Instabytes: sharing your audio on instagram

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how to get people to listen to more audio online

People not listening to audio online is a problem that’s been weighing me down.  

Mainly because I pitched some of my audio to a program recently and it was rejected, which happens, but the producer rejected it without even listening to it! I know this because the audio was hosted on my own site and I could see exactly how long the producer spent on the page that had my audio piece on it. They listened to it for just 10 seconds and then they clicked on a different page. 10 seconds (boooooo!) Knowing this made me feel heaps better about being rejected, and importantly, it showed me that:

  1. The first 10 seconds of audio is the most important (start with the best bits always, don’t save the gold until the end)
  2. The web is so distracting (my website is particularly distracting. If I was going to pitch audio to a program again, I would put it on it’s own landing page or just on soundcloud so there is nothing to distract them)

So I decided not to fight it, if people have only got 10 seconds, that’s all I’m going to give them! 

Behold using audio on Instagram.

Instagram now lets you upload videos (3-15 seconds) which means you can now upload bite size snippets of sound to your feed. 

I had a play around with making what I’ve called “instabytes” (audio bytes to use on social media sites like instagram) and I had SO much fun! I'm now feeling totally invigorated about “audio online”, you’ve got to try it. Here's what I came up with:

How to share your audio on instagram  

Part 1: Making your instabyte

1. Audio- Take a snippet of your audio and save it as mp3 
The audio can only be between 3-15 seconds (15 seconds is the maximum length for videos on instagram, if you want to use vine, the video can only be 6 seconds long). Your audio could be from an interview you've done, oral history archives  etc… I used audio from Al Gore’s address at the UN’s Climate Change summit. 

2. Get footage (photos, video or gifs) to combine with the audio 
I am loving gifs and the new hyperlapse app which lets you make timelapse videos (here's a similar app for android), but you could also make a photo slideshow using, for example, shots from an interview. I downloaded the melting ice cream timelapse I used in my video from 

3. Combine the audio and video 
After fiddling around for the most part of a day trying different video editing apps for instagram (I couldn’t find one that reverses the speed of the video and adds nice looking titles), I ended up making my instabyte with Adobe Premier. If you want to do the same, here are some good tips on the best Adobe Premier export settings for instagram  

Part 2: Uploading your custom video to Instagram

Oh dear me, what a nightmare it's been trying to upload my video to instagram! I spent days using different apps, emailing the video to my phone and then trying to upload it in instragram from my camera roll TO NO AVAIL!  I kept getting this error message, “file format not supported”, even though it was a correct format for instagram. 

But I’ve finally figured out how to do it! See below.

How to upload a custom video to instagram (I used my android phone):

  1. Record a video using the instagram app and publish it to your feed 
  2. Connect your phone to your computer 
  3. Open your phones folder and navigate to here: Computer\YOUR PHONE NAME\Internal storage\Movies\Instagram
  4. Paste your instabyte video in this folder
  5. Rename your instabyte with a filename that's already in the folder
  6. Now you've tricked instagram into thinking that your instabyte was made with the instagram app and you should be able to upload your video (go to your video camera roll in instagram, open the instagram folder and your video should be there) 

Have a go and make sure you tag your video with #instabyte because I would love to see what you come up with (plus I’ll share the very best ones here on Radio Story School).

One day let's hope there's an app that let's us upload our audio on instagram more easily! Perhaps there already is?