How to Design a Clean and Elegant Audio Player in Photoshop

In this tutorial, I`m going to show you how to design a very clean and elegant audio player in Photoshop. In just a few steps, you`ll learn how to use different Photoshop tools, create beautiful effects and implement nice design techniques.

What we`ll be doing today:

First step is to open Photoshop and create a new document of 580x400px. Set “Background Contents” to “Transparent” to get an empty canvas on which you can work with ease.

Let`s build the background. Now that you`ve just created the canvas, grab the Paint Bucket Tool(G) and with a dark gray color (#484848) paint the empty canvas.

I decided to add noise to canvas, but I want to do it non-destructively. What I mean to say is if I want to low or increase the noise percent later, I can do it with ease. So, what I need to do is to convert the layer for filters. To do that, go to Filter->Convert for Smart Filters. Now go to Filter->Noise->Add Noise and add an Uniform Monochromatic noise of 2%.

Add a radial gradient overlay to the background, to make it looking like a scene.

The background is done and ready to build on it:

Now let`s build the player. We`ll start with the player`s shape. Grab the Rounded Rectangle Tool(U), set the radius to 3px and draw a rectangle of 340x40px right in the middle of the canvas. Make sure to set the tool`s drawing behavior to “Shape Layers”. This way you`ll get a shape and a new layer when you draw.

Stylize the shape by adding the next blending options. (double-click the layer or right-click the layer +Blending Options to open the styles palette).

Now we have a shape on which we`ll add some controls.

Any audio player has controls like play, pause and stop buttons, progress bar and volume control, therefore, we`ll design such controls on our player too.

Grab the Custom Shape Tool(U), select the rectangle shape and draw it inside the player. The rectangle is orientated to top and doesn`t look like a play button, so rotate it 90 degrees CW.(Edit->Transform->Rotate 90 CW). Then resize it to 16x18px. Apply a blue gradient overlay and the button is ready.

Next to Play button, I decided to add the Pause button. Grab the Rectangle Tool this time and draw 2 vertical lines just next to the Play button. Make them 5x16px and stylize them by adding the same blue gradient applied on Play.

Draw the progress bar now by drawing a shape of 225x10px with the Rounded Rectangle Tool(U) and radius=5px.

Stylize the shape by adding the next blending options:

We have a bar now:

Draw the progress bar following the same Rounded Rectangle Tool(U) with 5px radius but make it 130x10px. Then add to it the same blue gradient.

Let`s make it shine a bit. The next technique can be used anytime and anywhere, if you want to make something glow. Ctrl+Click the blue progress bar to reveal its selection. Select the Rectangular Marquee Tool(M), set the behavior to “Intersect with Selection” and make a selection which includes only the top area of the blue progress bar.

Now create a new layer above the blue bar layer, grab the Paint Bucket Tool(U) and paint the selection with white. Reduce the layer`s opacity to 20% and you obtain a nice shine effect.

Now draw a bullet at the end of the progress bar. Select the Ellipse Tool(U) and draw a circle of 16x16px.

Color it with gray(#e8e8e8) and add to it a small black shadow of 1px.

Now right in the middle of the circle, draw another circle of 5x5px, add it the same drop-shadow effect but color it by adding the blue gradient. Now I can say that the progress bar is finished.

Next we`ll build the volume controls using 4 lines, one bigger than another. The process is the same as on pause button, so grab the Rectangle Tool(U) and draw 4 lines, after the progress bar.

The bar looks awesome but still I need to add a final touch:

We still have to add the progress of the audio file, in seconds, you know like 5:34 / 7:00 but we want to add it with style. Select the Rounded Rectangle Tool(U) and draw a rectangle of 75x30px just above the bullet. Then select the Custom Shape Tool(U) and draw a triangle as you made when building the play button, but this time rotate it 180 degrees. Place it at the bottom of the shape, right on the middle. You can replicate the triangle using the Pen Tool(P) too if is easier for you. There are more ways to do it.

Now apply to shape the same blending options used when you built the player shape. To do it easier, right-click the audio player layer and select “Copy Layer Style”. Then go back to progress shape, right-click the layer and select “Paste Layer Style”.

And the final step, grab the Horizontal Type Tool(T) and type in something like “3:45 / 5:00”.

With this step, the audio player design is done and the tutorial is complete. I thank you for sticking with me and if you have any feedback/comments, don`t hesitate to drop them below. Until then, take a look at what we`ve done today:

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Madalin Tudose

I`m a web developer. I build HTML Templates and WordPress Themes which are eventually released on ThemeForest under the DeliciousThemes brand.

Join the discussion

  1. Creative Designs on August 11, 2011 at 4:59 pm Reply

    Fantastic tutorial, great resource. Thanks for share

  2. Bryan Lean on August 11, 2011 at 9:19 pm Reply

    Another Nice and Effective tutorial. Very well done.

  3. renra cikatos on October 9, 2011 at 11:53 pm Reply

    wow, it’s a new inspiration for us. thank you.

  4. Architectural visualisations on November 3, 2011 at 5:40 am Reply

    Awesome tutorial, thanks for sharing!

  5. Digambar Shinde on December 1, 2011 at 10:52 pm Reply

    Very Nice Work,
    it’s a new inspiration for us.
    thank you

  6. […] 3. How to Design a Clean and Elegant Audio Player in Photoshop […]

  7. slobjones on May 31, 2013 at 11:30 am Reply

    Great. You’ve created a bunch of static images. How does that become an active, dynamic audio player that someone can actually use to play an audio file?

    1. Jishosan on June 24, 2013 at 12:38 pm Reply

      Honestly, that’s not the designer’s job. Most design work is flat files, either from photoshop or illustrator. There is an understanding that the developer will understand how to take those files and craft the interface, either by having the designer split the file into smaller pieces (“background image”, “play button”, “progress detail image”), or by emulating it in whatever the development environment is.

      This was not “How to create an audio player”, but “How to DESIGN an audio player”. I thought it accomplished that and gave me a nice little insight on shape layers that I didn’t have before.

  8. wzbozon on November 28, 2013 at 4:06 pm Reply


  9. bablu on July 8, 2016 at 10:52 pm Reply

    Perfect one…

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