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Thread: advice required for membership streaming website thanks

  1. #1

    Default advice required for membership streaming website thanks

    Hi everyone,

    I am interested in setting up an audio streaming membership website, using self recorded audio material, and am looking for some advice on how best to go about this. The website will have a database of several hundred audio files initially, rising to 1000+ over time, and the most important feature is that the user (customer) can create a playlist containing any track from the database in any order (average playlist size is likely to be 10-15 tracks). The website should also be able to handle billing/membership management etc.

    I would be grateful to know firstly if there are any off-the-shelf website solutions which offer this functionality, or if it is possible to piggy-back on other systems (eg licensing spotify type software). Is it possible to create such a site using WordPress plugins or is that asking too much?

    If not I would be grateful for any advice regarding customised website building, including rough costs for a website with this functionality.


    Many thanks in advance for your input
    All the best,
    Nick

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    Quote Originally Posted by tuneguru View Post

    I am interested in setting up an audio streaming membership website, using self recorded audio material, and am looking for some advice on how best to go about this. The website will have a database of several hundred audio files initially, rising to 1000+ over time, and the most important feature is that the user (customer) can create a playlist containing any track from the database in any order (average playlist size is likely to be 10-15 tracks). The website should also be able to handle billing/membership management etc.

    I would be grateful to know firstly if there are any off-the-shelf website solutions which offer this functionality,
    None that I know of. I imagine you're thinking of sites like Soundcloud, You Tube and others that have this functionality. I'm 99% positive that you will not find this out of the box.

    Quote Originally Posted by tuneguru View Post
    or if it is possible to piggy-back on other systems (eg licensing spotify type software). Is it possible to create such a site using WordPress plugins or is that asking too much?
    No, it is doubtful that anyone will license their proprietary software to you and there are no WordPress plug ins that I know of that do anything like this.

    Quote Originally Posted by tuneguru View Post
    If not I would be grateful for any advice regarding customised website building, including rough costs for a website with this functionality.
    I definitely think what you need requires a custom built solution. There's no way to know the costs without talking to someone who can build it and giving them a list of everything you need, but prepare for it to be significant. And then there's the maintenance and upkeep. You would really need to have an in house person (or team) to run this.

    You can get some functionality with WordPress, but not everything you want. You can certainly build a membership site with user profiles, billing and membership management, and host audio files.

    However with everything that you want, I don't think WordPress is the best tool for this job.

  3. #3

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    Off the top of my head, the only add-on I can think of Wordpress that may come close to the functionality you're describing may be BuddyPress. However, that's only going to cover the Social and Paid Membership solution of your plan.

    The most cost-friendly way I can think of doing this, is instead of having a fully custom solution built(Which - guaranteed - will cost you in the thousands) you can use BuddyPress with (maybe) MediaPress and then hire a developer to do some minor changes to add in the features that the two don't already touch. Same goes for the design - You'd want a professional working on it.

    The smartest way[but most expensive] is to actually have a fully custom solution built. Just keep in mind that this sort of work may take time, and cost you more, but it will pay-off in the long run. As Harold said, no developer is going to give you an accurate quote without more details as to what your plans actually are.

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    I think you could use WordPress just fine.

    There is a free plug in called "Paid Membership Pro" that would handle the memberships. We are just starting to use it on a Joomla site and it seems quite good.

    There are lots of plug ins to imbed audio files. You might try "wp-audio-player" or "audio-player". There are at least 7 plug ins for this.l
    Ray Badger, Turbo Technologies, Inc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by turboguy View Post
    I think you could use WordPress just fine.

    There is a free plug in called "Paid Membership Pro" that would handle the memberships. We are just starting to use it on a Joomla site and it seems quite good.

    There are lots of plug ins to imbed audio files. You might try "wp-audio-player" or "audio-player". There are at least 7 plug ins for this.l
    It's the user created playlist functionality that is the monkey wrench. The OP said that this was the most important feature.
    Do you know of a plug in that does this?

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    Thanks for bringing that to my attention Harold. I did miss that part and no I don't know of a plug in that would do that. It might be possible to do it through Paid Membership Pro. I would need to look at it a little closer from that standpoint and don't have the time to do that. If not, it doesn't seem like it would be to hard for a programmer to write a code that would accomplish that. I would think it would just need to store the playlist in a database with a link to the audio file which could be pulled up by the user.
    Ray Badger, Turbo Technologies, Inc.
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    There's definitely options to do something similar or close in WordPress, but as far as I know not exactly what you want, nor will it really be a smooth user experience.
    The problem with wanting custom functions that don't exist and also wanting an out of the box solution is that you usually have to give something up to get close to what you want until you do better.

    But when that functionality is key to the project's success, is it worth making due with what you have till later?
    Depends.

    Usually when you have to try too hard to make something work in a way that it was never intended, you end up creating a Frankensite that lends itself to other issues and still never get the function and user experience that you envisioned and that you are always patching together.

    If the intent is to have this function just as smoothly as other sites who have this functionality, IMO forcing the wrong tool for the job will kill the project and end up costing more than it should have.

    I'm also not a big fan of relying on plug ins like BuddyPress for the core functionality of my site since they really don't put a lot of resources into it and it is already a little buggy.

    I may try it because I work with WordPress and can troubleshoot my own issues. But as someone who is paying for it, and it's already really not the best tool for the job, there's too many red flags.

    I've done this against my better judgement too many times. Client is intent on using WordPress for various reasons when everything I know says WordPress is not right for the job, I do it anyway and only after it's done do they realize that it wasn't the right solution for what they wanted and needed...which of course is now my fault.

    JMO of course.

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    You may try looking on a script site like CodeCanyon. I can't vouch for anything like this specifically, but I did find this under PHP scripts.
    Euphonize - Music Sharing & Social Platform Preview - CodeCanyon

    If you can find an out of the box script like this that works to take care of the main functions of membership management, profiles and the other social functions, to use for your core functionality, it would be easy to incorporate WordPress for your blog and additional (non membership) pages.

    It would also be much cheaper for now, with a lot fewer integration worries. That is if the script is solid and works well.

  9. #9

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    In the past for similar things I've built in Drupal I've used the Mediafront module. That will solve your customized playlist issue.

    Billing and membership/subscription management can be done many different ways and are usually easier long term if they are custom.
    || VMdoh - Drupal development, consulting, and support

  10. #10

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    thanks for the advice everyone, your thoughts are much appreciated
    yes for this project the user created playlist is one of the main features, and ideally the interface should be as simple and user friendly as possible. Guess it's time to look at some custom solutions...

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