The visual and audible web is here today, and videos, podcasts, music, and all types of multimedia are flooding the Internet bands. Bloggers are leading the way by hosting and showcasing video and audio files on their blogs in as many ways as there are tunes.
Multimedia files can be stored and hosted on your blog or off your blog on an audio/music and/or video hosted service site. Some WordPress Plugins are designed to work with only self-hosted files, others with only off-site hosted files. Then there are a few Plugins which will handle both.
The process of adding video, music, audio, podcasts, and other multimedia files to your WordPress blog can be simple or complex, depending upon what you want the end results to be. I’ve included a list of technical resources and articles to help you learn more about podcasting, video and adding multimedia to your WordPress blog at the end of this article.
There are good, do-it-all multimedia WordPress Plugins and there are very narrow, do-one-thing Plugins. Choosing the right one for you is up to you and your media needs. I will not recommend one over another as a favorite since my needs are different from yours. These are free, so try them until you find one you like and use that.
Note: As with all trendy and fad Plugins, many of these Plugins will be here today, gone tomorrow, as the author changes focus and stops supporting the Plugin. Some off-site hosted multimedia sites may close and go out of business, leaving you stuck, unable to access your files and hosting dead links on your blog. Things like this change rapidly, so thoroughly test and research your options before you seriously invest a lot of time and energy into one Plugin. And if your multimedia files are important to you, keep backups on your computer, just in case.
Multimedia WordPress Plugins
I’ve classified WordPress Plugins which handle all types of media as Multimedia WordPress Plugins. They will handle audio, video, podcasts, and just about every format you can throw at them.
Cool Player WordPress Plugin supports all types of multimedia files including video, audio, podcast, and hosted services like YouTube, iFilm, vSocial YoQoo, MetaCafe, MySpace, DailyMotion, and more. It supports the Rich Text Editor and HTML editor with a button for easy embedding of on-site and off-site files. It is configurable and features a lot of great options.
Anarchy Media Player WordPress Plugin also offers a wide range of self-hosted and off-site hosted video and music formats including QuickTime, Flash, and Windows Media. More than a dozen different off-site hosted video services are supported, and dozens of different file types. It also hosts music files, including iTunes.
wordTube WordPress Plugin, also called a “WordPress Media Center”, is a WordPress Plugin that helps you showcase streaming video formats (FLV and SWF), audio files (MP3), graphics (GIF, PNG, JPG), and a variety of other video and audio formats from your blog.
Have you found other Multimedia WordPress Plugins which handle audio and video with ease in a wide variety of formats?
Adding Video to WordPress
The following WordPress Plugins handle video specifically. There are many different types of video formats and ways of presenting your videos. Below, I’ve featured video WordPress Plugins for do-it-all video sources, self-hosted videos, off-site hosted videos, video galleries, and Flash video players. This is just the tip of the video iceberg, so suggestions and recommendations are welcome in the comments below.
There are many different types of video WordPress Plugins and video player WordPress Plugins available which focus on self-hosted or off-site hosted videos, but I only found a few that will do both, and most of those are listed above in the Multimedia WordPress Plugins list.
Viper’s Video Quicktags WordPress Plugin adds quicktag buttons to your Write Post editor allowing for fast linking to off-site and on-site video files.
vPIP WordPress Plugin dynamically embeds a video after the viewer clicks on the video link. The link can be a text or image. The idea behind this multimedia player is that the page loads quickly as the embedded video loads after the link is clicked. It works with QuickTime, Windows Media, and Flash. If you host large video files, this might be an alternative to waiting for long page loads.
An interesting twist on adding video to your blog is enabling your readers to respond back with audio and video. ITP Research offers the Video Comments WordPress Plugin which allows comments to be made on your video as people are watching it. A popup window displays the video and commenting area. As a video is watched, comments associated with it are shown. Comments can be made at any time in the video.
The concept behind the comments is not so much that people can leave comments anywhere they want, which is probably what will happen, but to have the comments act as a subtext to the video. This could be an interesting addition to your video blog.
Video Gallery WordPress Plugins
The following Video WordPress Plugins display a gallery of videos on a WordPress post or page. This is an easy way to create a visual gallery of different videos, especially if you host a lot of video tutorials or a video collection.
- TubePress Gallery WordPress Plugin
- Berri Youtube Gallery WordPress Plugin
- Daiko’s Video Widget
- NextGEN Gallery WordPress Plugin
- Vodpod Videos Widget
- WP Gallery WordPress Plugin
- WP-Vidavee WordPress Plugin
- Daiko’s YouTube Widget
Flash Video Plugins
The following list of video WordPress Plugins specialize in producing videos with Flash or Flash videos.
- WPvideo WordPress Plugin
- WP-FLV Flash Video Player Plugin
- WP-SWF WordPress Plugin
- Kimili Flash Embed
- Flash Video Player Plugin for WordPress
- Easy Inline SWF Plugin for WordPress
- SatayTube WordPress Plugin
Self-Hosted Video WordPress Plugins
A self-hosted video WordPress Plugin is one that only supports video files on your blog’s server. To the best of my knowledge, they do not allow videos hosted off your blog like YouTube or Google Video. To use these, upload the video file to your blog’s site and then link to the file with the options found in the Plugin.
Off-site Hosted Video WordPress Plugins
The hottest trend online today are videos hosted off your site on YouTube, Google Video, or one of more than a dozen different video hosting services, all vying for your business.
The following video WordPress Plugins are designed for the most part to only handle video files not hosted on your site, only videos hosted off-site on one of the many video hosting services. Some will host many different video hosting services, while others are limited to only one specific service.
WPVideo WordPress Plugin is considered by many to be the easiest Video Plugin to use for embedding video hosted off your blog. Once installed, just add the tag snippet with a link to any YouTube, Google Video, MetaCafe, or other hosted site video file into a post and the video automatically displays. Configuration includes display of additional data such as video title, duration, and a download link.
WordPress Video Plugin covers 14 different online video services for easy embedding of videos into your WordPress blog.
Google VideoSearch WordPress Widget embeds Google Video AJAX search into your WordPress sidebar to help your reader search for popular videos or specific video categories.
Other off-site hosted video WordPress Plugins include:
- YouTube WordPress Plugin With Technorati Tags
- Your Youtube Favorite Videos WordPress Plugin
- Video Blogger Plugin for WordPress, aka Vlogger, aka Vlog Plugin
- Gecko Tube WordPress Plugin
- Smart YouTube Plugin
- TubePress WordPress Plugin
- VideoWarrior WordPress Plugin
- Youtube Brackets WordPress Plugin
- Daiko’s Video Widget
- Revver WordPress Plugin
- Link.de – Videopop WordPress Plugin
- Youtube and Google WordPress Plugin
Adding Podcasts, Music, and Audio to WordPress
By default, you can easily add podcasting files into WordPress without any WordPress Plugins. Instructions are on the WordPress Codex Podcasting Guide. The article includes information on how to setup a specific podcast category and feed for your podcasts.
However, many people like the ease of including podcasts and audio files via WordPress Plugins. These Plugins also help you include podcasts, music, and other audio files through off-site audio services such as iTunes.
One of the most popular podcasting WordPress Plugins is podPress WordPress Plugin. It features integration with iTunes, preview of your podcast on iTunes, download stats, feed generation, viewing MP3 ID3 tags, control over player look and placement, support for a wide range of formats including video podcasting, podcast categories, and audio comments.
Taragana’s Del.icio.us mp3 Player WordPress Plugin plays any MP3 files or links on your WordPress blog posts and offers a tagging option for visitors to tag and post the MP3 to del.icio.us. It is very lightweight and creates a small player icon and link on your post.
There are also a variety of WordPress Plugins which bring radio to your blog. For example, WP [radio.wazee] WordPress Plugin broadcasts the popular Internet Alternative Rock Radio Station. While not exactly radio, Tornadostream allows users to choose from a wide range of music from their playlists and host them on your blog, turning your WordPress blog into a “radio station”. Audio Player WordPress Plugin will also allow you to sequence a series of music files to play like a radio station.
Other audio and audio player WordPress Plugins include:
- Audio Player WordPress Plugin
- WP-iPodCatter WordPress Plugin
- WP Automatic Music Player 3.0
- WordPress XSPF Player Plugin
- WP Audioscrobbler WordPress Plugin (last.fm)
- SHOUTcast Sidebar WordPress Widget
Technical Support and Guides for Multimedia Files in WordPress
The following articles are resources and guides to help you learn more about including multimedia files in your WordPress blog including video, audio, podcasts, multimedia feeds, music, and so much more. Some of these articles offer tips on the equipment and software to use to produce your own video, music, and podcasting files, as well as how to publish them and create feeds to promote them.
- Podcasting Underground
- How to Podcast Tutorial
- Jason’s Podcasting Tips Blog
- Informit.com – Publish a Video Podcast with WordPress (print version)
- Matthias Zeller – Challenges with embedding YouTube video into WordPress Blog
- Caddickisms – Making MP3s playable on a website, the easy way (the manual method)
- PC Mag – The Perfect Editing Station (video) – (print version)
- SoloStream – Set up a Video Blog (or How to Add Flash Video to Your WordPress Site)
- Combining WordPress and AutoViewer with a Flash Intro Page
- Podcast Your Audio Content From Your Journal
- Wikipedia on Podcasting
- iPodder on Podcasting
- Podcast Feedcheck Tool
- ChrisJDavis Podcasting with WordPress
- Podcasters Wiki
Get Yourself Released
If you are going to be offering a lot of videos, podcasts, and recordings of people and their property, you will need to get a release that authorizes you to use and publish their likeness and property without incrimination or harm. The Podcast Release WordPress Plugin was developed by MWGBlog which hosts a lot of interview media. The release form is easy to use and hosted on a page on your site for your “models” to sign off on quickly and easily. Make sure you are protected with this easy-to-use form.
What Video and Audio WordPress Plugins Do You Recommend?
As I mentioned, this list is barely the tip of the multimedia iceberg. As I wrote this, I discovered two new Plugins for this category had been released. It is a fast moving and ever-changing industry so keep an eye out for newer and better multimedia WordPress Plugins, and also for the oldies but goodies to update their WordPress Plugins to work with the new technology.
So what are you using to offer video, music, audio, and podcasts to your blogging audience? Any favorites you recommend? How are you using them, and what would you like to see in future versions?
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