Aldous Huxley once said “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” For bloggers and website designers, what words cannot express, music can. Music can be incorporated into a site as background music to create a mood or ambiance, as a compliment to a particular theme, or as a feature for review and commentary, etc., or as a centerpiece of a particular band’s or musician’s latest project.
Listed below are five plugins that cover a range of needs for the integration of music or sound into WordPress sites. Each one is highly rated based on WordPress.org user reviews, require WordPress 3.0 or higher, and are compatible up to version 3.2.2.
Top 5 WordPress Plugins for Audio
1. Simple Music
This super-simple plugin allows you to easily play any MP3 file as a sidebar widget on your blog. Simple Music is indeed simple – just enter the song’s URL and go! Use this plugin when the music is meant to subtly enhance the site versus be the focus (think background zen versus in-your-face techno). Simple to set up, and simple to use! Upload a file or find one online, choose autoplay or repeat, and you’re done!
This one is for the true audiophile who loves to share and expound on his favorite tracks. SoundCloud is Gold allows you to browse through your tracks, sets and favorites from the SoundCloud is Gold tab in your post’s “Upload Media” popup window so there is no need to go back and forth between SoundCloud and your website. Select and add your music to your post using the SoundCloud player. The plugin is customizable – you can choose your favorite SoundCloud player, width, add extra classes, show comments, etc. The plugin automatically writes shortcode for you dynamically as you select parameters. Additionally, it provides a live preview of your player so you know what does what. Simply click the “insert SoundCloud player” button and the track is added to your post.
“Developed by podcasters for podcasters,” Blubrry PowerPress offers full iTunes support, web audio/video med players and more providing a simple platform to showcase any and every kind of podcast. Key features include: HTML5 video support, integrated HTML5 and Flash Media Players, modifiers that make it easy to add, modify and remove podcasts from blog posts and pages. This plug in supports six audio players and dozens of media formats and is available in four languages.
If you are a musician (or manage one), it’s impossible to keep fans up-to-date on your doings without an interesting, current website; this plugin makes it easy for fans to track your every move. Available since 2007, GigPress is a live performance listing and management plugin for musicians and performers. This plugin allows users to manage all upcoming and past performances right from admin and display simply on a WordPress-powered website. GigPress allows you to add artists, venues, tour dates and related posts on the fly for multiple artists and display them as a combined listing or grouped by artist. You can also import and export your database to and from a CSV format without fear of duplicate data.
Each plugin can be utilized for different purposes, and there are many others just like them with similar/varying capabilities. GigPress is the most sophisticated, and is used by many well known bands such as Death Cab for Cutie, My Morning Jacket and The Swell Season. As always, do your research and read user reviews to determine if these, or any other, plugins suit your needs. Check out more WordPress plugins at bloggingtips.com
And please, tell us what you think! Have you used any of these plugins? Do you have a favorite that we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments below.