WordPress Audio Playlist

Want to create a WordPress audio playlist? You don’t need a dedicated playlist plugin – WordPress gives you several different ways to create an audio playlist using just core functionality.

In this post, you’ll learn how to create a WordPress audio playlist by either:

  • Uploading your own audio files and creating a playlist from inside your WordPress dashboard
  • Embedding an audio playlist from an external service, like Spotify or SoundCloud

Let’s jump straight into the tutorials!

Method #1: Use the native WordPress audio playlist functionality

WordPress includes audio playlist functionality built into the core Media Library.

To get started, you’ll first need to upload your audio files using the regular Add Media button. You can use the following file extensions:

  • mp3
  • ogg
  • wma
  • m4a
  • wav
Adding audio to WordPress
Once you upload your audio files, you’ll be able to edit metadata in the Attachment Details section on the right when you select an audio file.

It’s important that you make this information accurate because your front-end WordPress audio playlist will display the title, artist, and album:

WordPress allows you to edit meta-information for audio files

Once you’ve uploaded the audio files you want to use and made sure they have the proper information, you can click the Create Audio Playlist button in that same Add Media interface:

Add an audio playlist in WordPress via the Create Audio Playlist option

Once you click on this link you will be greeted with the Edit Audio Playlist window, which will list all of your audio tracks.

Select all of the tracks that you want to include in your playlist.

You can also drag-and-drop the files to change their order in the WordPress audio playlist. The track listing runs from top left to bottom right. Track 1 should always be on the top left and the final track on the bottom right.

Additionally, you can use the Playlist Settings area on the right to configure how your WordPress audio playlist looks, like whether to show the artist name or the image thumbnail:

The options for selecting the tracks and the appearance of your audio playlist

Once you are satisfied with the playlist and the settings, you can click Insert into post in the bottom-right corner to add your audio playlist to the WordPress post or page. Then, just publish the post or page like normal, and your visitors can start interacting with the playlist:

The audio playlist as seen in a blog post

Use the WordPress Text widget

If you want to place a similar WordPress audio playlist in your site’s sidebar, you can use the Text widget.

To get started, go to Appearance -> Widgets. Then, drag over the Text widget. From there, click the Add Media button and you’ll be able to follow the same steps from above to insert an audio playlist in the widget:

Add playlist to WordPress widget

Method #2: Add an audio playlist in WordPress from Spotify

Another really cool out of the box WordPress feature is its oEmbed support. oEmbed is a format that allows you to display content from a separate URL without hosting the content yourself.

WordPress has supported Spotify embeds since v3.6. The big benefit here is that you are not hosting any of the files yourself while still receiving the benefits of Spotify’s huge audio content library.

To generate the embed link:

  • Click on the three dots option in your Spotify dashboard
  • Hover over the Share menu item
  • Choose the Copy Playlist link option

get spotify playlist link

Next, just paste that link into the WordPress editor (make sure you’re using the Visual editor). WordPress will automatically embed the playlist for you from the link:

wordpress audio playlist from spotify

Now, just publish or update the post and you’ll have a nice front-end WordPress audio playlist courtesy of Spotify:

Spotify playlist added to blog post

If you want, you can also use a similar method to embed a Spotify playlist in a WordPress text widget.

While this method is convenient, it does have two noticeable downsides:

Method #3: Add an audio playlist in WordPress from SoundCloud

If you prefer SoundCloud, you can also perform a similar process using any playlist from SoundCloud. One nice thing about SoundCloud in comparison to Spotify is that SoundCloud makes it really easy to upload your own audio files.

The easiest way is to just paste the direct link to a SoundCloud playlist into the WordPress Editor. Just like with Spotify, WordPress will automatically embed the playlist:

Embed SoundCloud playlist in WordPress

If you want more control, you can also manually generate the SoundCloud embed code.

To get started, head over to SoundCloud and find the playlist you need for your site. Then, look for the Share button:

How to embed a SoundCloud playlist in WordPress

Once you click Share, then choose the Embed option. You will see that it is very easy to customize the SoundCloud audio playlist. SoundCloud gives you the option to choose the header, the color, the height. You can even enable auto-play, though this might not be a good idea for your site’s bounce rate.
SoundClouds easy to use embed options for WordPress

Then copy the embed code and head back to the text editor. Make sure you paste the embed code into the Text tab. Then, you can publish or update your post like normal:

SoundCloud audio playist in WordPress post

If you want, you can also use a similar method to embed a SoundCloud playlist in a WordPress text widget.

Conclusion

Adding an audio playlist in WordPress does not need to be a difficult coding adventure or a plugin purchase. When you add an audio playlist in WordPress you have a number of excellent options. You can add your own hosted audio playlist via the native Add Media button, or you can use the oEmbed function to add Spotify or SoundCloud playlists to any page or post on your website.

You can also use all three methods above in the WordPress Text widget if you want to place a playlist in your sidebar.

And if you liked this post, you might want to also check out some of the best podcast plugins or learn how to create a podcast website.

Do you have any other questions about how to create a WordPress audio playlist? Let us know in the comments!
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