18 September 2010

SoundCloud Players Now Across Site

Posted by Alex at 4:23 pm

The SoundCloud player is now across the site. If you click on Listen you will be presented by this rather lovely window – button subject to colour change.

Although ultimately I will program a customised SoundCloud Javascript player I decided to deploy the player across the site as quickly as possible. The easiest way to do this was to simply replace out existing Flash based music player with a SoundCloud player. But how would I be able to pass on the URL of the set to the Player so it knew which album to play?

Well, each of our sets is uploaded with a title like “Les Étoiles – Never To Alight”, which translates to a permalink like http://soundcloud.com/records-on-ribs/sets/les-etoiles-never-to-alight/ on SoundCloud. All I would have to do is transform “Artist Name – Release Title” into a slug like “artist-name-release-title” name, make this into a URL like http://soundcloud.com/records-on-ribs/sets/artist-name-release-title and send this to the SoundCloud Flash player ‘url=’ parameter. This was achieved pretty simply, as Ribcage can work out the name and the title of a release from a given slug.

# We are passed $release_slug from the URL structure - http://recordsonribs/player/$release_slug

$release = get_release_by_slug ($release_slug, FALSE, FALSE);
	if (is_wp_error($release)){
$artist['artist_name'] = get_artistname_by_id($release['release_artist']);
    if (is_wp_error($artist)){
# Setup how this set would be named at SoundCloud
$url = $artist['artist_name']." ".$release['release_title'];
$table = array(
    'Š'=>'S', 'š'=>'s', '?'=>'Dj', '?'=>'dj', 'Ž'=>'Z', 'ž'=>'z', '?'=>'C', '?'=>'c', '?'=>'C', '?'=>'c',
    'À'=>'A', 'Á'=>'A', 'Â'=>'A', 'Ã'=>'A', 'Ä'=>'A', 'Å'=>'A', 'Æ'=>'A', 'Ç'=>'C', 'È'=>'E', 'É'=>'E',
    'Ê'=>'E', 'Ë'=>'E', 'Ì'=>'I', 'Í'=>'I', 'Î'=>'I', 'Ï'=>'I', 'Ñ'=>'N', 'Ò'=>'O', 'Ó'=>'O', 'Ô'=>'O',
    'Õ'=>'O', 'Ö'=>'O', 'Ø'=>'O', 'Ù'=>'U', 'Ú'=>'U', 'Û'=>'U', 'Ü'=>'U', 'Ý'=>'Y', 'Þ'=>'B', 'ß'=>'Ss',
    'à'=>'a', 'á'=>'a', 'â'=>'a', 'ã'=>'a', 'ä'=>'a', 'å'=>'a', 'æ'=>'a', 'ç'=>'c', 'è'=>'e', 'é'=>'e',
    'ê'=>'e', 'ë'=>'e', 'ì'=>'i', 'í'=>'i', 'î'=>'i', 'ï'=>'i', 'ð'=>'o', 'ñ'=>'n', 'ò'=>'o', 'ó'=>'o',
    'ô'=>'o', 'õ'=>'o', 'ö'=>'o', 'ø'=>'o', 'ù'=>'u', 'ú'=>'u', 'û'=>'u', 'ý'=>'y', 'ý'=>'y', 'þ'=>'b',
    'ÿ'=>'y', '?'=>'R', '?'=>'r', '’'=&gt''
$url = preg_replace('/ /', '-', $url);
$url = strtr($url, $table);
$url = strtolower($url);
$url = preg_replace('/\p{P}(?
$url = urlencode("http://soundcloud.com/records-on-ribs/sets/".$url);

There are obviously ways to refactor this, but this is how we did it. We replaced all the foreign characters, lower-cased the string, replaced spaces with hyphens and removed all the punctuation. We then make a URL we can pass onto the SoundCloud player and put this into the standard Flash player after ‘url=’, adding a few additional strings to it to customise. With a quick edit to our Javascript which pops up the player window, to change it to the correct dimensions and we are done. Easy.

12 September 2010

Records On Ribs at SoundCloud

Posted by Alex at 9:03 pm

After many hours of uploading the whole Records On Ribs back catalogue is now available on SoundCloud. Slowly but surely, we will be replacing the old Flash player with a SoundCloud player.

Not only does this provide yet another way to enjoy the music we put out, but it makes it far easier for you to share our music with others. By clicking on the share link over at SoundCloud you can easily add whole albums to your WordPress.com or Blogger site, find the HTML to paste, or share it on Twitter, Facebook or elsewhere.

Results in (we’ve even tweaked this one a bit more):

The same goes for individual tracks.

Sharing A Track

Results in:

Soon hopefully these by track and by album embedding features will be available throughout the site. We’d love to see people just plain taking our music and putting it on their sites.

This also means that you’ll be able to listen to any of our tracks through the SoundCloud iPhone app if you so desire.

This isn’t the extent of Records On Ribs on SoundCloud. Les Étoiles has uploaded some of his pre-ROR releases onto there, including offcuts and alternative versions from Never To Alight, entitled Left Luggage and some cuts from his 2004 records From A Closed Room, that I’ve embedded below.

Seasoned Dave watchers might be aware of his previous outing with the band Roquentin. Their existentialist pop record Portraits of Homes and Pictures of Ghosts can be listened to on the site.

EL Heath is also a fairly prolific SoundCloud user, rattling out tracks, some of which might come from future releases over here at a rate of knots. Check this out – hauntological.

Many thanks to the SoundCloud team who have been really supportive of Records On Ribs and provided a whole load of help, in particular Dave Haynes. This included kicking off a command-line uploader for SoundCloud for us to enable the shifting of all our releases onto the site with ease. They wrote the basis of it, we added to it and the program will soon be publicly released. It works as a Ruby script through their excellent API. SoundCloud just makes moving huge volumes of music effortless, a really cool site.