Last week I launched a new app called Turn which takes a sound file and image file and turns it into a music video which includes a rotating visual of your image. You can download this video and share it on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and any other network that supports video. You could also host it on your server and embed it with a simple
<video> tag. Hell, you could send it in an MMS message.
It’s become the norm these days to see social networks mute your videos before user interaction so it’s important to give the user some indication that audio is playing. Being an early SoundCloud employee and working with artists for years, I have developed countless custom audio players. One technique would be to visualize a waveform but I wanted to go for something much more subtle and nostalgic. There’s something hypnotizing about rotation and the movement is part of the history of music consumption. The visual of a record spinning on a turntable sitting in the center of the room on a pedestal like a piece of art comes to mind. I also think about the spin of a cassette or compact disc. It always felt magic to see this simple mechanical action render such incredible soundscapes.
I love the platform of the vinyl and disk for visual expression. In addition, the simple circular shape of the videos create the feeling of uniformity that you get from a record collection. As you share more of these on your timeline, I suspect users will feel an urge to jump from one to another as they uncover the pleasant user experience.
Don’t take my word for it though.
Read on to find out how you can create a Turn video today for free.
1. Select artwork image
Click “Choose your image file” to select a JPG image of your artwork. We’ll accept any size but crop it to a circle shape which you can preview in the left column of the website. Depending on the composition of your artwork, you may want to adjust the cropping yourself before upload.
2. Select background color
Once your artwork is selected and spinning, you may want to change Turn’s default background color to something that suits your image better. Turn expects a hex color but you can also try any of the web color names as well.
3. Select audio file
Finally, you’ll want to select your MP3 file. By default, Turn will trim this file to the first 60 seconds of audio so it fits within Instagram’s timeline limit. If you know the best part of the track, simply trim it beforehand.
4. Create video
Once you’ve provided all of your files, the “Create video” button will become selectable. Click it to begin the creation process. First, we’ll upload your files to Turn. The timing of this action will be dependent on your MP3 size and your current Internet connection. Turn will then begin creating your video. Depending on the length of your audio, this could take 1 to 2 minutes. Once completed, you will be notified and provided a large “Download video” button.
5. Share video
Clicking “Download video” will download the video to your computer. Then what? Well you have a couple of options on getting the file to your mobile device. I have an iPhone so I like using Airdrop when it’s cooperating. You could also simply email the file to yourself and then check your email on your phone. I’ve seen people use Dropbox and Box also. Regardless of what method you choose, once the video is in your photo library, you can share it socially like usual.
(6. Get featured)
I would love to find out if you’re using Turn to share audio and feature your content on the Turn Instagram and Twitter accounts. In order to do this, I’ll be checking the #TurnAudio hashtag on both networks and looking for content to feature. If you’d like to be featured, simply tag accordingly. Thanks!
Turn is very much a work in progress. I invite any and all feedback and the channel by which you communicate with me is up to you. You can find me on Twitter. You can drop me an email anytime. If you’re in New Orleans, let’s have coffee! Oh, and you can drop a comment below. In addition, if you want to stay up to date with Turn development, sign-up to our Product Hunt upcoming page or simply follow Turn on Twitter or Instagram.
The goal of Turn is simply to build a beautiful way to share music socially. To all interested music-makers: Thank you.