Encoding, Uploading and Creating Pieces
To publish an audio piece on PRX, you need to convert your audio file(s) to MP2 format, upload them, and create a piece. A piece is your audio as a page on our site, plus all the information associated with it: title, producers, tones, topics, price, licensing agreement, etc.
Before you begin: Get the Tools
Download and install the free PRX Member Tools, the Encoder and Uploader. We built these tools to work with our system. (Hey! Are you using Mac OSX 10.7 Lion? These tools won't work for you, but we have another option.)
The Encoder converts your audio into a broadcast-quality MP2. MP2s are the industry standard for public radio, and your audio must be in MP2 format in order to be uploaded to PRX. You must have QuickTime on your computer for the Encoder to work. Most computers already have QuickTime; if not, Quicktime is available for free here.
The Uploader is our drag-and-drop FTP application that sends your audio to your dropbox in My PRX. Using the Uploader is optional; you can also upload through your browser.
Open the PRX Encoder application that you downloaded in the Member Tools.
The Encoder will create an MP2 version of your WAV or AIFF file. The new file will appear in the same place as the original file. For example, if your original WAV was on the desktop, your new MP2 will appear there as well.
Mac users: Drag and drop your WAV/AIFF file onto the Encoder icon in the dock.
A popup window will notify you when encoding is complete. The window refers to a "Loading Dock," which is now called the "dropbox" on prx.org. The window will also instruct you to use the Uploader application. This is optional; you have two uploading options.
Windows users: Drag and drop your WAV/AIFF file onto the Encoder window where it says "Drag your WAV, AIFF, or CDA here."
A popup window will notify you when encoding is complete. Clicking the "Upload to PRX" button will open the Uploader application. This is optional; you have two uploading options.
There are two ways to upload your MP2 file to PRX, through your browser or via the Uploader application.
Either option is fine, but you may want to use the Uploader only if you want to send your audio to PRX now and create a piece later. Use the browser if you're ready to log into PRX and create your piece.
- Go to My PRX
- Click Create Piece
- From the gray box at the top of the page, click Browse and Select for each file that you'd like to add to this piece. You may only have one file — that's okay — some people have multiple segments, a promo, etc.
- Click Upload. It will upload all the files you have chosen.
You can move on to filling out your piece information below while your files upload. Your files will appear on the Basics tab under Piece Audio, where you will have a chance to rename them and move them into different versions, promos, etc.
If you prefer our basic (old) browser uploader, which only allows one file upload at a time:
- Go to My PRX
- Click Create Piece
- In the gray box at the top of the page, check "Use the basic uploader."
- Browse and choose the file to upload.
- Open the Uploader application that you downloaded in the Member Tools.
Files uploaded using the Uploader will be stored in your dropbox under My PRX.
- Mac users: Enter your username and password under the preferences so it knows where to send your file. (If you are with a group or station, still enter your individual username and password.) Drag and drop your MP2 file onto the Uploader icon in the dock.
Windows users: Click Settings to enter your username and password so it knows where to send your file. (If you are with a group or station, still enter your individual username and password.) Click Upload Audio File and choose the MP2 version of the file you want to upload.
- To attach the file to a piece, go to My PRX > Create Piece. In the gray box at the top of the page, check "I want to add audio from my dropbox."
- Select and click Add for each file that goes on this piece. Your files will appear on the Basics tab under Piece Audio, where you will have a chance to rename them and move them into different versions, promos, etc. You can move on to filling out your piece information.
3. Create a Piece
A piece includes your audio on PRX plus the information associated with it. Each piece has its own page with its own web address.
If you just uploaded your audio using the browser or attached audio from your dropbox, you will already be on the piece creation page. If not, click Create a piece on the home page or go to My PRX > Create Piece and follow the uploading instructions.
When creating a piece, you don't have to fill in all of the fields. However, the more fields you fill in, the more searchable — and more attractive to stations — it will be.
The Basics tab holds the audio and all the essential information about your piece.
Account: If you are a member of a group or a station, choose whether the piece should appear under your personal account or under the group/station.
Short Description: A summary of what your piece is about. This shows up throughout PRX in search results and as a preview to your piece.
Full Description: Explain your piece as fully as possible. Words in the full description are also searchable, so make it detailed and check your spelling. If you are pasting text from Microsoft Word, click on the Paste from Word button to add your text (Word + the Internet can equal funky characters showing up in places and this button keeps that from happening).
Piece Length: Determined automatically when your audio file is finished processing.
Promos: If you have uploaded your audio to the piece, you will be able to click and drag on the promo file's yellow bar in Piece Audio and drop it here.
Audio Status Key: When you upload audio to PRX, we process a streaming version for the audio player on the piece page. You do not need to wait for it to finish processing to move on to the next steps.
Breaks: Check the boxes if your piece has any standard breaks that fit into station and program clocks.
Timing and Cues: This is a good place to note the times and durations of breaks, music beds, intros, etc.
Content Advisories: Stations can face heavy fines if they air swear words or other objectionable content. We have all the juicy details about what you can't say on the radio (and how you should note it) here.
Transcript: If you have a transcript of your piece, paste it in. Google will index the words and your piece only will be more searchable.
The Details tab allows you to add more info about your piece that will make it appear in more search results and will make it more attractive to stations.
Producers: Enter the names of the piece's producers. If the producer is a member of PRX, you can choose his/her name from the list that will appear, and a link to the producer's profile will be added to your piece.
Images: You can add one or more photos to your piece. The default image will appear at the top of the piece page and in search results, and other images will be available at the bottom of the piece page. Make sure you click Add Image after you browse for the file and add the caption or credit if needed. (If you choose "I don't have an image to upload," a PRX default image will be used.)
Date Pegs: If your piece has any kind of relevance to a holiday or other date, choose it from the list. If you don't see your date peg, scroll to the bottom of the list and choose Create a new date peg.
Tags: Choose up to three of each in Topics, Tones, and Formats. The more you select, the more searchable your piece can be. You can add your own under Additional Tags.
Musical Works: If you have musical works in your piece, fill out all the information that you can. Stations need it for their records, and we submit to ASCAP and BMI.
Additional Files: This is optional, and could include a Word doc of your transcript, promotional posters you want stations to be able to download, etc. Just make sure you fill in the label of what it is.
Details: The Production Date, Website, Intro/Outro, etc. are all optional but extremely helpful to stations. If you have this info, add it.
You set the terms for how stations and outside purchasers can use your piece and how much you want to charge.
Pricing Options: The default price of a piece is 50 cents/minute per license — this is the royalty that you would earn — and you can double or triple that, or make your piece available for free. We recommend starting with the default price if you are new to PRX, and if you start to sell content, raising the price. You will never make less than what you choose, and if your piece is bought by a station in a large market, you may get a bonus. More on the PRX economy.
License Terms: You decide whether or not stations can offer your piece on their website or if they can edit it. Choose what you are most comfortable with. Under Additional Terms you can add anything else that you require for your piece, e.g., an air window of certain dates. Stations are bound by their PRX agreement to follow what you have written.
Outside Purchaser Licensing Options: You can offer your piece to buyers, services, and distribution channels beyond public radio stations, called outside purchasers. Click on an OP name to read about how they would use your piece. The Royalty payment is how much we would pay you if that OP bought your piece. To give an OP the option to buy your piece, check the box next to their name. If you don't opt-in, they can message you later and request that you do. More details about outside purchasers.
You will see a preview of what your piece will look like once it's published. If you don't like what you see, click Basics, Details or Permissions tabs to go back and make changes. Make sure you click Save and Continue at the bottom of any tab you make changes to.
Click Publish above or below the preview window when you're ready for the piece to go live! It will show up on our home page under New Pieces.
NOTE: If the audio player on your piece displays the message that the file is still processing, that means that our site is still creating the audio for the player on the piece page. If you publish while it is processing, stations will still be able to download the audition-only MP3 and buy and download your MP2, but the audio player will not play. Processing usually takes no more than a few hours (depending on activity on the site and the length of your piece), so if you want to wait to publish until it is finished, click Save and Exit. You can find your piece later under My PRX > Unpublished Pieces.
A confirmation will display letting you know your piece has been published.
Social Media: Tell the world about your piece! The provided short URL is perfect for tweeting, too.
Portfolios: A portfolio lets you show off your best work on your PRX profile. For individual producers, your portfolio is displayed on your profile under your photo. For stations and groups, your portfolio is available as a playlist on your station/group profile. Learn more about portfolios.