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: