Tag Archives: music

New feature: Upload Your Own Sound Recordings (or other audio files) to ThingLink Images!

Starting today, ThingLink PRO and PREMIUM users can upload MP3 and M4A audio files directly into ThingLink tags. This means you have another cool way to make your images truly engaging with narration, interviews, nature sounds, music, or sound effects. The audio files will autoplay on mouseover.


 

How to create Audio Tags

Creating Audio Tags is as easy as creating your standard image tag. Click to create your tag, then in the tag editor, click the Upload Audio button. Select an MP3 or M4A file from your computer to upload and you’re ready to listen! Audio tags will autoplay when opened, so you can also add an image and text, and let the audio play in the background.

Ways to Use Audio Tags

Audio tags are great for adding narration, nature sounds, interviews, your own music, or editorial comments that give context or create a special ambiance for your image.

Here, an audio file from NASA takes this image from purely visual to a multi-sensory experience. The audio also increases the time the viewer spends on the tag as they listen to the clip instead of just glancing at the image.

In this 360 image, the creator narrates the text in each tag. Not only does this create a more rich experience, it results in a more accessible image that can be enjoyed by those who may not be able to read the text. For teachers, this is a great way to encourage your students to create in many mediums.

Try it Out

Ready to test it out? Here’s a project to help you get started with audio tags. Make sure that you have one of our paid plans to access this feature.

Introducing Your Class

In this project, we’ll be using ThingLink and audio tags to provide a brief introduction to your class.

To start, upload a background image that represents your subject. I’d just suggest an image of your classroom or school.

Now, record a few audio clips that will help give the space context. I suggest using Sound Recorder on a PC or Quicktime on a Mac. If you have an iPhone, you can use Voice Memos, and send them to your email.  Here are some prompts to help you come up with some audio clips:

  • Why did you get started in teaching?
  • Explain the space around you. What can we see in this image?
  • Where is this space located? If someone wanted to visit your school, how can they?
  • What do you teach? Tell us all about your subject.

Back on your image, click to add a new tag. In the icon selector choose the play button, audio symbol, or microphone so viewers receive a visual prompt to what they’re unlocking. Now, use the Upload Audio button to add one of your clips. If you want, add an image and text as well to give your audio a label.

If you’d like to add a sound you can’t record yourself, try searching freesound.org. They host thousands of audio clips sourced from members that you can download and add. Find anything from the wind in the trees, to a helicopter whirring, to the sound of a barbecue being opened.


Now that you’ve learned all about audio tags it’s time to get started! If you don’t yet have the feature you can purchase a plan that includes it here. If you want to learn more about how to use this and all our other features, schedule a demo with a ThingLink expert. Happy Tagging!

 

 

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ThingLink Mobile: Now with Image on Image

ThingLink Mobile, our iOS app, is constantly evolving and here’s a brand new feature for you. In addition to the ability to add video, text and @twitter IDs to your interactive images, we’ve added the ability to add image on image. Now you can tag a photo with images from your photo gallery.   This enables you to tell a deeper story through pictures like the one below, which was  created with an iPhone and ThingLink’s Mobile app.

Journalists, teachers, students, event bloggers and  iReporters can make full use of the new feature when creating interactive ThingLink images. Now you can tell a deeper story and capture fuller moments. Here’s my story about a Blackbird which had created a nest in an unusual place to feed her young ones.

HOW TO BUILD IT: Start out by taking or selecting the image on which you would like to overlay your other images. I had this photo with bikes on it so I started with that to tell my story.

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Tap anywhere on the image to add a tag and select which kind of tag you would like to make. We’re doing image on image so head over to your gallery by clicking on “Choose from gallery”.

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Pick the image you would like to add to the image as a tag.

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As usual you can add a text tag.

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Add a few more tags, either using text, video or images, and then you’re done.

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The image is now shareable to social channels, and browsable either in the app or online at thinglink.com.

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How are you using ThingLink Mobile?

 

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ThingLink Updates Editor with Search and Preview

Today we are happy to share a major improvement to the image editor on our web platform at ThingLink.com.Screen Shot 2013-05-29 at 1.34.17 PM

You can now use our search functionality to find wonderful content for your images.

Your search will query content at Etsy, SoundCloud, Amazon, ThingLink pictures, YouTube and Vimeo.

Run your search, click on an item you want to feature in your image, save tag, and it’s added to your image with a preview so you can see what it looks like when hovered.

As always you can add a tag description of up to 1500 characters and change the icon to a standard one for free user accounts or a custom one for premium user accounts.

If you want your company’s products featured in ThingLink Search, please contact our business development team.

 

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ThingLink Mobile: Tips for Adding Live Videos to Images

ThingLink Mobile is the ideal iOS App for creating interactive images with embedded video players, text links and @Twitter IDs. This post focuses on adding live videos to images.

Take a picture with your iPhone using ThingLink Mobile (or use an existing photo). I saw the band Chicago at Westbury Music Fair this weekend and used ThingLink to capture videos of my favorite songs on images shot at the show.

 Here’s how you can take family and concert photos and capture moments around you daily by adding videos into your images.

1 Open ThingLink Mobile on your iPhone.

2 Take a new photo or use any image from your gallery.

3 Touch the image and two options appear:

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      Add Text – touch and add any text including #hashtags and @Twitter handles.

   Add Video – touch and you’ll see three video options

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now lets add a video.

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  Take a Video – shoot your own 30 second videos.

  Choose from Gallery – add videos you’ve already shot with iPhone.

   Add from YouTube – touch and open up a search on YouTube – add your favorite videos from YouTube.

 

 

 

 

 

TIPS for Adding Live Video – to avoid seeing upside down or sideways videos inside the image:

Shooting video with the REAR camera, hold the iPhone with the HOME button to your right.

Shooting video with the FRONT camera, hold the iPhone with the HOME button to your left.

IMPORTANT: NEVER shoot videos with the camera held vertically.

photo 3If you see an iPhone image overlay while getting set to shoot a video, it means you’re holding the camera incorrectly.

The iPhone image overlay is an error message.  Flip the camera until that overlay disappears. When the image disappears, you’re ready to shoot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The image below is what you see if you shoot video and have the HOME button on the wrong side.  The image overlay is an error message. Flip the camera until that overlay disappears.

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Here is what you should see when you’re holding the camera properly.  Now, you’re ready to shoot.

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Good luck shooting ThingLink Mobile videos.  Questions? Write to support@thinglink.com.

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Great meeting you at SxSW2013!

We had a great time at SxSW meeting so many ThingLink users among musicians, film makers, brands and agencies.

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The poster reinvented – now with 100 % more interaction

The modern poster dates back to 1870 when new printing techniques made colour lithography and mass production possible. According to French historian Max Gallo, “for over two hundred years, posters have been displayed in public places all over the world. Visually striking, they have been designed to attract the attention of passers-by, making us aware of a political viewpoint, enticing us to attend specific events, or encouraging us to purchase a particular product or service.” (Wikipedia)

Up until now, the poster has been a passive flat surface without any form of interaction but ThingLink users have shown that interactive posters are an artform in themselves: posters have become touchable.

Discover how museums, music marketers, political activists, film buffs as well as theatre and film promoters are making use of this new medium.

Day Of The Dead Exhibition (by Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum)

The Beatles Experience With Rain (by Broadway – San Diego)

 

Movember and Sons (by Turner Classic Movies UK)

Homeland TV-series promotion (by 20th Century Fox)

 

Youth Voter Registration (by Rock The Vote)

 

Disney’s Brave (by J’s Movie Stream)

 

Music Marathon and Movie Festival 2012 (by Paper Garden Records)

Oxjam Music Festival (by Lizzie for Oxfam)

 

The Darkness – Hot Cakes (by Wind-Up Records)

 

(By Grazia Daily)

If you have any examples of your own that you want us to highlight – tweet to us with @thinglink and we’ll feature it in our gallery.

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Making Maps More with ThingLink

I’m lost without maps because my mind is swirling in music.  When I started working and driving in San Francisco, using my car GPS to get from one place to another made learning a new city easier. My GPS chirped directions and I followed.

With ThingLink, maps can also speak. They can be sound and video players. You can tell a story inside and share the culture of a country. Now, touching maps delivers so much more.

Take a look at ways you can enhance maps with ThingLink. Props to Paddy McCabe, Indie Ambassador, Ottawa Star, Soundway Records, Washington Post, Mashable, and Multimediael Universal.

Education — Ancient Rome: Add Photos and Wikipedia References  (by Paddy McCabe)

 

Add Google Maps (by IndieAmbassador)  

Map of Colombia: Add sound (Soundway Records) Real Estate: Add Listings and contacts (by Ottawa Star)

 

 

Journalism: Add Reporting, updates and annotations (Washington Post)


 

Conventions: Add Highlights to a Trade Show Map (by Mashable)

 

Describe Processes on a Graphical Map (by Multimediael Universal)

 

Want us to feature your map or image in a post?  Send a link to social@thinglink.com.

Happy Mapping!

 

 

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How to reach and engage your audience with ThingLink

Decca Records recently ran a campaign for up and coming music artist Alessandro using ThingLink to great success. Our Creative Director Jonas Forth spoke with Digital Innovation and Platforms Manager David Heath about reaching your intended demographic, creating engaging campaigns and making the most out of ThingLink.

 

Q. Where do you find value in the service?

I think the value in a service like ThingLink comes from the opportunity to engage consumers from all demographics. Creating something your audience can relate to and understands is vital in establishing a connection with them, and this is a simple and effective way of doing that. Everyone can relate to an image, and musicians are more frequently incorporating strong visuals as lead elements of their campaigns.

Using mouseovers and hover actions actively encourages users to interact with these images and this is where the real beauty of ThingLink lies, because people are inherently curious and they want to know what might be hidden away. They don’t want to miss something valuable that might be tucked away in a corner. If you’ve judged your audience correctly and you’re giving them the content they really want to consume, they’ll be back.  

 

Q. What kind of features have you created using ThingLink?

This year we’ve been running a campaign around a brand new global priority artist who happens to be a Franciscan Friar called Alessandro. We’ve used Thinglink to put together an interactive map of Assisi – the birthplace of St Francis and the place Alessandro lives – as a way of showcasing all the most important locations from around this historic catholic town.

Using artwork sourced from a local tourist information booklet created by the friars themselves, we were able to use ThingLink as a way of revealing audio from his debut album along with photos, videos and more over a six week period prior to the release. It’s kind of a tour guide, but more fun, and making use of content shot on location with Alessandro himself. I think it can be difficult to meaningfully engage this kind of market digitally but we’ve had some good success using ThingLink purely because it bridges the gap between technology and the kind of content people naturally gravitate towards and find themselves sharing.

Q. What advice do you have for bands who want to promote their music with ThingLink?

Firstly, think about what you want to achieve. Do you want to drive data acquisition for the mailing list, increase Facebook fans, sell gig tickets, generate new fans, or are you simply rewarding existing fans without having any quantifiable target at all? Whichever it is, the answer will drive the content you need to be producing.

Secondly, thinking about how you want to reveal that content can make all the difference. A great way of encouraging repeat visits is to stagger the content that is available, but if you’re not giving fans what they want the first time round are they even going to come back for a second?

Q. What is it about ThingLink that helps drive traffic?

I think the numbers we saw on our campaign with Friar Alessandro reflect a very engaged, very content hungry fan base who appreciate unlocking and experiencing that content in exciting, non traditional ways. This is a demographic that wouldn’t usually listen to track previews or streams through SoundCloud. We’ve found ThingLink to be a brilliant way of removing the barrier that exists there by letting people interact with something that makes sense to them and delivering them SoundCloud content through it.

Although there were several content reveals each week on the map, streaming the new audio clips was always the most popular and the ThingLink platform effectively renders the underlying technology behind that invisible. This is hugely important in ensuring we’re connecting well with our audience and not alienating or penalising non technical fans.

Listening to the feedback we’ve had so far has been extremely positive. I can see ThingLink being an incredibly useful tool for us in future if for nothing else than its ability to engage meaningfully with the people we are trying to reach, day to day.

Follow Decca Records on ThingLink.

 

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Tips For Driving Fan Engagement with ThingLink


Interview with Bryan Vaughan, Wind-Up Records

Wind-Up Records has been one of the most successful users of ThingLink for artists like Evanescence, Seether, James Durbin, Civil Twilight, Jillette Johnson, and The Darkness.  CMO Neil Vineberg recently sat down with Wind-Up Records’ Bryan Vaughan to discuss fan engagement and ThingLink.

Q: What kinds of artist images do you tag?

A: The types of images we use with ThingLink varies. We’re actually starting to create images specifically for ThingLink and its interactions. We’ve been doing more and more with lyrics. We use the album artwork for every band. “The Darkness” has a poster image; the text in the image has its importance. Its kind of fun figuring out where in the image specifically a tag is going to have the most effect, how it ties in with the overall image. It’s not just about putting any tag on the image. It’s more about ThingLink-enabling the image as an entire, whole creative unit.

Q: How do you like the new graphical and color tag icons?

A: The new color and graphical tag icons have made the images stand out more. They drive people to really interact with the image more because they now know what they’re looking at when they hover over an image. They may not want to go to every icon on the page, but if they’re looking to specifically listen to the song or to buy it from iTunes, they can do that inside the image.  Similarly with the color differences in an actual image, you can bold different things with different color tag icons to draw different reactions for the parts of the image you want to point out.

Q: What is it about ThingLink that helps drive traffic?

A: It’s the ease of discovery and the surprise element. Fans are used to searching all over the Internet for content. Now with a little bit of movement and interactivity all that content lives inside an image. Putting that unique content in an image is now really essential. When you see the still image and then hover over it, your attention is automatically drawn to what’s going on inside the image.  It’s curiosity that drives people to not only hover over things, but to actually click through as well. That click-through is really important to us for really driving traffic.

People also have shorter attention spans. It’s crucial to cater to that shorter attention span and get engaged users doing things. With a single ThingLinked image, you can hover to find all the information you want, watch videos, play music, hear a band’s voice – all in once centralized spot. It’s really unique and essential.

Q: What advice do you have for bands who want to promote their music with ThingLink?

A: Find a surprising and fun way to use an image thats never been done before and create unique interaction between a band and a fan all within a single image. It’s a constant exploration of what am I really trying to drive with this image? What is going to catch peoples’ eye. And once we have an image ThingLink-enabled, what’s going to draw fans to the image?  The main thing is focusing on what you’re trying to get out of it, what you want fans to get out of it, and not just adding tags for the sake of it. Keeping an image focused with a limited number of tags versus hundreds — is crucial for marketing.

Q: How’s the new ThingLink working for you?

A: With ThingLink there has been lots of engagement with fans who emailed us and spoke on Twitter and Facebook about what they could do through the images.  Now with the newly launched ThingLink, its crucial because fans can actually share the image with their existing fans and friends.  And we’ve seen quite a few comments on the recent images – “This band is my favorite band…”.  That’s crucial hearing from fans so we know what we can improve on to make ThingLink more efficient with the next images we post.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. With ThingLink, it’s worth about two million.

Follow Wind-Up Records on ThingLink.

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Add Interactive Photos to your Bandzoogle Website with ThingLink

This is originally a guest post by ThingLink’s CMO Neil Vineberg for Bandzoogle.

Using photos as a design element in web design is a powerful way to connect with fans. Great fan connections start with compelling photos. Bandzoogle makes it easy to add your best images to your website and also supplies a wide assortment of stock images that make your Bandzoogle site look awesome.

By using ThingLink, Bandzoogle users can make those personal and stock photos interactive with audio and video players, social links and social sharing.

What is ThingLink?
ThingLink is a free app that turns any photo in a platform for content and sharing. By activating a ThingLink account alongside Bandzoogle, you can make your website photos interactive. Add music and video players. Sell merch and albums inside photos. Place any interactive photo as an app on your Facebook fan page. And fans viewing your interactive photos can share them across their social networks and embed them in blogs and tumblrs, extending the power of your Bandzoogle site through images that live across the Web.

Who is Using ThingLink?
ThingLink has been popular with labels and artists like Van Halen, Keane, Evanescence, Seether, Blink-182, Gorillaz. Hundreds and thousands of bands like JCQ from the UK and Conveyor from Paper Garden Records in Brooklyn, NY, also make images interactive with ThingLink.

Why Interactive? It’s all about Engagement
Fans like to discover stuff. If you’re building a fan base, Interactive images can help you engage fans in content discovery and position content (an audio player song sample) on an image right next points of sale (shopping tags for Amazon, eBay, iTunes, BestBuy and more).

Thanh Nguyen, digital marketer at Atlantic Records, who has promoted albums by Jason Mraz, Simple Plan, Christina Perri, and Bruno Mars, uses ThingLink to “aggregate and link back to all of the band’s social properties” and he suggests that promoters “customize the offering as much as possible…make sure the content is compelling.”

Nick Lippman, manager of Rob Thomas and Matchbox 20, sees ThingLink as a way of “promoting the different avenues an artist and a brand are trying to get out simultaneously, such as single, new video, new tour dates, fan club opportunities, contests and more – all in one place!”

Go Facebook Interactive
In addition to adding interactive images to a Bandzoogle website, ThingLink is a DIY editor for creating apps for Facebook pages. Now any interactive concert poster or CD cover with links can appear as a Tab (App) on your Facebook Fan Page. Here’s how.

Lynn Grossman, at Secret Road Music Services, used ThingLink on Facebook to preview tunes from Songbook, the new album by Ingrid Michaelson. “We came up with the idea of publishing an embeddable online songbook that would preview a song a day, offer downloadable lyrics to the song and have her talking about the meaning of each song leading up to the day of the release. The goal was for people to engage with the songbook daily for 2 weeks and to share this experience on their social media sites. Thinklink proved to be the perfect solution.” The click through rate on this campaign was >80%.

What Can You Add With an Interactive Photo

  • Showcase your videos, sound clips and social links inside a photo.
  • Add iTunes, Amazon or Topspin sales tags to an album cover image.
  • Add a Bandzoogle tag featuring your band’s URL so viewers can link back to your Bandzoogle webpage
  • Create a Tab on your Facebook fan page featuring your interactive image.

What Can you Do with your Image App on Facebook

  • Post a concert tour poster with interactive links
  • Publish a concert image with sound or video links
  • Turn a merch package image into a store with sales tags.

What Kinds of Tags can you use on your images?
Check this slideshare of ThingLink Rich Media Tags.

 

In addition to these awesome tags, you can add any URL and up to a 1500 character description to a tag and it will show up as a tag.

Get Started with ThingLink
Sign up for a free account at ThingLink.com. Bandzoogle users will receive a free year of ThingLink PLUS when you use coupon code “ILuvBandzoogle” during the signup for PLUS.

Setting up Bandzoogle and ThingLink
Now that you’re signed up on ThingLink, here’s how to make your Bandzoogle images interactive.

1. Locate your Thinglink account embed code.

2. Copy the embed code to clipboard.

3. Open your Bandzoogle site and go to Bandzoogle’s “Design & Options”.

4. Click “Footer Text” on left side menubar.

5. Paste the contents of the clipboard to the Footer Text box. If you already have some existing contents, just make sure that you don’t overwrite them, but put the code after the content.

6. Click Save.

While you are logged into Thinglink, log into Bandzoogle at the same time. You can edit your images at Bandzoogle as long as your Thinglink.com account is also open.

For questions about ThingLink, visit ThingLink’s support forum.

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