SoundCloud integration!

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SoundCloud integration!

In higher ed music training, many students use SoundCloud to post and share works that are in progress. Subsequently, users of this site could use it to both keep themselves organized and to submit works to be assessed - in school - without leaving the platform of SoundCloud, and bothering with downloads, conversions etc.

One key functionality of an Canvas integration, would be to keep the submitted recording in the state that it was delivered in, so that the student cannot further polish the work before review (version control/lock).

How about that?

Community Member

I am a huge fan of SoundCloud, and a big part of the reason I like it so much is that you can easily embed audio files, and also audio playlists, so in that sense SoundCloud already has some great integration tools. Here are the tips I share with my students about embedding SoundCloud in their blogs (they all have blogs, and being able to embed music very much appeals to them):

Online Course Wiki / Embed SoundCloud 

Here's an example of a page where I embedded SoundCloud in Canvas:

Soundcloud: Laura PAINTs Canvas 

embedded soundcloud screenshot

That being said, if a Canvas integration would encourage more people to use SoundCloud, I think that would be great, so I voted up. Yay for SoundCloud!

Community Member

Thank you for taking the time to reply Smiley Happy 

We're in the process of introducing Canvas to our university, and in the training session with the arts department, this came up: if your music students are asked to turn in a audio track (piano, vocals etc.), how would you normally ask them to do that - today (using the old LMS)? Well, students are asked to upload a .mp3-file or maybe some of them opt for a lossless format. The result is that over the year, one can expect to run out of storage space assigned to that course, and also I think this type of workflow is stultifying and not representative of professional life as a musician. I've tested embedding Youtube clips, our Mediasite videos, Spotify tracks, and lastly, SoundCloud.

It all works very well, except for one aspect: the submitted object could be re-uploaded by its owner during the grading period, and the teacher would not know, because it links to a hosted object. Not many students would choose to be that underhanded, but the teacher really cannot know for sure.

Or, am I getting this wrong? If you re-upload the content of a media presentation, using the same framework (service, title, location, metadata etc.), is the connection to the submitted, embedded object persistent?

Guess I'll have to try it in our training course to be sure Smiley Happy The "integration" part of this would be some sort of mechanism in place that allows the viewer to know when the content was last changed, without having to search for it when used in the Canvas-context, and also not allowing changes to be made after the submission date.

Community Member

This has come up at our university recently - a teacher looking for a way to integrate Soundcloud. Like Laura, I'm wondering to what extent they are or aren''t already using the embedding features of Soundcloud, and what exactly they're needing with an LTi integration. The authentication issues I'm experiencing with the Google LTi, when most of what that LTi does can be done with iFrame embedding and Google Drive settings...

I found this 2014 project on GitHub for interest: GitHub - rebeccanesson/soundcloudlti: An LTI tool for embedding SoundCloud players into Canvas or ot... 

Community Member

Hi‌ as I understand the advantages of the LTI integration, it is really about being able to link individual student submissions to the Gradebook, etc. I don't imagine that SoundCloud (which is having terrible financial troubles, eeek, as I read recently) would be interested in devoting resources to developing an LTI for that purpose as they are not in the education business. Although I suppose an enterprising Canvas user could develop such an LTI, given that SoundCloud really DOES want to be embedded and offers good support for that in general, like what you found there at Github. Since I don't use the Gradebook, though, I don't really use any LTIs; I just prefer to embed and leave it at that, and I know really know anything about how LTIs work.

But if the goal is just to get the SoundCloud files in Canvas, I would do it either by way of an embedded playlist as shown above or, another possibility: Google Sites! I learned recently that Google Site has native support for SoundCloud embedding (a lot of my students use Google Sites for their class projects): you just click on "embed" in the Google Site content menu (this is the NEW Google Sites, the one that was launched about a year ago), enter your SoundCloud file URL, and Google Sites displays the audio player automatically. No iframe, no embed code, just paste in the URL. That might also work in WordPress, but I have not checked; I just know that WordPress is usually way out in front with things like automated embedding for site-specific content like that.

Community Member

It's always good to join a discussion when you're in it Laura Smiley Happy thanks for you generous tips and advice. 

I'll try out Sites and WordPress. Personally I'm not a SoundCloud user, preferring good old InternetArchive, but can appreciate the value of being where lots of folks are. Worrying to hear about the commercial challenges for SoundCloud, I hope it's easy to backup files and data in formats that can easily move.

I've found out a bit more on what the teacher I'm working with is looking for:

When embedding a SoundCloud frame, wants the timeline commenting and annotation feature to be active in the frame, AND for the wave form of the audio file to be visable.

I suggested using Arc, which gets the timeline comments but doesn't show the wave form.

I think he's at the point of linking out, which I think is always better despite the initial challenges of leaving the comforts of the all in one. Perhaps though, that all in one can be better achieved on Sites or WordPress, as you suggest.

Community Member

Also, great to find your PAINT Canvas example too Laura! Thanks.

Community Member

YES, the SoundCloud player is really cool; I don't use the annotations but I really like seeing how that works when I am just poking around SoundCloud looking for stuff.

I don't know how much of the annotation runs on open formats and how much of that is proprietary (re: exporting), but the audio is just standard audio stuff, downloadable.

If/when SoundCloud goes belly up, I'll need to move the audio recordings I did for my students somewhere else, but for me, the SoundCloud approach was really appealing, esp. the option to add an image for each audio file. I did "public domain epic audio" for my Ramayana/Mahabharata class, which is the example I shared above.

I met a really amazing guy at Creighton University this week, a blind Jesuit priest (he became a Jesuit BEFORE Vatican II, back when blind men could not become priests! I didn't even know about that being one of the Vatican II reforms; he became a priest after Vatican II made it possible); anyway, talking to him convinced me to do an audio recording of The Hitopadesha for LibriVox as a summer project so that he could read it (and of course others will read it too; I think it would be a really good addition to LibriVox). So I'll learn more about LibriVox and their partnership with Internet Archive; I'm excited to see how their workflow goes!

Community Member

I think we should make music because its more creation and more things