Playing MP3 with an embedded Flash player

(There is an updated post at Click to hear the MP3 playlist (Apr 2006))

When you want to have an embedded player in a web page, there are several options: working with an embedded RealPlayer or WindowsMedia player – which do not all work on a Mac/Linux platform or with Firefox. Another option is using a Flash player. Flash/ShockWave is supported on all platforms and in all browsers. I went on a search for free embedded Flash players:

SoundBlox
License: This is an Apache-style open source project by Laszlo Systems, based on the Laszlo open-source RAD framework. It is free for non-commercial use.
Method: you reference a Javascript file in your HTML headers, and then call a Javascript function with the URL of the playlist. (This is a problem for some sites. Blogger e.g. does not allow <script> tags in its posts, only in the template.)
Format: it uses a proprietary XML format. <geek>Files in XSPF format can be converted to the SoundBlox format through XSLT</geek>
MusicPlayer
License: This is an open-source (SourceForge) project by Fabricio Zuardi. It is free for non-commercial use.
Method: you reference a Flash file and give it the URL of the playlist. The Flash file is embedded with the usual <object> and <embed> tags.
Format: it uses the standard XSPF (XML Sound Playlist Format). Webjay can convert any HTML file/feed to XSPF!
Check my Webjay wizard to generate the right HTML code for your page!
Halfbaked
License: not explicitly stated. I presume it’s free to use.
Method: you reference a Flash file and give it the URL of the MP3 file. The Flash file is embedded with the usual <object> and <embed> tags.
Format: No playlist here, just one MP3 file.
GurusNetwork
License: not explicitly stated. I presume it’s free to use.
Method: you reference a Flash file, which contains the playlist of the MP3 files to play. You can’t specify a self-made playlist
Format: No idea.
Sonify
License: not explicitly stated. I presume it’s free to use.
Method: you reference a Flash file, which contains the playlist of the MP3 files to play. You can’t specify a self-made playlist
Format: No idea.
RadioBlogClub
License: free to use.
Method: you host the player with all graphics and a config.xml file, that points to a playlist.
Format: A PHP script creates an XML playlist for all MP3 present in a local(!) folder.

For more information on playlist formats (XSPF, SMIL, ASX, …), check out Lucas Gonze’s excellent survey.

There are also some commercial options: hooverwebdesign.com ($50), wimpyplayer.com ($25), soundnails.com ($15)

23 thoughts on “Playing MP3 with an embedded Flash player”

  1. Hi, thanks for pointing out the xspf music player project. The software is licensed under a BSD license, and is free to modify and use both for comercial and non-comercial purposes.

    []s

  2. Wow, thanx, I been looing for player about 2 hours, and I have nothing useful, thank god you live 🙂

  3. You’ve omitted a few: You can accomplish this same function with Odeo’s podcast player as well as Streampad. Streampad is my personal favorite but currently it is limited to 50 files in the widget.

    Dan

  4. Hi,

    Does anyone know which one of those flash players support reading from an audio stream? I want to broadcast live radio on a webpage and most of the embedded flash players can only play songs in play lists.
    I have an M3U playlist which points to an audio stream but none of the players I have seen can read from an M3U playlist. XSPF format doesn’t seem to support reading from a stream.

    Thanks.

  5. I just stumbled across your page via Google search. I think this is what I need, but can you back up, please? My 12 yo daughter wants to put some sort of audio player on her blog, in order to play back music recordings that she has made and mixed herself using a cheapo mic and some free software. We found an audio host, Supload.com, but they don’t give the HTML for a player and the music, just the url where you can hear it played on their site. Can you walk us through the set-up and how to add music? I will have no idea what you are talking about, but she is pretty savvy :o) Thanks for your trouble.
    Sally

  6. I also came accross this page via google search. I´m looking for a very clean looking player, maybe the one that people use on WordPress. The embed code given at wordpress does not work with blogspot, obviously. do you know what is the source how to make it work with blogspot/blogger?
    it´s this one you can see in this page: musicoteca.blogspot.com

  7. Does any one know how to post the flash player from your myspace into the bulletins,so for eg,when someone listens to a song in the flash player bulletin,the player on the site still counts the “todays plays” from the bulletin?

  8. Box.net has a decent mp3 player, too… I think they host 1gig for free and it handles other file types, like images and video.

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