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Combining Newscoop and SoundCloud - a developer's guide.

Technical Workflow for SoundCloud
Technical Workflow for SoundCloud(photo: Adam Thomas)

Newscoop 3.6 includes a plugin for uploading, managing and displaying sound clips which are stored on the SoundCloud service. This function was first implemented by Sourcefabric for its partner, West Africa Democracy Radio, a news and talk radio station which provides programming to 30 affiliates in the West Africa subregion.

In WADR's case, they create 5-6 hours per day of original content, and all of this content is uploaded to SoundCloud.

There were three major benefits for WADR in using SoundCloud as a distribution channel.

  • The SoundCloud's content distribution network is fast, so listeners do not have to wait a long time for files to download
  • The SoundCloud players allow third parties to embed shows and clips on blogs and other websites, thus allowing WADR to reach a larger audience than it would if the clips were stored exclusively on their site
  • SoundCloud's paid premium accounts allow for a large amount of items to be stored on the service, and the prices were competitive with other hosted solutions

Here is a diagram showing the workflow stages for technical and editorial staff. The first shows workflow for technical staff:

Technical Workflow for SoundCloud

Technical Workflow for SoundCloud

On the editorial side, editors make use of the SoundCloud plugin to attach uploaded clips to their articles:

Editorial Workflow for SoundCloud

Editorial Workflow for SoundCloud


Using SoundCloud in your templates

Once SoundCloud tracks are input and attached in Newscoop, they can then be called by the templates just like any other content on the site. For instance you can list any SoundCloud tracks that have been attached to an article and calls the SoundCloud player.

Working With SoundCloud Sets

SoundCloud can also prepare and play groups of tracks (think of them as playlists) which it calls sets. In the WADR project, every program has a set player, and then every individual broadcast is added to the set, with the newest broadcast presented at the top of the set.

For its premium customers, SoundCloud provides a special Set Player which can be embedded instead of a track player, which also allows custom artwork and dimensions.

For code examples on all the above, please visit our Newscoop Cookbook.

For further reference, the SoundCloud API documentation is available at this address: http://developers.soundcloud.com/docs/api


Want to find out more?

This developer's guide was taken from the Newscoop 3 Cookbook - Developer's Guide - a free resource available online, in print, as pdf and as epub via the Sourcefabric website. Thanks to all the original authors.

The Newscoop 3 Cookbook is a work in progress and open to your input. Dedicated to Open Source software development, Sourcefabric believes that the software and its documentation are open to the community. The more contributors add to the products, the more errors get caught and fixed, the more features are implemented. We also believe that software improves from good documentation, and documentation improves with the wide use of software.