Music and audio

How can I add music to my PhpBB forum? What about Flash players? How can I have it to go on playing no matter what page the visitors are looking at?

That’s what this FAQ is about: Music Popup or

Note that you're not allowed to publish any music to your website of which you don't own the copyright or don't have the permission of the copyright owner to do so or you pay a royalty to the copyright holder. If you do publish music to your website without the right to do so you don't HAVE to but you COULD get sued! Putting music on a website means that you're providing the music to others who could easily download it even if you don't want them to do so. Downloading it is not illegal, providing it is illegal (have a look at the Note at the bottom of the page about DRM Free music you buy on iTunes)

Unless the music was created and published under Creative Commons License (What's that?) wich means that you’re free to share it.

To find some creative common licensed music go to:
Jamendo.com or have a look at the following blog post at largeheartedboy.com

Note that people usually already listen to music with iTunes, radio, ... while browsing the web. Hence having the music playing automatically on your website and not letting the visitor choose whether he wants to listen to music or not should be avoided. Give the user control of it.

Chapter 1: How to get the music online
Chapter 2: How to build a Flashplayer
2.1 Using myflashfetish.com
2.2 Using a simple flash player
2.3 Using flashskins.co.uk
2.4 The best music player
2.5 Note about compilations
Chapter 3: How to add the player to your site so that the music keeps playing when people switch thread, ...
Chapter 4: Note about iTunes music

Chapter 1: How to get the music online

1. Search for the music you want to have playing on your website
2. Download it and put all the songs in a folder named Music
3. To make it easier for you to find out the URL of a file in the filenames replaces all the spaces with underscores _ and all special characters like à ö ü, ... with normal characters (a, o, u, ...) and remove any other special characters like ! ? $ ...
4. Upload the folder containing your mp3 files to the main location (root) on your server using an FTP application
Entering: http://yourdomain.com/Music/filename.mp3 in your browser should bring up this file

Chapter 2: How to build a Flashplayer

2.1 Using myflashfetish.com

1. Sign up to myflashfetish.com (that’s the one I used to create my players) or any other platform where you can build a Flashplayer with your music
2. Make a playlist
- Choose a skin you want to use (appearance of the player, I use the iPod nano because I love it)
- There will be fields saying MP3 Title (don’t use special characters like è ä and ‘ & and so on) and MP3 URL (http://yourdomain.com/Music/filename.mp3 or whatever)
3. At the end of the process save the playlist, get the code

2.2 Using a simple flash player

1. Click here to download the source files of the player
2. Upload the “SFPSource” folder to the main location (root) of your server
3. Copy the following code and modify it as explained

<script language="JavaScript" src="http://yourdomain.com/SFPSource/audio-player.js"></script>
<object type="application/x-shockwave-flash" data="http://yourdomain.com/SFPSource/player.swf" id="audioplayer1" height="24" width="290">
<param name="movie" value="http://yourdomain.com/SFPSource/player.swf">
<param name="FlashVars" value="playerID=1&autostart=no&soundFile=http://yourdomain.com/Music/FileName.mp3">
<param name="quality" value="high">
<param name="menu" value="false">
<param name="wmode" value="transparent">
</object>

Substitute yourdomain.com with your domain
Change the parameters height and width (in pixel) to fit your case
autostart=no or autostart=yes whether you want the song top play automatically or not
Substitute http://yourdomain.com/Music/FileName.mp3 with the URL to the mp3 music file you want to play
audioplayer1 and playerID=1: if you have multiple players on the same page change the number to 2 in the code of the second player, 3 in the code of the third player, 4 in the code of the fourth player and so on...

2.3 Using flashskins.co.uk

1. Go to flashskins.co.uk and download or buy the player you want
2. Upload the folder with the files you get to your server
3. Read the instructions.html file you find in the folder to know how to set it up
4. Paste the code into your page.

2.4 The best music players

For what I think are the best players have a look at this page.

2.5 Note about compilations

The simple flash player doesn’t support playlists. If you want to put multiple songs in it make a compilation of multiple files and save it into one file.

Chapter 3: How to add the player to your site so that the music keeps playing when people switch thread, ...

If you add a player to a file of your PhpBB Forum style every time people switch thread or click any link the music would stop playing and people would have to start listening from the beginning again. That's not a good solution.

I think the best way to add music to a forum and to have the music playing when people change page is to add the player to a popup window which people will keep behind the main window while browsing your forum or website.

For instructions look at popup windows.

Here’s an example using popup:

or

Chapter 4: Note about iTunes music

Buying music on iTunes doesn’t give you the right to share it. If you buy a DRM free song on iTunes your e-mail address (thus your account information) gets registered in the file. If you share with your friends whom share it with other whom share it with others again your account information could be found all over the world and the music labels might notice that there are a lot of copies of the song with your account information and you could get a phone call by a lawyer which (obviously) wouldn’t be nice. For more information read the following article.


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