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August 3, 2013
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TRUDBOL : One Man A Capella Quartet Poster by RetSamys
Music time! Tutorial time.

Navigation

  1. Introduction
  2. Vectorian Giotto
  3. SWFTools
    1. WAV to SWF
    2. Image to SWF
    3. Combine SWFs
  4. Sharing
  5. Flash & dA

  1. Introduction

    Welcome to my tutorial. Today, I will tell you how you can upload and submit music to deviantART (and how to add music to images) with free programs. In Windows. Sorry, I don't have access to other OS's right now, but if you know something about this or that and everything else, write me!

    Disclaimer: All of this is how I did it. All of what I did was made by me with the help of free programs.
    You may:
    :iconshareiconplz: Share
    :iconremixiconplz: Remix
    and commercially use the text of this tutorial, under the following conditions:
    :iconbyiconplz: Attribution (credit me)

    The rules of dA also apply to Flash files. Do not add music or an image to your Flash file if you don't have the permission to use them!

    And for all the grammar nazis out there... I'm so terribly sorry^^. My main objective was not to create a perfect essay, it was to teach you how to do what I did. I'm not a native English speaker and I didn't pay much attention. Feel free to correct me in the comments.
  2. Vectorian Giotto


    An easy way to put an image and music together in a SWF file is to use Vectorian Giotto. There are two problems: I haven't found a way to make it loop and I don't know how to add an animation instead of only a still image.
    You can get Vectorian Giotto here.

    Open Vectorian Giotto

    Import the image and the sound file by going to Insert->Bitmap and Insert->Sound.

    Now save it as a SWF file by going to File->Export Flash Movie.

    Done.

    You can add a loop by adding a keyframe and adding this ActionScript code to the frame:
    gotoAndPlay(1);
  3. SWFTools

    This is what I use. SWFTools is a software package, meaning that there are actually several programs. Download it here.

    I would like to point out that there are some disadvantages to this way: The audio file needs to be WAV (if it isn't, it needs to be converted, fortunately, this is very easy) and everything has to be done manually in the Windows Comand Line (fortunately, I will guide you through that).

    1. WAV to SWF

      OK, do you have your WAV file ready? Save it somewhere you find it again (I recommend somewhere that isn't many subfolders away from the hard drive, like C:/audio.WAV). Now, find the folder the package has been installed in (for me, it's C:/Programme/SWFTools). If you look at the programs, you will see that there is are a lot of useful conversion programs (including png2swf.exe and swfcombine.exe, both of which are explained further below).

      The program we will need for now is wav2swf.exe. Unfortunately, double clicking or pressing Enter will not run the program correctly. You need to go to the Windows command line. To do that, first press [Windows Key]+R or by going to Start->Run.

      It should bring you to this dialogue, please enter cmd.

      And that should bring you to the command line:

      OK, now type in the path of the program we want to run. In my case, this would be C:\Programme\SWFTools\wav2swf.exe . There should be a lot of text:

      The first line tells us how to use the program: You enter the path of the program, space, options, space and then, you enter the path of your WAV file. I saved my audio file in C:\ (because I have to type less), so this is how it looks for me: C:\Programme\SWFTools\wav2swf.exe -o C:\audio.swf C:\audio.wav
      What will this do? It will take your WAV file (C:\audio.wav) and somehow magically make a new file where you told it to leave it (C:\audio.swf). You could leave the last one out, but it will save it as output.swf in %username%. The file will be a SWF file, containing nothing but the endlessly looping audio. If you don't want it to loop, you need to add the options -d -l, in my example: C:\Programme\SWFTools\wav2swf.exe -o C:\audio.swf -d -l C:\audio.wav
      Not looping any more.
      You probably won't need the other options.
    2. Image to SWF

      Same game as before, you will need to go into the Windows command line. This time, you need to convert your image into a SWF file. It doesn't matter if you pick gif2swf.exe, jpeg2swf.exe or png2swf.exe, just make sure that you pick the right program for the right image type and - if it is a GIF - that you de-optimised it, the conversion program displays single frames, not the resulting GIf animation. If you have an animation and the GIF lost colours/quality and if you still have the original files, take the time to make it a series of PNGs, the quality will be maintained.
      I have a series of PNGs and I want to make a Flash animation. I type in: C:\Programme\SWFTools\png2swf.exe
      Looking at the options, I would type in C:\Programme\SWFTools\png2swf.exe -o C:\1.swf C:\1.png C:\2.png to get an infinitely looped animation with automatically detected width, height and frame rate. You can change all of that. Example: C:\Programme\SWFTools\png2swf.exe -o C:\1.swf -X 100 -Y 100 -r 10 will create a SWF file (C:\1.swf) by using one or more PNGs (C:\1.png C:\2.png), with a width and height of 100 (-X 100 -Y 100 ) and a framerate of 10 images displayed per second (-r 10).
    3. Combine SWFs

      Now, all you need to do is combining the animation SWF and the audio SWF. In the  Windows command line, we will run swfcombine.exe:
      C:\Programme\SWFTools\swfcombine.exe
      The difficulty is bringing the music and the animation together without the one being interrupted by the other one.
      C:\Programme\SWFTools\swfcombine.exe -o C:\2.swf -T C:\1.swf C:\audio.swf should do it. Make sure you have a capital T, otherwise there will be another result.

      You are done! If you want, you can check out the other possibilities.
  4. Sharing


    You can share pure audio files by uploading them to the Sta.sh. You can also upload archives such as ZIP and RAR to certain Categories, so if you put the audio files in there, people can get them.

    It is also possible to embed videos from sites such as YouTube, even in different forms. However this only works in Journals and on Profile Widgets.



    And apparently in the Sta.sh Writer...



    I love that guy's beard.
  • Flash & dA

    Submitting Flash on dA requires two things:
    :bulletblack: It has to be submitted to the Flash Category
    :bulletblack: Additionally to the SWF file as a main file, a preview file has to be uploaded. This can be any JPEG/JPG, any PNG or a GIF with 150x150 or less pixels. To upload the preview image, wait until the main file is uploaded, then click on the pencil on the right and select "Change Preview Image".

    I also want you to know that the rules of dA also apply to Flash files. Do not add music or an image to your Flash file if you don't have the permission to use them! And so on, and so forth...
You may:
:iconshareiconplz: Share
:iconremixiconplz: Remix
and commercially use the text of this tutorial, under the following conditions:
:iconbyiconplz: Attribution (credit me)

I've seen Journal rants, comments and questions like "Why can't I upload music, music is art!" quite often on dA. Well, there is an alternative: Flash. Problem: Most Flash programs are not cheap. But there is free software.
I tried it here and here.

In other news, apparently, you can add big thumbs and video embedding in the Sta.sh writer!
Add a Comment:
 
:iconhappyaggro:
One of these days, dA will have an actual means in place to upload music (this place was initially made to upload WINAMP SKINS for crying out loud!). For now, this will do. Thanks for sharing with everybody, I'm sure that people will get a lot of use out of it. uwu
Reply
:iconretsamys:
RetSamys Aug 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you and thank you for your optimism. If I find something else and/or something changes on dA concerning this, I will update this.

Here's why I cannot share your optimism: Uploading music - any content, really, but we are talking about music specifically - to the internet requires the web hoster to be responsible for any legal ramifications. With user generated content, the user is responsible for what they upload, but the hoster needs to make sure that illegal material can be taken down easily and that illegal content - to a certain degree - is not uploaded again. The Copyright Policy with the DMCA dA currently has will not be enough - there are people with a lot of money being very careful what gets where. If they feel that dA doesn't care enough about them, it will have consequences for dA. dA would have to make deals like YouTube did - worldwide, so that it's legal worldwide. Maybe you already know that a German  YouTube user does not have access to a lot of videos because YouTube stopped their deal with the German collecting society GEMA? Imagine users not having access to deviations outside their country...

Apparently, Flash content is manageable (SWFs are a rather closed system and there aren't that many). So are images (it's rather easy to look up the original copyright holder, plus tools like the Google image search make it easy to look up the same image). Music is not (identifying a title with a program, for example, is not easy, and with the money people make of it, not everything is on the internet to let a program have any markers to begin with).

Sorry, that was a bit long, but I felt like this should go with this tutorial.
Reply
:iconhappyaggro:
I don't really see how you can read optimism in what I said (Hopeful, yes, do I think it's gonna happen anytime soon, no), but whatever, it's good to show you've put a lot of effort into this. I'm aware of GEMA, it's rather horrible.

I disagree mainly because A) other art sites like SheezyArt, FurAffinity, and Weasyl grant their users the ability to put up music. Some of this music is remixed, which is to say, sooooometimes copyright material is involved. Though these sites don't have the commercial considerations that deviantART has to keep in mind (and arguably FurAffinity is the only site that comes close to deviantART in terms of reach although it's still pretty damn far considering that FurAffinity is a more specialized site for a specific crowd), but I find it doubtful that they don't have the same general considerations that deviantART has when it comes to making deals to have that content allowed.  I fail to see how "Well, those sites are smaller, they can totally get away with it!" is valid enough as a good excuse for why deviantART doesn't get to have music while all of these smaller sites do. (And one would think if music copyright concerns were all that important to deviantART, there would be rules in place to stop loopholes like the ones you talk about in this article! Mind you, your ways involve actual work, which some might not be quick to the uptake about. Another friend of mine, ~FreakyEd has been working on methods of uploading music on dA, including Flash and for whatever reason, PDFs.)
Reply
:iconretsamys:
RetSamys Aug 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
One of these days, dA will have an actual means in place to upload music
There, that's the part I think I see optimism. =)

That's interesting! Then, there is likely another, additional reason... Looking into it...
FAQ #872: Does deviantART allow music submissions?
(Interestingly, :faq218: and :faq343: were about music on dA and they are now dead! I wonder what they said...)
This FAQ article states that they won't support music on dA. Because... there aren't enough Galleries devoted to music? I have to admit, it's not easy to find Groups that are generally for music, and I have yet to see a Group with a Music folder... Does that mean that all we have to do is to be interested show out interest in music by making lots of galleries? Or is that just an excuse?
Actually, scratch that, I read it again, it doesn't give away anything.
In any way, it seems that dA won't do it because actually doing the work (I think if they really want to do it, they want to do it 100% right) would be inefficient.
Still, this is not really an answer. There are other ways:

Personally, the way I would like this to be solved, would be some form of cooperation between dA and an existing music hoster, such as soundcloud. Linking/embedding the soundcloud in a Sta.sh text and submitting it to a Category where it would be processed accordingly, that would be nice.

I must remind myself of the other industry with a lot of money behind it: films. You need to be invited in order to be part of the dA Film Community so that films can be submitted. Maybe creating a similar community would be a solution?

Now, what you say ~FreakyEd does sounds interesting! If he could find a way to do that for free, that would be amazing! I am aware of some things you can do with PDFs, learning how to embed music in there would be cool. I am not sure as to how browsers display PDFs on dA, my browser shows PDFs on the page without needing to download the document, but I figured that's just because Firefox has a built-in JS PDF viewer... hm...
Reply
:iconhappyaggro:
Ah well, I guess I subconsciously gave my optimism away. uwu~

Reading that, I think that what they mean by "gallery" are the categories. As in, we have the Fanart category and the Devious Fun category but not an Art category. "We don't accept music submissions, as evidenced by the complete lack of a Music category", that sort of thing. The whole "not wanting to do it because doing the work would actually be inefficient" thing might be more accurate, it's like how FAQ 502 is against submitting prepackaged generator content (read: doll maker stuff, memes from "easy memes", demotiviationals, etc) to your gallery. They're allowed in your scraps though! Cue people complaining about all the stuff that should be in scraps being in galleries because it'd take too much work for dA staff to move all of that stuff (mind, if they'd just EMPHASIZE THE RULE, maybe some people would back off? Then again, to submit a gallery of only memes to deviantART takes a special kind of "genius", mainly the kind that can't be assed to learn to draw) Though, apparently that music thing has been recently added so at least they're aware of the demand even if they don't want to do squat.

I personally think that cooperation between deviantART and Bandcamp, like they're doing with Madefire with motion books. They don't have to fuss over copyright stuff (maybe), the stuff could potentially be invite (like opting in for the Madefire beta test they'll be doing) and it'll be encouraging the upload of original stuff. Partnering with Bandcamp would also be a good idea since that service makes it so that the artists are getting most of the money, not the service. It also allows for free music, pay what you want music, and regular album charges so people can search based on that, maybe?

I guess I shoulda mentioned the music PDF thing didn't work well for him, though I guess hope springs eternal, ahahah!
Reply
:iconluisbc:
Dear friend!!!!
Your work is fantastic.
You're a great person and a great teacher
Reply
:iconretsamys:
RetSamys Aug 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you. Thanks a lot!
I hope there are some people I can teach something.
Reply
:iconpicsandpixels:
PicsAndPixels Aug 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow! :wow: Thanks so much for spending your time making this for me! X3
Reply
:iconretsamys:
RetSamys Aug 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You are welcome! I actually wanted to do this some time ago, but I never got around to it. Thank you for giving me the impulse, as I'm sure you are not the only one to profit from this.

Let me know if there's anything unclear!
Reply
:iconjwa2277:
JWA2277 Aug 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Nice! I will have a look!
Reply
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