Find all your DIY electronics in the MakerShed. 3D Printing, Kits, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Books & more!
soundcloud_hodges_screen.jpg

There are so many clunky, unattractive music-sharing sites out there, and SoundCloud is a clear exception. I first checked it out when I found out that one of my all-time favorite DJs, Jason Hodges, was using SoundCloud to share his mixes. Hands down, my favorite feature is the smooth interface and how user-friendly it is. You can listen, download, favorite, and (my favorite part) comment on the exact part of the track or mix you’re referring to. No more conversations that go like “what is the track at 5:37?” Instead, you just click and comment. A friend noticed most comments were at the high points in the music, which makes sense, but it would be fun to graph. You can see what the interface looks like in the screen grab above, with the thin blue lines denoting comments posted (mousing over reveals comment text).

Like other networking sites, you can “follow” people, and weekly SoundCloud sends you a Weather Report, telling you what new music has been uploaded by peeps you follow. When you go to your own dashboard in SoundCloud, you can hit play and listen to all the newness. The community represented on the site include musicians, producers, DJs, and vocalists, albeit mostly in the electronic music realm, and the focus is definitely sharing, networking, and providing feedback.

What I didn’t know is how developer-friendly SoundCloud is. They just announced a C wrapper for the SoundCloud API to add to their existing libraries (Cocoa, Python, Ruby, ActionScript 3). Check out their developer hub and their
Developer Manifesto for more deets. They’re also proud sponsors of the Music Hack Day happening in Berlin this weekend. (On a side note, love this from the Hack Day site: “This event is about doing & not about just talking. Sessions will be very limited and after that its all about building and realising real products.” Amen!)

Now I’ll pass the mic to this simple but clever overview vid for more info:

Goli Mohammadi

I’m senior editor at MAKE and have worked on MAKE magazine since the first issue. I’m a word nerd who particularly loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon as a whole. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for the ideal alpine lake or hunting for snow to feed my inner snowboard addict.

The maker movement provides me with endless inspiration, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. The specific beat I cover is art, and I’m a huge proponent of STEAM (as opposed to STEM). After all, the first thing most of us ever made was art.

Contact me at goli (at) makermedia (dot) com.


Related

Comments

  1. Idan Beck says:

    I love soundcloud. I’ve been using their site for more than a year and it’s saved me so much hassle. I used to host my own site and provide some pretty crappy methods for people to get at my music but soundcloud really took care of everything for me. I think my favorite feature is that when you upload a new song/mix whatever they will update your facebook and/or twitter status. I think that’s the biggest channel through which my friends get at my music. Here’s my soundcloud account if anyone is curious: http://soundcloud.com/dj-beck my latest track really hits on the whole Halloween theme that’s been going on lately on the make blog.

    1. Goli Mohammadi says:

      Thanks for sharing Idan–I’ll definitely check out your page!

  2. David / SoundCloud says:

    Hey Goli,

    thanks for this fantastic review. Great to read you’re enjoying SoundCloud.

    I write this from the Music Hack Day in Berlin and we’re all having a blast hacking away into the night. Keep an eye out on our blog for updates about the stuff that has been built over the weekend sometime next week.

    In the meantime, enjoy one of the hacks from the London Hack Day: http://citysounds.fm

    Thanks again!

    David
    SoundCloud

In the Maker Shed