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System overview

Sound Page is a podcast publishing system for the web. It's a lot like a traditional podcast player app in that it reads RSS files and plays audio files directly from your podcast's server. But Sound Page also allows you to add a layer of annotations to your audio – timestamped elements like chapters, pull-quotes, web links and images.

Included in the system:

  • A web-based audio player that presents the timestamped annotations – available as a full-page player and an embeddable player. The embed is similar to a YouTube iframe except that Sound Page does not host your audio – it only hosts the annotations.
  • An admin interface for adding annotations to audio.
  • Coming soon: an API

Roughly, here is how it works:

What happens when someone clicks play on an episode?

  1. Play is clicked.

  2. The HTML5 audio tag in Sound Page is used to play whatever audio file your RSS file points to for the episode. Just like any podcast app, your server gets hit.

Note: Sound Page doesn't check your RSS feed on every play. It stores the URL of the audio file, but periodically checks your feed for updates to the file location, like Apple Podcasts / iTunes Store does. As long as the GUID of the episode stays the same, the URL will be automatically updated in the Sound Page database. You can force a refresh of your RSS data in the Sound Page admin dashboard if you need an immediate update to the URL too.

Do I need my own podcast host/server?

For now, yes. Eventually Sound Page will offer a hosting service so you can keep everything under one roof and not worry about RSS feeds.

Availability of data

All annotations data is available as XML, in Synesthesia XML. The XML is available at a public URL, like the XML in your RSS feed. You are free to use it in any way you would like, such having your own apps display the annotations without using the Sound Page player.

If you'd prefer to have your annotation XML private – like for example if you want to use your annotations as a paid subscription incentive – please email and we'll get it set up.

You can export all of your data if you ever want to stop using Sound Page entirely.

Importing data into Sound Page

You can skip Sound Page's editor tool altogether and input your own XML. Please email for XML specification and to have this advanced feature enabled on your account.

What happens if I remove an episode from my podcast's RSS feed?

The episode is then no longer viewable for the public via Sound Page (this includes the embed player). If you've added annotations to that episode, you can still access your work via the admin area, so you never accidentally lose the work you do within the Sound Page editor.


The layout of the player is done with standard HTML and CSS. You can add "alt" attributes to images using the visual editor in the admin interface. All text is displayed using standard HTML elements, so it is readable by text-to-voice software, resizable by web browsers and modifiable by colour inverters, etc. Synched transcript support coming soon. Let us know if you want us to fast-track that feature:

Mobile friendliness

Sound Page uses Bootstrap to respond to all screen sizes. This is the case for the embed player and the standard player.

Does Sound Page do anything weird with my audio files, like add file-size compression?

No. Sound Page doesn't download, store or modify your audio. Audio is downloaded directly by the end user's web browser right from your server. What you post for all podcast apps to play is what the Sound Page system plays.

Is there an API?

Not yet. But if you need this, we'd be interested in working with you on it. For now, to access the annotation data, your app can parse the XML. But eventually we'll be making a proper API so that your app can modify your Sound Page account and not just read data from it.