Audio sharing and collaboration platform SoundCloud has announced a partnership with Finnish image tagging startup ThingLink today, allowing audio clips to be embedded into images on websites.

ThingLink allows ‘hotspots’ to be easily added to images. These are generally used to insert links to other websites or pages in relevant places. However, in this case, audio clips will be playable directly from the image.

ThingLink has posted a number of examples of the tie-up in action, with a series of images of artists embedded with a mixture of links and SoundCloud audio. When clicking a SoundCloud link, a pop-up player launches and starts the selected song. Paper Garden Records has also used the technique in an online flyer promoting its SXSW showcase gig.

While this idea might be considered a novelty, I can certainly see some useful applications for it, particularly for musicians wanting to add a multimedia dimension to promotional images. I can see it working in certain online retail situations too, and for people wanting to add audio narratives to pictures that they share.

If you want to try adding audio to your images, simply sign up for ThingLink, install the startup’s code on your website or blog and then insert a SoundCloud URL into a tag’s link field. The result will be something like this: