Quick tutorial: Create a WooCommerce audio store in under an hour
Creating a WooCommerce audio store doesn’t have to be complicated. With the right tools (read: plugins) at your disposal, you can be up and running in a matter of an hour, and without hiring a programmer to help you out.
So if you’re looking to sell audio books, samples of music, audio language learning materials, or even karaoke music, you’re in the right place.
In this post, I take you step-by-step through the process of building your very own WooCommerce audio library. The end result will be a fully operational WooCommerce audio store.
Here’s the kind of final effect that we’re going for:
What you need to get started building your WooCommerce audio store
Before we start, I’m going to assume that you already have the following:
- An operational WordPress website
- WooCommerce installed on that website
- Any WordPress theme (including one compatible with a page builder such as Elementor)
There’s also the third element – our WooCommerce Product Table plugin. Let me show you how to get your hands on it, install it, and use it to build your WooCommerce audio store.
But before that…
Okay, I should probably address one small thing before I discuss how to use the plugin.
That thing is, “why do you even need it?”
The short answer is that it’s simply going to make selling audio files more effective for you and more convenient for your buyers. We’ve previously published a tutorial about how to create a WordPress audio library with embedded audio players. But it’s not obvious how to create an actual audio store, with embedded audio previews and purchasable download files.
This comes down to the nature of how selling audio files is usually done online. By far the most effective way to showcase a catalog of audio tracks is through a list or a table. Something like this:
- With such a listing, the reader/buyer can listen to a number of audio files one after the other without having to navigate to separate product pages – each for one audio file. This might be the full audio file, so that people can listen without being able to download it (as they have to buy the product to actually download it!). Or it might be a short sample or snippet to convince them to buy the full version.
- The buyer can also click the “add to cart” buttons directly next to the tracks that they like. Again, no need to navigate anywhere else.
The problem with presenting things like that, however, is that it’s impossible to do in raw WooCommerce. That’s what you need the WooCommerce Product Table plugin for.
Keep reading to see examples of WooCommerce music stores in action, and then learn how to set it up on your own site!
Examples of music you can sell online with WooCommerce
You can sell literally any type of music online with WooCommerce Product Table. Here are some examples:
- Any audio file format MP3, WAV, and much more. Choose the most appropriate format for your music products, and sell them online with WooCommerce.
- Any audio or music genre You can sell original audio (audiobooks, foreign language lessons, singles, albums, podcasts, recorded lectures) or stock footage (corporate or relaxing background music, karaoke backing tracks, royalty-free music, samples, sound effects).
Case study #1 – A WooCommerce audio store for Nico Backing Tracks
Nico composes and sells background music tracks through his Woo audio store – Nico Backing Tracks. Nico’s customers need to be able to listen to snippets of tracks before purchasing so he needed audio players embedded into the product list.
That’s why Nico lists his backing tracks in a WooCommerce audio store powered by our WooCommerce Product Table plugin.
Customers can sort the audio store by price, reviews or track name. There’s no clicking from one page to another to listen to tracks and add them to the cart. Everything’s on one page. Once the customer knows what they want, they just have to add the track to their shopping cart before clicking view cart to make the payment.
Case study #2 – Music Drop’s WooCommerce audio store
Music Drop is a music platform with a WooCommerce audio store. Set up by Louis Colaiannia, the site’s mission is to be a platform where artists can sell their music to music lovers across the world.
Each artist has their own profile with tabs for information, an image gallery and audio. The purchase tab features a product table listing all the audio tracks by that artist. The table can be sorted by price, track name and genre. Plus, the embedded audio players mean users can listen to the tracks before they add any item to the shopping cart.
Case study #3 – Boom Bap Labs’ audio sounds shop
Boom Bap Labs sell individual sounds with audio previews through their sister site called Paypersample.
The audio store is powered by WooCommerce Product Table because it provided the flexibility needed.
Each track has a sample track embedded into the table so customers can listen before they buy. To do this they installed the WordPress HTML5 Audio Player.
There’s hundreds of tracks to look through, that’s why customers benefit from the filters dropdowns and sort options. In a couple of seconds, the customer can filter the table by category, tag, beats per minute, and key.
Read on to find out how to create your own WooCommerce audio store.
How to create a WooCommerce audio store: step-by-step
1. Get WooCommerce Product Table and install it on your site
You can get the plugin by clicking here:
After completing your order, you will be taken to a download page for the plugin. This is also where you’ll get your personal license key.
To install the plugin on your site:
- Log in to your WordPress dashboard, go to Plugins → Add New.
- Click on the Upload Plugin button.
- Select the ZIP file of the plugin, click on Install Now and follow the on-screen instructions to enable the plugin.
As mentioned above, you can use any WordPress theme for this, including one which works with a page builder such as Elementor. Make sure your theme is responsive so your music store can be accessed from mobile devices (such as iPhone and Android). WooCommerce Product Table itself is fully responsive out of the box.
2. Configure your WooCommerce audio plugin
The great thing about WooCommerce Product Table is that it can be used for all sorts of different types of WooCommerce products, not only audio files.
Basically, no matter if you want to sell wardrobes or digital products, the plugin will cope. It all comes down to the configuration.
This is what you should do to use WooCommerce Product Table for a WooCommerce audio store:
First, from your WordPress dashboard, go to WooCommerce → Settings → Products → Product tables:
Start by entering your personal license key and clicking on Save changes to enable the plugin.
Now, go through the rest of the options on the configuration page one by one and set them accordingly:
The structure that seems the most effective for a WooCommerce audio library is this:
description:Listen Now– we’re using the main description field of the product to display a live audio embed – meaning, the buyer is going to be able to listen to the track before buying it,
name– the name of the audio track,
categories:Genre– it’s a good idea to categorize your audio products based on the genre; we’re using the product category for that, with the label changed to “Genre”,
add-to-cart– the “add to cart” button.
Of course, the above settings are just a suggestion. You are free to experiment and pick other columns when building your WooCommerce audio library.
Make sure the box is checked. Otherwise the live audio embeds won’t work.
I like to set this to
none for a WooCommerce audio store. However you can leave it set to
all if that’s what you prefer.
When set to
none, this makes sure that the actual product page of the audio track isn’t linked to from the table. Meaning, in a setup like this, the only clickable things within the table are the play buttons and the “add to cart” buttons, which should improve sales.
WooCommerce Product Table lets users filter the table based on various attributes of the products. For audio files, it makes sense to enable filtering based on genres.
To achieve that, set the Product filters setting to Custom, and the Custom filters setting to
The rest of the settings on the page are up to you. It’s best to experiment with those once you already have a live audio store table on the site. (Read: come back to this once you’re done with the rest of the process).
Bonus tip: Add filter widgets
Some WooCommerce audio stores like to allow their users to filter by multiple tags, for example to find all songs that are ‘romantic’ and ‘classical’. The filter dropdowns above the table only let you select one option at a time (although you can have as many different dropdown lists as you like, for example so that users can choose a genre, a composer and so on).
If you’d like people to be able to select multiple items from the same category (e.g. multiple composers) then you can do this using filter widgets. These appear in the page sidebar. Add the options as product attributes, and users can tick as many as they like.
For even more advanced filters, you can also use WooCommerce Product Table with compatible third party filter plugins.
3. Add products to your WooCommerce audio store
WordPress and WooCommerce make this part very simple. Here’s what you do:
Start by going to your Products panel normally, from the WordPress dashboard:
- Click on Add New.
- Give your audio product a representative name. Keep it brief, though.
- Assign the product to a category. As I mentioned earlier, it’s a good idea to use categories for genres.
- Decide where you want to add the embedded audio player. Most people add it to the main product description or short description. Alternatively, you can add it to a WYSIWYG custom field. Either way, click the Add Media button above the toolbar (or insert a Gutenberg block) and upload or select an audio file from the media library. (Alternatively, insert the file from an external URL if you’re hosting your audios elsewhere.) Where it says, Embed or Link, pick Embed Media Player. Like so:
- Mark the product as Downloadable, enter its price, and pick the file that the buyer will get access to after completing their purchase. (This will most likely be the exact same audio file you’ve embedded above.)
Repeat this step for each of your audio store’s products.
Tip: If you don’t like how the default WordPress audio player shortcode looks, don’t worry. Keep reading to learn about other audio player plugins you can use in your WooCommerce audio library.
4. Add your WooCommerce audio store library to any page or post
So far you’ve configured the plugin and added and audio tracks to the product catalog. Next, you just need to show this WooCommerce audio store module to your buyers.
This is very simple to execute. Just go to any page or post and edit it. The next step depends on whether you’re using the Classic Editor or Gutenberg:
- Classic Editor – Click the ‘Insert Product Table’ toolbar button. This adds a
[product_table]shortcode to the page.
- Gutenberg – Add the
[product_table]shortcode to a ‘Shortcode’ block.
When you publish the page or post, this shortcode will be converted into a live WooCommerce audio store table containing all your products with embedded audio tracks.
Depending on the options you chose on the audio table plugin settings page, your buyers can navigate the table easily, listen to any of the tracks or sort it by any column. They can also add audio tracks to cart, and filter the entire table to only display tracks of a given genre.
How to customize your WooCommerce audio library
The way your audio product table is presented can be further customized by altering the plugin’s shortcode directly.
Just to remind you, this is what the shortcode looks like by default:
Here are a couple of useful things you can do with it:
- Perhaps you have other products in your store – not audios – and you want to prevent those from appearing in your audio store module. Or maybe you want to show a specific category of audio products only. Either way, you can use the “category” parameter for that. The following will only display products categorized under
[product_table category="audio"]. There are also options to show audio products with a specific tag, custom field value, custom taxonomy term, etc.
- Want to encourage your users to buy more than one track? You can switch the standard “add to cart” buttons to checkboxes. Like so:
Here’s the full documentation on how you can customize the default shortcode.
Bonus tip – Show audio previews in a quick view lightbox
So far, you’ve learned how to list your WooCommerce audio store products in a table layout with a column containing embedded audio players. If you prefer, you can provide the audio samples in a quick view lightbox instead of directly in the product list.
You can achieve this by installing the WooCommerce Quick View Pro plugin. This adds ‘Quick View’ links or buttons to your product tables, or to the default store layout if you prefer. Customers can open the quick view for a product and listen to the audio player from a lightbox popup.
To set it up, simply install the plugin and add the embedded audio players or playlists to the product short description. This will appear as a music player in the quick view popup.
Enhance your WooCommerce audio library with other audio plugins
In the instructions above, I explained how to add music players to your WooCommerce audio store using the basic audio shortcode that comes with WordPress. If you don’t like how this looks, then you can embed your audio files using third party audio plugins instead.
There are lots of audio plugins available. We particularly love the free Compact WP Audio Player plugin because it’s so incredibly simple. It lets you add a circular play icon which customers can click on to listen to tracks directly in the WooCommerce audio library. This takes up less space than the default WordPress audio player, and looks really neat.
The plugin author has packed a lot into this small audio plugin, as it has the main controls you need. While you’re playing an embedded audio track, the icon turns to a pause button so that you can stop and resume as needed.
To add a compact audio player in any of the fields in your WooCommerce audio store, simply install the plugin. The only other step is to add the shortcode
[sc_embed_player fileurl="URL OF THE MP3 FILE"] to the field where you want to display the audio player for each product. This will display correctly in WooCommerce Product Table.
Create a WooCommerce audio store with free downloads
So far, we’ve talked about how to create an audio library with add to cart buttons. This is ideal if you want to sell your audio products. But what if that’s not what you want?
Fortunately, you can also use this WooCommerce audio plugin to provide free downloads. There are several ways to do this:
Option 1 – Create free audio products
Create a download product and set the price to 0. Users can add the free download to the cart in the usual way, and complete the WooCommerce checkout without having to pay. WooCommerce will then send them a secure link to the free download via email.
Option 2 – Add direct download links to the audio library
Alternatively, you can add a direct link to the download to the short description, long description or a custom field. You can style this as a button if you like, or leave it as plain link text. Call it something like ‘DOWNLOAD NOW’.
People can click to download the file to their computer immediately, bypassing the cart and checkout. For instructions on how to add a link or button to the audio library table, please see the knowledge base.
Can I create a WooCommerce audio store without free audio snippets?
Absolutely. You don’t have to include audio players with the full track or a short sample snippet.
Instead, you can just list the other columns without an embedded audio player. Or alternatively, add an image (watermarked if required) as the main product image and add an ‘image’ column to your product table. This will show the image instead of an audio player. The customer will receive an email with the actual audio file after purchasing.
Can I sell non-downloadable audio tracks?
So far, I’ve assumed that you want people to receive a link to download the full audio file after purchasing. If you don’t want people to be able to download the audio – for example for copyright reasons – then that’s fine too.
Here’s a nice simple way for you to sell audio products, without making them available for download. Customers can only listen to them on a hidden page on your website.
This is how to set it up:
- Create a new page and use the ‘Add Media’ button to upload the audio file. WordPress will automatically convert this into an embedded audio player that you can listen to on the page, but which can’t be downloaded.
- Password protect the page where you’ve added the audio player. This is easy to do – just click ‘Edit’ next to the ‘Visibility’ option in the ‘Public’ section of the Add/Edit Page screen.
- Add the audio track as a ‘Virtual’ WooCommerce product.
- Now, install Woo’s official Follow Ups plugin. Use it to create a email that will be sent to customers after they purchase this specific product. The email should contain a link to the password protected page where you have embedded the non-downloadable audio track. It should also contain the password so that they can unlock the hidden page.
Repeat this process for each audio product.
Go the extra mile and sell entire audio playlists
With the following setup, you can not only sell individual audio tracks but also entire playlists.
To do that, you first need to create some new products. The process starts normally by going to Products → Add New and naming your new audio playlist product accordingly.
Next, click on the Add Media button, but this time instead of adding an individual audio file, click on Create Audio Playlist and pick the tracks that should go into the playlist. When you’re done, click on Insert audio playlist.
Lastly, mark the product as Downloadable, and assign all the files that the buyer should be able to download once they complete the purchase.
This is what the playlist looks like for the buyer:
Now you know how to create a fully functional WooCommerce audio store with the WooCommerce Product Table plugin! The best thing is that the whole process can be carried out in less than an hour (reading this tutorial included). If you have lots of products then you might need longer to add them all, but an hour should be realistic to set up the basic WooCommerce audio store.
Get this WooCommerce audio plugin today and begin your adventure with it: