U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

EERE Communication Standards & Guidelines

Audio

Audio-only files, whether they are linked directly on a page or distributed via a podcast, must be accessible to all visitors of the EERE website. Here you'll find the requirements and best practices for developing and posting audio-only files on your website.

If you want to distribute your audio-only files via podcast, see our podcast standards.

Requirements

All audio-only files on the EERE website must follow these requirements.

Technical Requirements

All audio files should be in MP3 format.

Directory

All audio files must be located in your site's /media/ directory.

Linking to Audio-only Files

Links to audio files should follow the native file format linking requirements.  When linking to an audio file, you must provide a link to download BOTH Windows Media Player and iTunes.  This link must be placed near the audio file, and is often placed directly after the file.

A link to an audio file will follow this format:

Name of File (MP3 Size of File MB).  Download Windows Media Player or iTunes.

For an example of how to link to an audio file, see the Solar Decathlon 2007 Podcasts.

Text Versions

All audio files require a text version. See the page on writing a text version for a media file for instructions.

Best Practices

These best practices are optional, but can lead to better quality content.

Embedded Audio Players

You may embed an audio file directly onto your website. This allows users to listen to your audio file directly on your website.

Embedded audio files should use the EERE Audio Skin. The skin determines the visual appearance of your file, such as the "play" and volume buttons, and is used to provide a singular, unified appearance for all embedded EERE Audio Files.

EERE uses the JW Player for embedding multimedia files. Set the height of the player to 25 pixels. The width may be adjusted to suit your layout.

Here is an example of the audio player code.

In the head tag, add:

<script type="text/javascript" src="/includes/js/jwplayer.js"></script>

In the body, embed the code below. Change the bold text as needed:

<div id="container">Loading the player ...</div>
<script type="text/javascript">
   jwplayer("container").setup({
      'flashplayer': '/includes/media/player.swf',
      'file': '/your_site/media/audio_file.mp3',
      'height': '25',
      'width': '450',
      'skin': '/includes/media/whotube/whotube.xml',
      'id':'playerID',
      'autostart': 'false',
      'abouttext': 'EERE',
      'aboutlink': 'http://www.eere.energy.gov/',
      'volume': '100'
   });
</script>

You should provide a link to download an audio file, even if you embed the audio file on the page. This allows users to download your audio file and listen to it on a portable music device.