I should explain that I'm very ignorant about the web. I sometimes get "You've never heard of such-and-such-dot-com?!? Where have you been hiding?" So don't overlook an obvious answer.
My question is like this. If someone wanted to upload a video to the web, to share with the public, the first obvious choice of site would be YouTube. To upload pictures, my first thought might be Shutterfly or Photobucket (although there may be other, more popular sites for that purpose, for all I know).
But what if I have just sound files, with no video, in .wma format, that I want to make accessible to the web-browsing public, and I don't want to spend any money to do it?
First of all, I wonder if I should first convert my wma's into some other format, such as mp3. I mean, I don't even know if Apple users or mobile-device users can play wma's. I'm reluctant to download a program unnecessarily (after my last PC got hit with a zillion viruses) but is that what someone generally does in this situation? And if so, what program would you suggest, and where can I safely download it for free?
(For that matter, if I DO download a program, should I download one that will let me record in another format in the first place? Back in the 1990s, my PC came with a decent program that let you edit a sound file, and perform normal Windows commands, e.g. New, Open, Edit, etc. The Sound Recorder program I see now can do nothing but Start Recording and Stop Recording!)
And then there's my main question of what site to use. I've never uploaded anything to YouTube before, so I don't know what that's like. Is there an option to upload a .wma file (or at least an .mp3 file, or something) and just include a picture in place of a video? Obviously, I see lots of "videos" with only one picture, and I don't know how people go about doing that.
Or should I use a different site meant just for sounds? I searched with Google, and found lots of sites, but I don't know which ones are safe or trustworthy.
Or should I create an .html page with a link to the .wma (or .mp3, or whatever) and find a good free web hosting service? And if so, what site(s) would you recommend?
Or is there a better answer than any of these?
I've seen lots of folks upload audio tracks to YouTube, albeit many of these are instance of people "sharing" albums or video game soundtracks. Even so, there are plenty of people who will use it for more legit reasons, though you'll still need to have a background image of some sort.
That said, most of the amateur musicians I know seem to like SoundCloud.com for uploading tracks, parts, and practice sessions.
As for free recording software, I personally would recommend Audacity. It provides much better sound quality than Sound Recorder, and you can even use it to edit MP3s and the like.
I downloaded Audacity and briefly tested it this morning, which is to say I recorded myself saying "Hello," trimmed the silence from the beginning and end (yay!) and exported the result to an mp3 file, just to make sure I could. And it worked! I want to say that it sounds better than the results Sound Recorder gives me, but of course, I ought to make some REAL recordings before I pass that judgement.