Have you been thinking of adding audio to your web pages? Recording sound — whether it’s a speech, presentation, meeting, or musical performance — is easy if your smartphone or MP3 player has this feature.  Just make sure to get permission from the speakers or performers to make the recording and to post it on the Web. See Filming Others May Require Permission (a post from the InterConnections Tipsheet) for advice. Our Video Talent Release Form (PDF) may also be helpful. Permissions for Multimedia Files explains the UUA’s permissions policy.

Once you’ve made a recording and gotten permission to use it on UUA.org, you may need to edit it to remove unwanted material at the beginning, ending, or in the middle. You may also want to adjust the volume. Several free audio editors are downloadable from the Web. These two work fine:

  • Audacity (Windows and Mac; requires a free extra download called LAME to save files in MP3 format)
  • AVS Audio Editor (Windows)

Be sure to save your file as an MP3, a format that we can stream from UUA.org and that most audio players can handle. Check out the  Technical Specifications for Audio Submitted to UUA.org for details. If you need help with this, you can ask the UUA’s ITS Web Team to adjust the volume and remove noise from the beginning or end in the next step.

Your next step is to get your MP3 file on the UUA’s streaming server. Use the Multimedia Submission Form to submit information about the file. The Web Team needs a few days’ advanced warning to get the file onto our server, and we’ll respond with the web address of the file.

Finally, you can add it to your web page by using the Videos/Audios tab in the UUA’s CMS.  (Instructions for CMS users are here. If you’re not a CMS user, someone in your staff group is!) To make the recording accessible, please cut-and-paste any script or transcript you may have onto the same page in the main content section. When the page is published, you’ll see a player with a Play button and volume controls, so people don’t need any extra software to hear your file.

So, let your users hear from you!

About the Author
Margy Levine Young
Margy Levine Young is the Manager of the ITS Web Team, part of the Information Technology Service staff group of the UUA.

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