How to create a query that listens! With SoundCloud

Annie Anderson -

[This article is from Carolyn Adolph at KUOW. She has been experimenting with SoundCloud and has generously shared her process with the PIN Community here.]

The goal of this design is to unite what the source says in SoundCloud with all the other information on the form. It uses SoundCloud as an addition to the question form. 

The guiding principle in building this is that all audio collected must generate a URL which must then be placed into a query so that a reference to the audio can go into AIR.

You need a basic SoundCloud account (no fee!) and a Formbuilder form which you will modify only slightly.

Set up a regular SoundCloud account. You can see I’ve created a formal name for my SoundCloud account which also happens to generate a profile link that I like. 

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Scrolling down, you can Save. On the right sidebar just below Save you can see Dropbox settings.

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Once you’ve clicked Dropbox settings, up this comes: 

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You can see I’ve given my Dropbox a description. Before I go, I hit Edit Your Branded DropBox.

Up comes this page:

Make your page look the way you want. I suggest you check the last line: I want to keep using the branded Dropbox. You are done with stage one. 

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Hit Save, take a look at your finished dropbox and bookmark the page or save the URL of the dropbox. You need this for your Formbuilder form.

What you want to do is offer the SoundCloud option in the text paragraph field which represents the “what’s your story,” or the question with the beefiest expected answer. For me that’s usually question two. You have to keep the wording tight. In my experience Formbuilder develops amnesia if there’s too much html in a single question field. What I’ve developed seems to be all it can handle without forgetting text or mysteriously creating form-twins. 

Here’s a proposed text and the HTML that goes with it.

Please tell us your story (you can ask several more questions here). <p>You can type your answer below...<br> ...or talk it out using our <strong><a href="http://soundcloud.com/kuowvoice/dropbox" target="_blank">SoundCloud studio</a></strong>.<br>Click on the link. Now you're at KUOW Voice & Sound. <br> Click <b>Sign Up</b> to create an account. You can even sign in using Facebook.<br> A red button appears! Hit that, start talking and hit stop when done.<br> Hit <b>Upload Recording</b>, give it a good title and click <b>Share Track</b>.<br><b>Copy the link</b> to your track's page and paste it here.

That should be it. Test everything. SoundCloud informs me that all clips collected this way are downloadable immediately.  I have decided for now not to put a “may we broadcast” question into the KUOW question form.  I want to ask as part of a follow-up call. It’s a choice each of us must make for ourselves!  


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