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2012-08-21 16:22:51 -0400

As many AO3 users have noticed, the types of fanwork available through the Archive have been expanding! Unfortunately our current inability to directly host any non-text content has created workaround efforts and these sometimes run into problems.

This has been the case with podfic, and we're particularly sorry that these problems have affected a recent podfic challenge hosted through the Archive. To quickly sum up, this is what has happened:

  • We were allowing people to use Google's audio player as an embed but then Google stopped supporting it so that it no longer worked.
  • We were planning to do our own hosting of Google's player (and announced this in our last newsletter) but decided that we wanted a different open-source solution that we will be able to fully support; we are working on this.
  • We did a quick deploy to enable people in the pod_together challenge to use another audio embed option specifically for that challenge, because they'd been waiting on our fix in order to host their event.
  • We inadvertently enabled our own Google player hosting at the same time. However, this was accidental and has now been disabled - this means it will have broken again for anyone who changed their code to use it. We're very sorry about this.
  • We do plan to offer an alternative solution for podficcers in the near future: this will be a player hosted on the Archive's own servers so that we can ensure it will remain available in future.

Paraka, the pod_together mod who is hosting the player, has generously offered to make it available to people outside the challenge: see this post for streaming code. We should note that this is a small site and is unlikely to be able to support lots and lots of users (also, we can't guarantee it will continue to function long-term) so we recommend that you only take up this option if you have a podfic that you want to post right now (and don't, for example, change your whole back catalogue right now).

We apologize for the confusion this series of events has caused and also about the lack of timely communication in regards to this matter. If you have further questions about audio work on the Archive, please comment here and we will do our best to address them. For specific assistance you may also want to contact Support.