How do I embed an MP3 file in my paper? How do I label and cite it?

Note: This post relates to content in the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook. For up-to-date guidance, see the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook.

Embed an MP3 file the same way you’d embed an image. If you refer to the file only once, include a caption that contains all bibliographic information and omit a works-cited-list entry or in-text citation.

File 1. Interview with Alicia P. Olsen about Kerry Olsen’s childhood in competitive figure skating; conducted by Bria Weston, 15 Jan. 2019; MP3 file.

But if you refer to the file frequently or cite several MP3 files, it may be preferable to include in-text citations that are keyed to works-cited-list entries. 

For example, if the MP3 files are audio interviews, you would cite them the same way you would cite any interview and provide information about the file format as you would when you cite a sound recording. Treat the person being interviewed as the author and include other relevant details, such as the name of the interviewer and the date of the interview. If the interview is untitled, provide the description “Interview” (without quotation marks) or describe the subject or content of the interview. Specify the format of the audio file in the optional-element slot at the end of the entry.

In January 2019, I interviewed Kerry Olsen’s mother about Kerry’s early days as a competitive figure skater (A. P. Olsen). Because Kerry was busy with a grueling Olympic training schedule, I wasn’t able to interview her until May (K. Olsen).

Works Cited

Olsen, Alicia P. Interview about Kerry Olsen’s childhood in competitive figure skating. Conducted by Bria Weston, 15 Jan. 2019. MP3 file.

Olsen, Kerry. Interview about Kerry Olsen’s career turn to ice hockey. Conducted by Bria Weston, 9 May 2019. MP3 file.