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Amazon S3 Audio Player

By Ravi Jayagopal | S3MediaVault can create an audio player for your mp3 and wav files stored in your Amazon S3 account.

Click here for a live demo of the S3MediaVault Audio Player.

You can create individual audio players for individual audio files, and publish multiple individual S3 audio players on a single page.

Screenshot of Single Audio Player

Or if you wish to combine a bunch of audio files into a playlist, S3MediaVault also has an Audio Playlist player, where the group of audio files will appear as a playlist. And if they hit play on the first one, then the player will continue playing through the entire playlist, one after the other, until it reaches the end of the player.

Screenshot of Audio Playlist Player

Prettiest Audio Player on the Planet

  1. Large “Play” button
  2. Customizable Title for the audio. If you don’t provide it, it will display the file name.
  3. “Download” icon that provides a direct link to the audio file, and upon being clicked, will give the user the option to either “Save” the file or “Open” it. Very similar to any other file you download from the web.
  4. Smart-Speed: Clicking on it allows the playback to play at speeds of 1x, 1.5x, and 2x. And the smart-speed feature speeds up the audio by cutting out the dead air, gaps, and silences, and will make the overall audio sound faster and won’t make the person speaking sound like a chipmunk 🙂
  5. Starting timestamp always shows how much time has elapsed since the audio started playing.
  6. A nice and big “scrubber” allows the listener to easily fast-forward or rewind the audio according to their convenience.
  7. Fully customizable Player color (player background). Comes with an easy-to-use Color Picker with a full-color palette that lets you pick any color of your choice for the player background. You can also enter Hexadecimal codes (like “#0faacc”) if you already know what color you wish to use.
  8. Has a border that also has a color picker and you can choose any color for the border as well.
  9. The ending timestamp always shows how much time is left in the audio being played.
  10. Fully customizable Audio Artwork that you can configure using any Image URL hosted anywhere online – including, of course, on your own WordPress site in your Media Library.

Voice & Recording Tips for Podcasters & Video/Audio Creators

By Ravi Jayagopal | S3MediaVault

Before I launched my show in 2015, I was terrified of my Indian accent for a long time and probably wasted about a year overthinking it. And this was in-spite of having written books and recorded tons of sales and documentation and how-to videos over the previous 16 years. I was practically fearless when it came to everything else – including speaking on stage, dancing at a party, acting in a play (or even in TV shows back in India), being loud and demonstrative at a basketball game, etc.

But somehow, when I wanted to start a podcast, the intimate nature of me being in someone’s ears where they listened to me closely, the way I was listening to all of my favorite shows, terrified me because of what I thought of my accent.

One day, I had a client on a call – he was a podcaster and online radio guy – and he said he loves my show, that he loved my accent (when I sheepishly asked him about it) and that it adds a certain level of credibility to the stuff I talk about (digital marketing, WordPress, technical stuff, etc). And he added that he loved the authenticity of me not trying to fake anything.

I’m not claiming to be some kind of a big-shot or some major expert in voice training, but from having created about 200 podcast episodes on my 2 podcasts – and – and probably over a few hundred sales-, how-to and content marketing videos, here are some of my biggest tips for recording a podcast (and even to videos):

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S3MediaVault Features

By Ravi Jayagopal | S3MediaVault

Made for Amazon S3 & CloudFront: It can securely deliver files via both Amazon S3 and CloudFront

CloudFront Integration: Blazing-fast media loading speeds for your members. Up to 45% faster loading speeds for videos and audio compared to using just S3 alone.

“True Streaming” Videos: Impossible-to-download, Secure Video Streaming for your most important videos that you may not want even your paying members to be able to download.

HLS Video Streaming support: “HTTP Live Streaming”, aka HLS, is a media streaming protocol for delivering visual and audio media online. It was created by Apple in 2009. In v11, currently supports HLS Video Streaming.

Practically “Impossible” Download: Using Amazon’s MediaConvert API’s and HLS Streaming, your MP4 video is chopped up into short, 10 second chunks, and then delivered online in chunks to the viewer. And the MP4 video becomes a flowing stream with the extension M3U8. And because the video is never downloaded to the browser, but streamed in real-time, it is really hard to download it to your computer, and you can’t do it even using browser extensions like VideoDownloader, for eg. Only way to download the video is if you create a separate download link, because you want your members to download the video. Or they would have to use a screen-capture tool. So basically, it’s practically impossible to download, unless you want them to.
You can also use the Standard S3MediaVault protection of your videos (“progressive downloads”). You don’t have to necessarily use True Streaming.

Works on ALL devices: iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Mac and every Operating System ever created!

Mobile-Responsive Video & Audio player will look- and work great on devices of all shapes and sizes

HTML5 Video Player – No Flash Required
HTML5 Audio Player – No Flash Required

Video Playlist: Bundle any number of Amazon S3 files or public mp4 links to create a combined Video Playlist Player.

Audio Playlist: Bundle any number of Amazon S3 files or public mp3 links to create a combined Feed Player – aka Audio Playlist Player.

Built-in File Protection: Protect all of your files – like PDF, Doc, Zip, Exe, even Images!

Protects your Video, Audio and other Files from being illegally shared with unauthorized members.

S3 & CloudFront: Create the audio playlist using secure S3 or CloudFront URL’s, or any publicly stored mp3 url’s stored anywhere like on your own WordPress site, Dropbox, Amazon S3, etc.

Clickable Timestamps: Insert clickable timestamp links below your videos, with a description, so that the viewer can jump right to certain points in the video that interests them.

Customizable Player Controls: Remove player controls (not recommended) from the video for webinar replays or sales videos.

Advanced Media Analytics: Track Shortcode loads Per User, Track Video Views Per User, Remember Video Play Progress Per User

Time-Delay Buttons & HTML Content: You can now take a pre-created button or HTML content (like text, images, etc), set it to be initially hidden, and then make it appear below the video at a specific time (you can configure how many seconds into the video it should appear).

It’s a WordPress Plugin – installs in seconds with a 5-minute setup

1-Click CloudFront setup: A single button click sets up CloudFront integration end-to-end. Just add Amazon Security Keys (detailed videos show you how)

Transcriptions: S3MediaVault now integrates with Amazon Transcribe, which is one of the world’s leading Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) systems. It allows you to analyze audio files stored in Amazon S3 and have the service return a text file of the transcribed speech.

1-Click Transcriptions: In the Media Manager page, S3MV will show you the list of all files in your S3 bucket. Click a link and get a transcription in minutes.

S3 Media Manager: Manage all S3 files from within the plugin. Never have to log in to S3 (other than one time during setup to get the Security Keys).

Full S3 Browser: Browse and Choose S3 files to use with the shortcodes, with just one click.

Instant Playlists: Just select the “Playlist” option, leave file name blank, and all Videos or Audio in that bucket (or sub-folder) will automatically be turned into an Instant playlist. Choose “Audio Playlist”, leave file name field blank, then all (and only) audio files in the bucket (or sub-folder) will be used to create an Instant Audio Playlist. Select “Video Playlist”, leave file name field blank, then all (and only) the video files in that bucket (or sub-folder) will be used to create an Instant Video Playlist.

Just Amazon S3 vs. S3 & CloudFront

By Ravi Jayagopal | S3MediaVault

Just Amazon S3
Amazon S3 + CloudFront Together

Using S3 is having one centralized location where your files are stored, and regardless of where your website visitor is located, their web browser has to fetch the Audio, video, PDF or other media, only from that centralized location.

But adding CloudFront means, every file gets fetched from a datacenter closest to the visitor’s region.

So Amazon CloudFront is an additional layer that sits on top of your Amazon S3 bucket, and speeds up the delivery of the media in your S3 bucket. Think of it as adding “Turbo Boost” to your S3 files.

The image on the left above, shows that your Amazon S3 bucket is a single location stored in the cloud, and when visitors to your website from all over the world try to access a video, audio, pdf or other media stored in that S3 bucket, they are still served those files from that one central location. Which means, the farther they are geographically from your S3 bucket, the longer (even if it’s just milliseconds longer) it will take to serve them the file.

But CloudFront has various “edge locations” (those little clouds you see in the image on the right) spread globally. So when a US visitor tries to access, say, a video in your online course, if it’s the first time, then the “edge location” (cloud) closest to that person, will copy that file from your S3 bucket to the local cloud. And from that point onwards, every US person who tries to access that video, will be served that video from the local cloud, and not from the S3 bucket. And because Amazon has these edge locations all over the world, your visitors from all over the world will see that your videos, audio and PDF start loading super-fast, because it’s loading from a local cloud that’s closest to them.

Prevent Members From Downloading Content

By Ravi Jayagopal | S3MediaVault

TLDR: Don’t prevent your paying members from downloading your content for their archives. But if you must do it because of piracy in your niche, S3MediaVault offers Streaming Video with AES 128-bit Encryption that makes videos, audio, and even PDFs nearly impossible to download.

We get asked this question a lot: “How can I prevent members from downloading my content?”

So basically, they want their members to be able to access Audio, Video, and PDF only via their website, but not be able to download it.

6 reasons why you shouldn’t make things hard for your paying members.

Unless you have a highly specific and valid reason for doing so, I don’t recommend trying to prevent them from downloading what they’ve already paid for and force them to view everything online.

My recommendation is that instead of focusing on how to prevent your paying customers from downloading your information, you should focus on how many different ways you can offer them the same files for consumption. Go in the completely opposite direction.

The best membership sites I know offer the same content in multiple formats: video, audio of the same video, PDF transcripts of the video, PowerPoint slides used in the video, etc. 4-5 different ways in which their members can consume that very same content. As it is, it’s very hard to get people to come, buy and stay and keep paying you month after month. Don’t make it hard for the real paying members.

Don’t worry about the 1% who will steal your content and pass it to their 4 loser friends :-). Instead, focus on the 99% of your legitimate paying customers who don’t have the time, energy or intention to illegally pass on your content to others, because those 99% are honest people who just want to learn what you have to offer and improve their own lives and businesses.

Also, preventing the downloading of videos that they’ve actually paid for, means that they always have to be online in order to view the video. And that sucks for your members, to be honest, that they cannot view the video offline, when they’re traveling somewhere, on a plane, train or bus. Or as a passenger in a car. And if they cannot download your content, if it’s true streaming, it means they also cannot “buffer” it. So if they have a slow video connection, they will never be able to watch the video, and you’re probably going to get refund requests from your members in countries where they don’t have fast internet access. And on top of that, they are forced to use their limited (in most cases) data plan, and your members may not want to do that. So again, you may be forcing your members to only watch the videos from their computer.

Everyone is trying to make it easy for their paying members, so that they can get – and keep – more members. That’s what the world of video/audio is moving towards.

So while you may feel like streaming video is more secure, in reality, it only makes life hard for your 99% of paying members, all so that you can protect the videos from the 1% of people who will steal anyway. So you could be potentially upsetting 99% of your members for the sake of 1%. Not a good long-term strategy to get more members and keep more members.

I talked about this on a podcast episodes, as well as in a video, both of which have been embedded on this page. Give them a listen if you get a chance.