Need a WordPress audio playlist plugin to make it easy for your visitors to listen to audio content? In this post, we'll show you how to use the Document Library Pro plugin to create three different styles of audio playlists on your WordPress site.
A WordPress audio playlist plugin is a great solution for:
- Podcasts - you can display all your latest episodes in one easy-to-navigate playlist.
- Music - visitors can choose between different tracks. Or, you can include multiple playlists on a single page.
- An audio library - visitors can search, sort, and filter to find specific audio content.
- Portfolios - if you work with audio in any way, you can use the plugin to display your work in a portfolio.
- Any other type of audio that you need to display!
Keep reading to find out how to set it up.
Document Library Pro - the best WordPress audio playlist plugin
If you think about it, an audio playlist is really just a table that includes information like:
- Track name
- Track length
- Play/pause button
Since Document Library Pro lets you display any resource from your WordPress site in a flexible table, it's perfectly suited to creating an audio playlist on your site. It fully supports music players and audio playlists so that people can listen directly on the main playlist page.
And because Document Library Pro focuses on customization and flexibility, you'll also gain more granular control over your playlist than other WordPress audio playlist plugins. You'll be able to:
- Allow users to search, sort, and filter your playlist (if desired).
- Control exactly what information displays on your playlist. For example, you can even include a short text description to go along with each audio file.
- Display each track as a separate listing to create a single playlist or display multiple separate playlists on a single page.
3 ways to create a music playlist
Before we start, let's talk about what an audio playlist actually looks like. There are 3 options, depending on your requirements:
1. List audio tracks in a table with 1 song per row
In the screenshot above, we have a playlist where each track is listed in a separate row of the table. There's a search box above so that people can search for individual tracks within the playlist. They can then listen to each one individually.
2. List playlists in a table with 1 playlist per row
In the screenshot above, we have a table containing 1 row. This row has an entire playlist in it. You can add as many rows to the table as you like, each one containing a different playlist.
Customers can use the search box above the table to look for specific playlists. They can then listen to the playlist with a single click, and it will play the entire list in sequence.
3. Create a tiled audio playlist
Finally, you can create an audio playlist where each track appears as a separate tile. This option doesn't have auto-play as each track is displayed individually within the grid. However, it's worth considering if you want a more visual display for the playlist.
You can use the follow instructions to create either type of audio playlist.
How to create a WordPress audio playlist
The general process for using Document Library Pro as a WordPress audio playlist plugin goes like this:
- Install the plugin.
- Add individual audio files or playlists to WordPress.
- Display audio playlists anywhere on your site.
Step 1: Install the plugin
We're going to create an audio playlist of audio files which are stored in the WordPress Media Library. As well as being in the Media Library, they will be in the 'Documents' action of the WordPress admin. This makes it easy for you to find and manage them, as well as adding extra information about each one.
- The first step is to get Document Library Pro and install it on your WordPress site.
- Go to the plugin settings page: Documents → Settings. Activate your license key and then go to the 'Document Libraries' tab.
- Decide whether to use the table or grid/tiled layout (see the screenshots above to help you decide).
- Choose what information you will display your playlist. There are lots of options to choose from. You should probably include the following:
- Title - this will show the title of the playlist
- Content - this is where you will embed the audio players.
- Enable the 'Shortcodes' option. This tells Document Library Pro to display fully functional embedded audio players in the table.
Step 2: Add the audio files that you want to include in your playlist
Now that you've created a custom post type to house your audio tracks, you're ready to actually add the audio tracks that you want to use in your playlist.
As we saw earlier, you can do this in two different ways:
- Add a single track to each document post - this will display each audio track as a separate item in your table or grid. This is what you'll want to do most of the time.
- Use the core WordPress playlist functionality - this essentially lets you create a "playlist of playlists". For example, you could use this to list multiple albums or multiple podcast series on a single page.
How to add a single track to each post
To add a single track to each post, you can either:
- Upload your audio files directly to the WordPress Media Library if you want to self-host your audio files.
- Embed an audio file from a third-party platform (e.g. SoundCloud) using the built-in WordPress embed functionality (Add Media → Insert From URL)
Either way, you should add it like this:
- Go to Documents → Add New.
- Add all the information that you want to display about the playlist. For example, this might include the title, a description, and so on.
- In the main content field, click 'Add Media' and upload or link to the audio file. WordPress will then embed this as a proper audio player.
- If you also want people to be able to download the audio track, then find the 'Document Link' section, upload the audio file (e.g. an MP3) or add the URL of where it is hosted. (Leave this blank if you don't want to add download links.)
- Click 'Publish' and repeat the process for each audio file.
If you're using this method to add multiple playlists, then create a separate category for each one. Later, I'll show you how to create a playlist listing songs from a specific category.
How to create a "playlist of playlists"
You can also embed multiple playlists in a single table or grid. Each cell or tile contains an entire playlist. Here's a reminder of what it would look like with the table layout:
This option uses the native WordPress playlist feature.
- Go to Documents → Add New.
- Add all the information that you will be displaying about the playlist, such as the title.
- Add a playlist to the main content area for the document:
- Click the Add Media button.
- Click the Create Audio Playlist link on the left-hand side.
- This will embed your audio playlist in the main content for the document.
- Repeat the above steps so that you have a separate 'document' for each playlist.
Step 3: Display your playlist
Once you've added your audio files and playlists using one of the methods above, you're ready to actually display your playlist on the frontend of your site.
The Document Library Pro plugin has added a page called 'Document Library' to your site. Find this now. (You can rename it to something else like 'Playlists' if you like.)
By default, the page contains the shortcode
[doc_library]. It lists all the 'documents' (i.e. audio files or playlists) that you added in Step 2.
The audio playlist will use the options that you choose in Step 1. Go back to the plugin settings page and tweak these as needed.
You can add the shortcode multiple times - either to the same page, or to different pages on your WordPress site. Add options to each shortcode so that each table or grid contains different items. For example, you might create a different audio playlist for each category.
It should look something like this:
How to change the style of the audio player
If you don't like how the core WordPress audio player looks or functions, Document Library Pro is compatible with many other audio player plugins to allow you to customize how your audio playlist functions.
Some good options are:
- mb.miniAudioPlayer - more minimalist than the core player. It only expands when a user hits the play button.
- Compact WP Audio Player - an even more minimalist option than mb.miniAudioPlayer.
Start using this WordPress audio playlist plugin today!
By using Document Library Pro as a WordPress audio playlist plugin, you gain the ability to control exactly what information displays in your playlist, as well as how your visitors can interact with your playlist in terms of searching, filtering, pagination, and more. Visit the audio playlist plugin knowledge base to see all the options and how to use them.
Whether you're creating a playlist of individual audio tracks or a "playlist of playlists", Document Library Pro is the perfect tool for the job.
Have any other questions about how to use this WordPress audio playlist plugin? Leave a comment and we'll do our best to help you out!