whether or not the Apple mobile crowd can hear anything. I mean, I do care, but there’s also only so much time in a day to do this stuff. SoundCloud’s space allotment increases with the various price points they offer, and it isn’t exactly cost effective. My radio shows are each an hour, so I’d eat up space on SoundCloud quickly. Besides, I keep thinking that – if I have my own server(s) and space – why should I pay for hosting AND functionality? I just want the functionality (a great, cross-platform player, with good tagging and ease of use.)

Suggestions for other solutions to this problem are welcome.


By jjdeprisco

Sonic explorer, sound artist, guitarist in Fricknadorable, software designer.