SoundCiteJS update makes the tool mobile and MP3 friendly

Last year, we released the initial version of SoundCite, a tool that helps content creators add inline audio clips to their stories. It was designed to be easy to use for any author (no coding required). We open sourced the project and hoped that our users would guide us on future development.

They have.

Recently The New York Times and Al Jazeera published stories using customized versions of SoundCite that included the ability to do two things: 1) play audio not hosted on SoundCloud, and 2) make SoundCite function on mobile devices — two hurdles the original version of SoundCite had yet to overcome.

Today we  are pleased to announce a major update to SoundCite that adds both of those features to the core library.

Self-hosted audio files

SoundCite now plays clips created from any MP3 file. If you can access an MP3 file at an URL, you can use it with SoundCite via the same intuitive interface you've always used.

For those interested in how this works, MP3 playback is implemented within the SoundCite library using the Popcorn.js HTML5 Media framework.

Mobile Support

SoundCite will now work on iPhones, iPads, and other iOS devices, though we recommend using MP3 files for the best mobile performance.

The SoundCloud SDK does not provide reliable seeking within audio streams on mobile devices, which means that if you have SoundCite clips that do not start at the beginning of a file you may experience unpredictable playback behavior. Again, for the best mobile performance, use an MP3.

A few technical details

According to a recent announcement from SoundCloud:

JavaScript SDK version 1 is now deprecated and will be permanently replaced by version 2 on July 1, 2014.


We've updated SoundCite to use the SoundCloud JavaScript SDK version 2 and the tool will automatically load the proper SDK. What this means for you is that the second embed code is a bit shorter, as it's no longer included separately on the page containing your clips

Our embed tool has been updated to reflect this change, and most users won't likely notice any change and can continue to use the tool as they always have.

As always, we love to see what you create. Be sure to share your work with us on Twitter.

Latest Posts

  • Introducing StorylineJS

    Today we're excited to release a new tool for storytellers.

    StorylineJS makes it easy to tell the story behind a dataset, without the need for programming or data visualization expertise. Just upload your data to Google Sheets, add two columns, and fill in the story on the rows you want to highlight. Set a few configuration options and you have an annotated chart, ready to embed on your website. (And did we mention, it looks great on phones?) As with all of our tools, simplicity...

    Continue Reading

  • Join us in October: NU hosts the Computation + Journalism 2017 symposium

    An exciting lineup of researchers, technologists and journalists will convene in October for Computation + Journalism Symposium 2017 at Northwestern University. Register now and book your hotel rooms for the event, which will take place on Friday, Oct. 13, and Saturday, Oct. 14 in Evanston, IL. Hotel room blocks near campus are filling up fast! Speakers will include: Ashwin Ram, who heads research and development for Amazon’s Alexa artificial intelligence (AI) agent, which powers the...

    Continue Reading

  • Bringing Historical Data to Census Reporter

    A Visualization and Research Review

    An Introduction Since Census Reporter’s launch in 2014, one of our most requested features has been the option to see historic census data. Journalists of all backgrounds have asked for a simplified way to get the long-term values they need from Census Reporter, whether it’s through our data section or directly from individual profile pages. Over the past few months I’ve been working to make that a reality. With invaluable feedback from many of you,......

    Continue Reading

  • How We Brought A Chatbot To Life

    Best Practice Guide

    A chatbot creates a unique user experience with many benefits. It gives the audience an opportunity to ask questions and get to know more about your organization. It allows you to collect valuable information from the audience. It can increase interaction time on your site. Bot prototype In the spring of 2017, our Knight Lab team examined the conversational user interface of Public Good Software’s chatbot, which is a chat-widget embedded within media partner sites.......

    Continue Reading

  • Stitching 360° Video

    For the time-being, footage filmed on most 360° cameras cannot be directly edited and uploaded for viewing immediately after capture. Different cameras have different methods of outputting footage, but usually each camera lens corresponds to a separate video file. These video files must be combined using “video stitching” software on a computer or phone before the video becomes one connected, viewable video. Garmin and other companies have recently demonstrated interest in creating cameras that stitch......

    Continue Reading

  • Publishing your 360° content

    Publishing can be confusing for aspiring 360° video storytellers. The lack of public information on platform viewership makes it nearly impossible to know where you can best reach your intended viewers, or even how much time and effort to devote to the creation of VR content. Numbers are hard to come by, but were more available in the beginning of 2016. At the time, most viewers encountered 360° video on Facebook. In February 2016, Facebook......

    Continue Reading

Storytelling Tools

We build easy-to-use tools that can help you tell better stories.

View More