This WordPress plugin does one thing: identify and capture mp3 links and insert a small flash player on click. That’s it.

With “simple” as one of the 3 principles of SafeHouse Web, I really like this lightweight, to-the-point audio player. Made available to the WordPress community by Christopher O’Connell at Compu.Terlicio.Us. Yes, for free.

This is a plugin that was introduced in 2008 and has seen a few upgrades; something this straight-forward and effective did need to have “2010” or “look at me, I’m new” stamped on it. Another reason I liked it.

A few days ago, I picked up a new client who wanted to have a new theme installed on the WordPress blog he’d been holding it captive in a subfolder for many months -with the intention of “getting to it” one day – and I was fortunate to fall into the rotation of web guys that he was looking at on this particular day. Part of the good news in this story is that I was able to show him the light, as it relates to using the full power of WordPress… “put it in your root directory, man. Use it to run your whole site.” He listened, and WP 3.0 now runs free in the root directory.

One of his primary goals was to transition an mp3 file that was using a cheesy player on his strictly-HTML home page. He wanted it to look nicer. Enter stage right – Audio Player. Here are some highlights:

µAudio is a slim and basic plugin (only 450 Bytes!).

µAudio is a fast plugin that creates a flash mp3 player when mp3 links are clicked. In order to reduce clutter and file transfer, the links are unmodified until they are clicked, at which point a div with the player is faded in after the link. A second click on the link fades the player back out.

µAudio also contains an ‘autoconfig’ feature which automatically examines the site CSS and attempts to pick colors for the various flash player elements based on the CSS values. This may not provide a “perfect” look in every situation, but should integrate well with most themes. In order to provide more fine-grained control, you can also write custom CSS to specifically skin any aspect of the player which the autoconfig does not skin to your satisfaction.

In order to help keep file loads down, the basic javascript is extremely small*. In addition, every effort has been made to use the smallest player possible and generally keep the plugin as small and light as possible.

*µAudio does rely upon jQuery, however, the packed jQuery is quite lite, and many other plugins use it as well, making the total burden quite small. All data sizes assume that jQuery has already been loaded.

µAudio is a Zero Config, drop in and forget audio player.

The most basic installation. It’s a simple two step:

1. Upload the `microaudio` folder to the `/wp-content/plugins/` directory
2. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress

That’s it, you’re done. You have an audio player smaller than 1/2 of a kilobyte.

In order to activate autoconfiguration and autostart for the player:

1. Goto “Settings > µAudio”
2. Activate the options as appropriate.

An additional feature includes a way for people to download the file in addition to seeing the flash player. To that end, there is also an option to add a download link.

In addition, the skinning capabilities have been extended. You can now fine tune every aspect of the player through the use of custom CSS classes which you can add to your style.css.

µAudio automatically converts any link to an mp3 file so that it can automatically create a player. So, if you put in an a href link to the mp3 file location, Audio will automatically add a flash player when that link is clicked.

Simple. Affordable. Works.