SoundCloud started off as a site solving the problem of how difficult and frustrating it was for recording artists to share and collaborate on their music. Now, it’s evolved into a full publishing tool for those artists to distribute their tracks and these days, it’s hosting some hot tracks. Add in the fact that it embraces Creative Commons, SoundCloud is a great site to browse and find new tracks, artists, and remix masters.
I’ve only interacted with SoundCloud on the consumer side of things so I can’t relay the opinions of as an artist using the site but with the growing community, SoundCloud seems to be doing the right things to sustain the growth. Another thing contributing to the site’s success goes back to its roots, it was founded by a sound designer and an artist.
One small feature of SoundCloud that seems to add to the community is the ability to leave feedback on songs. Not only can you leave a regular comment, but you can also leave a timed comment that will pop up and show visual feedback for a specific point in the song. This way when you tell somebody that you like the “phat beats” that they’re laying down, you can post it exactly when that rhythm is playing in the song. This makes for better feedback and easier collaboration.
As a consumer, you can browse the collection by tags, genres, most favorited songs, or by artists. One of the areas that I like the most are the songs that are published under Creative Commons licenses. You can find some great songs there and with attribution, you might find the perfect sound for your video, presentation, etc.
As you can see above, sharing songs on SoundCloud is easy. There are options to embed the player, grab a shortened URL, post to Facebook, Twitter, or MySpace, or embed directly in WordPress.com or Blogger sites.
SoundCloud is also well established outside of the web browser. There are official SoundCloud Apps for iPhone and Android devices. These apps allow you to record and upload to SoundCloud as well as browse and listen to the SoundCloud collection of songs on the go. You can browse The App Gallery to find apps taking advantage of the SoundCloud API on mobile devices or your desktop. An app might be perfect for creating a song, discovering new ones, or sharing your favorites.
You can sign up with SoundCloud for free and get 120 minutes of upload time to use or you can upgrade to a premium account if you need more time and want some other features.
Overall, I’ve gotta say I’m quite impressed with SoundCloud’s capabilities and some of the music on there. I’ll conclude this post with another embedded song. This one is John Williams Jurassic Park theme song slowed down 1000 times to make quite a majestic hour of music.