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How-To of the Week: Full Mix & Alternate Mix Track Nesting

SourceAudio allows you to nest your alt versions under your full mixes

SourceAudio allows you to nest your alt versions under your full mixes


As everyone is well aware, a lot of tracks have many versions: Full, 0:30, 0:60, no drums, etc. These alt versions come in a variety of names and forms but they almost always need to be related back to the full mix. To handle these full mix/alt mix associations, we created what we call our "nesting" tool. The nesting tool is simple. When a full mix has alt mixes associated to it you'll see a small "+2", "+3" and so on icon to the right of the title in all line listings just like this:


Notice the "+6" to the right of the title above

Notice the "+6" to the right of the title above


That icon indicates to the user that this full mix has several alt versions associated to it. The example track in the screenshot above has 6 alt versions under the full mix. When a user clicks the "+6" icon, the alt mixes will expand right in place without leaving the page. The user can then preview/audition those alt versions right there in-page just like any other track on the site.

How To Nest Your Tracks

You can nest your tracks in 3 easy ways. All methods require you to have all of your tracks uploaded and published to the site before you begin. There isn't a way to nest during the upload process; nesting occurs only after your tracks are up on the site.


Option 1: Use the "Manage Alternates" tool on your track detail pages

To use nest tracks using this option, just click on the title of the master version of the track you wish to start with as the full mix. Then click "Manage Alternates" down below the metadata to enable "nesting" mode on your site. Next, click the little blue overlapping circle icon next to the title to nest/un-nest the alt versions. You can cruise all over the site from page to page adding and removing alternates. When you're done nesting alt versions under the full mix, click "Done" at the top of your screen and you're finished. One thing to note: Nesting can take a few minutes to take effect on your site. We're writing these new nesting relationships to the cloud so please be patient and refresh after a few minutes to see your updates take effect.

Here's the icon you will use for nesting and un-nesting alt versions

Here's the icon you will use for nesting and un-nesting alt versions

Option 2: Run the "Nesting Script" in your Admin Panel

This option is more advanced. It's results also vary based on how you structure your song titles. The script is great, and it picks up most master/alt relationships, but it's not perfect because it can't account for every song title naming convention under the sun. Overall it's pretty darn good though.

Before you decide to run the nesting script we ask that you check to be sure your titles are somewhat close to the most widely used title naming convention we built the script to accommodate. Your titles should look something like these for the best results:

"This is the Song Title" = Full Mix

"This is the Song Title 30" = Alt Mix 1

"This is the Song Title 60" = Alt Mix 2

"This is the Song Title No Perc" = Alt Mix 3

...and so on.

The alts above don't necessarily appear in that exact order but the nester looks for the full song titles/filenames and then grabs other versions of that title that indicate that it is likely an alt version like "30", "60", "no drums" etc. The two biggest issues we see that cause the nesting script to fail are these:

1. You're trying to nest tracks that don't have the same filename and title pattern/convention. "Being close" unfortunately won't work because the software needs to recognize a consistent pattern in order for it to work properly.

2. You include the word "Full" or "Master" at the end of the full mix. That often triggers the script to think that this "Full" version of the track is actually an alt version because of the additional characters on the end. Make sure you leave "Full" and "Master" out of your filenames/titles and you're set.

Lastly, you can always run the script and then you can use Option 1 above to go back in and perform any manual clean up that's needed. The script is great for nesting your whole site and the Manage Alternates tool is great for clean up and nesting smaller batches of tracks. To access this nesting tool, go to Admin Panel > Manage Metadata > Nesting and you can start nesting catalog by catalog.


Option 3: Use the 'Master ID' field in your metadata spreadsheet importer to tell the system specifically which tracks belong together

If you haven't attempted options 1 and 2, or you feel like they didn't get you the results you  like, there is one last option that's guaranteed to get you the results you're looking for. Go into your Admin Panel > Manage Metadata > Export Data and export your track data to a csv. When you open the spreadsheet look for a column in there called "Master ID". In this Master ID column you'll include the SourceAudio ID of the full version each alt version belongs to. SourceAudio ID's are the 7 or 8 digit number in the first column on your spreadsheet. Simply paste the ID of the full mix into the Master ID column for each track that is an alt version of that full mix, save, import and you're set!


Wednesday, 30 January 2013
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New Feature: Embedded Track Player

SourceAudio embedded player

Create embedded players with this new simple tool

You can now embed individual tracks from your SourceAudio site on your other sites, blogs, or anywhere that allows embedded content. The embedded player is a great way to promote your music on other sites & blogs while giving users an easy way to click through to your site to discover more music and contact you about licensing. Embedding tracks is currently limited only to admins. Setting up your players and embedding them is simple.

Here's how it works

  1. Go to the track detail page for the track you want to embed in your site or blog by clicking on the track's title.
  2. Below the "License Now" button on the right side of the page you'll see a new "Embed" button - click it to display the player setup tool you see in the screenshot above.
  3. Configure your player by choosing your sharing & download settings for users who see this player embedded on your site or blog; define you player width; select your text, background, and border colors; and click "Copy Embed Code" to finish.
  4. Paste your embed code into your site or blog, save, and finish. Quick tip: Depending on your blog/page editor, you'll usually need to be in HTML or "source" mode for the player to appear properly.

The new SourceAudio embedded player will play in all browsers and is fully HTML 5 compatible so it works well on iOS devices as well.

Check out a few examples of the new player

Here's one with a gray background and blue text:

Here's that same track but with black text and a red background:

Here's one more in blue and red:

What can you expect to see next with these players?

A few enhancements for these players are already in the pipeline:

  1. We're going to extend the ability to embed tracks to all users who have access to your site - not just admins - and you'll be able to make catalogs, labels and albums embeddable/not embeddable through your music access profiles.
  2. Embeddable playlists are coming next.

Enjoy your new embedded players!

Friday, 25 January 2013
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How-To of the Week: Custom URL Setup

SourceAudio Supports Custom Site URLs

While every SourceAudio site comes with your own URL like 'mylibrary.sourceaudio.com', we also support custom domains so you can point any URL you own at your SourceAudio site. Once your custom URL is set up your site will run entirely within your domain and the URL your users see will always be your own. Setting up your own custom URL is primarily a task between you and your domain host. There is a one-time setup fee on our end of $100 and there is a $3/month ongoing fee only because there's a hard cost to us for adding more domains to our DNS setup and security certificate.

To proceed with setting up your SourceAudio site at your own URL, please follow these instructions:

To host your site at your own URL, we need you to initiate the setup through your domain host and then we can connect it together on our side. You'll need to login to your domain host account (eg. GoDaddy, Dreamhost etc.) and do the following:

First thing to note here: a very common first question in this process is, "Please just give me the new DNS coordinates to SourceAudio so I can point our URL at you guys". Just to be clear, that's not what we're doing here. We are updating CNAME records for your URL so that the site is essentially hosted under your own domain, and your domain isn't just simply pointing/redirecting to us.

Step 1:

To get started we need you to set up one DNS record with your domain host. Login to your own domain hosting account (GoDaddy, etc.) and set up a CNAME reference for 'www.<your-domain-goes-here>.com' that points to 'web3.sourceaudio.com'.

Here's an example:

Say you own the URL 'mylibrary.com' and you want your URL for your site to be 'music.mylibrary.com'. You'll simply need to set up your CNAME reference for 'music.mylibrary.com' that points to 'web3.sourceaudio.com'.

Step 2: 

Please verify that the email address associated to your domain hosting account is one you have access to and check regularly. To verify the email address associated to your account, go here and run a search for your domain: http://www.networksolutions.com/whois/index.jsp . If the email address you see on the results page is one you check all the time, you're ready to go. If the email address you see is not one that you recognize, login to your domain host account and update your info accordingly. When we add your new custom URL to our security certificate an email will be sent to the email address your domain host has on record asking you to approve this request. We cannot dictate where this email goes. It has to go to the email address associated to your domain host account for security purposes.

Once steps 1 and 2 above are complete just shoot us an email know and we'll submit the request to have your domain added to our security certificate. Then, you will receive the email from your domain host asking you to approve/confirm the URL settings update and at that point it's all done.

One quick tip: You'll know you've set it up correctly on your end when you load your custom URL in a browser and the page you see looks exactly like this one: http://testing.sourceaudio.com/ . Same white background, same black text - exactly like that very simple looking page. Once you see that you know you're done and we can finish the setup.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013
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How-To of the Week: Setting Up the E-Commerce Features on Your Site

SourceAudio e-commerce

All SourceAudio sites come ready to support e-commerce transactions of 2 types:

1. Online licensing for needle-drop license transactions. Prices are based on your own rate card and the license and invoice are delivered at the completion of the transaction.

2. Digital downloads or buyouts. You set the prices for each track and the user can make purchases via the shopping cart and checkout process.

To enable online licensing or digital downloads we need 4 things from you to proceed:

1. Your standard license agreement. This won't change from transaction to transaction.

2. Your rate card. We can accommodate all types of usage and pricing. To see an example rate card in action, click "License Now" on this track details page.

3. Your business billing address.

4. Your PayPal info as detailed in this previous blog post about PayPal payments.

To see a quick video of the licensing feature in action, you can watch this video right here as well.

All transactions are handled via PayPal so all payments will go directly to you when PayPal settles the payment. To proceed with setting up e-commerce on your site, just send Dan or Andrew an email that includes the 4 items above and we'll get you going. The cost for enabling e-commerce on your site is $29 per month. This additional fee covers the additional support needed to manage and maintain the e-commerce system on the platform.

Saturday, 19 January 2013
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E-Commerce: We’re Moving To PayPal Payments

SourceAudio Now Uses PayPal Payments for All E-Commerce Transactions

SourceAudio Now Uses PayPal Payments for All E-Commerce Transactions

We're excited to announce our newest e-commerce upgrade: SourceAudio is moving to PayPal payments for all e-commerce transactions, making deposits from your sales transactions route directly & instantly into your own account. From an overall ease of use and value standpoint, we feel like connecting sellers directly with buyers via PayPal is the best solution. So, effective immediately, all existing e-commerce enabled sites will be migrated over to PayPal's payment system. In terms of the overall user experience, nothing has changed - users will be able to pay with either an AMEX credit card or with their PayPal ID.

To connect your PayPal account to your site, we'll need you to provide us with 3 pieces of information:

  1. Your PayPal API username
  2. Your PayPal API password
  3. Your PayPal API signature

For instructions on how to gain access to your PayPal API and password, please follow the step-by-step guide found right here under Option "A".

That's it for now. More updates on embedded players and SEO coming very soon!

Wednesday, 16 January 2013
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