Embedding Audio Files In A WordPress.com Blog

After you have created an audio story, you will want to share it with the world. If your platform is WordPress.com, there are several ways you can embed an audio player into a blog post.

If “ease” is your primary motivation, you should pay WordPress an annual fee to increase your storage space; with the increased storage comes the ability to embed video and audio. WordPress has a shortcode that makes embedding these sound files very easy.

If “free” is your primary motivation, you can host your audio files elsewhere. If sound is an occasional element of your stories, then this is also the more practical approach.

I’ll tackle the “free” embed process first.

If you have a separate website where you can upload files, do so and then copy the URL to the sound file. With this URL, you will create a small player using the audio shortcode. This shortcode is the same one used for WP.com hosted audio.

audio shortcode

Audio Shortcode For WordPress.com

If you do not have a place to host files or you don’t want to deal with an FTP client, consider a freemium service like SoundCloud (2 hours of audio hosted for free). As with other third party sites such as Slideshare.net, there is a special WP.com shortcode for audio files hosted at SoundCloud. Here’s how to find it.

This step-by-step is presented in a screen cast and still images. It begins on your tracks page, which is where you view your uploaded your audio files.

SoundCloud 1

1. Find the "Share" link on your SoundCloud audio track

soundcloud 2

2. Click (select) "Share" and then click (select) the "More" Link

soundcloud - 3

3. Click (select) The "WordPress" Button


4. SoundCloud will generate your shortcode. Copy it, and then paste it into your WordPress.com blog.

If you opt for the WordPress.com upgrade (with that annual fee), then you will upload your audio to your Media Gallery following the same process you use to upload an image. In order tp insert the audio into a post, click the Insert into Post button; be sure that the there is no Link URL selected. WordPress will generate a standard audio shortcode.

Changing The Appearance Of The Standard Audio Player

You can alter the width and color of the standard audio player.

The default player width is 290px. To change the width, use the width parameter – be sure not to add a space between the URL and the separator [|]:

wp audio shortcode

How To Change The Width Of The WP Audio Player

You can also change the color of the player by adjusting a variety of parameters. Just as in the example above, the parameters should be a string separated only by [|] such as this:


Here are the color parameters and their default settings:

  • bg=0xF8F8F8
  • leftbg=0xEEEEEE
  • lefticon=0×666666
  • rightbg=0xCCCCCC
  • rightbghover=0×999999
  • righticon=0×666666
  • righticonhover=0xFFFFFF
  • text=0×666666
  • slider=0×666666
  • track=0xFFFFFF
  • border=0×666666
  • loader=0x9FFFB8
  • bgcolor=0xFFFFFF

Changing The Appearance Of The SoundCloud Player

After SoundCloud presents you with your shortcode, select the “customize” link if you want to change the appearance of the player. Here is an example of the default player and a custom player:



For an additional fee (a paid account) you can change the size of the player and add custom artwork.


5 thoughts on “Embedding Audio Files In A WordPress.com Blog

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