SoundCloud is a worldwide music sharing online service where artists worldwide can upload and share their audio art. For many of them, it has been the website that has either launched or advanced their careers. It provides its users with a level field where they can share their music, or podcasts and listen and comment on other people’s work. Thanks to this platform, they can collaborate with fellow artists from different backgrounds, internationally, and post and promote their content. Sadly, throughout the years, SoundCloud has come to favor the big names, over the less-known artists for which it was originally created, as well as discouraging the remix culture by issuing the so-called strikes, in case there is a copyright report.
This company was founded in 2007 by Alexander Ljung and Eric Wahlforss, and it is located in Berlin, Germany. Its website was launched in 2008, and it was imagined as a community where artists and producers can come together and share the tunes they have created. It has been an endless rollercoaster with ups and downs. The streaming platform fired around 40% of the staff in 2017.
There are both free and paid membership, and it has more than 175 million of monthly users who can listen to unlimited audio content, as well as post their own tracks, make playlists and albums, or even upload podcasts. Apps are available for iOS and Android, while they are also testing the beta version of the application for Windows 10.
It is not unusual to want to have some of the content you enjoy on your laptop or smartphone, so that you can play it without access to the internet, so there is a special website that offers that service. For everyone who is interested in downloading their favorite audiotracks from SoundCloud, visit soundcloudmp3.org.
Now, let’s discuss the lesser known features of this platform, as many of them are not found on other similar websites.
1. Music discovery
By clicking on the Discover tab of Home page of SoundCloud’s website, you can find amazing and unique music tunes that probably can’t be found anywhere else as they are created by artists from all around the world. That is the difference between this feature of SoundClound, and YouTube’s autoplay, for example. By liking them, you will be training the algorithm to come up with an endless selection of upcoming tracks. Also, as with many social media, the tags come in handy when you’re searching for specific songs, genres or even playlists.
2. “Feeling the pulse”
It has not been all sunshine and rainbows at this company. Late and low payments (some say that it is even less than one tenth than its competitors), have kept it from becoming the main outlet for artists. A lot of them use it as a first step in their process of releasing new music, as they find it hard to monetize it. Namely, if a track they upload on SoundCloud gains popularity and has many views, it would be later released to iTunes and Spotify. If not, they figure that it is probably not worth the effort. Apparently, it is a good way to get a glimpse of the reactions of the audience to that particular piece.
This feature was released in 2011 after previously was being tested with a private group. Generally speaking, SoundCloud is a great platform to launch podcasts. Since it offers 3 hours of free-of-charge content hosting per month, it is one of the places where one can set their content and get basic statistics about it. It is an excellent start, and later, if that podcasts is successful and the maker wants more storage, for a charge of $135 per year, the podcast hosting is unlimited. For a yearly fee of $55, you can get up to 6 hours of audio uploads per month, which is sufficient for a podcast with weekly episodes.
Reposts are very similar to Twitter’s retweets. With this option, the site offers the opportunity for any user to be an active member of their community, even if they are not the one posting any content. Also, while reposting, they will be helping the company’s algorithm to find the right tracks for that user’s own taste.
One of the cool features of SoundCloud is the embedding option, which can be used on any website through a unique URL. As it doesn’t ask for an app or to open SoundCloud’s website and login in order to play the audio file, anyone can listen to it by pressing the Play button. Using the embed tool – copying and pasting the HTML – is quite simple as it allows a specific track or playlist to be posted onto social media, blogs and any websites, for that matter. The player that appears is customizable, too.
6. Public tracks/playlists
It gives you the opportunity to share audio publicly, accessible to anyone, or privately, only with certain contacts. These tracks or even playlists won’t appear on the profile and are not searchable. However, they can be shared via secret links. These secret links can be sent in private messages, but the receiver has to log into their account in order to access them, or can be shared outside this platform, meaning that anyone with the secret link can listen to the content. There are scheduled tracks, and they won’t appear until the specified time.
7. Timed comments
This is a very cool and rather exclusive feature of the audio player of this platform. It allows for other users, fans if you will, to comment on particular parts of the uploaded video – timed to the very second – and then, the even cooler part of it is that they are displayed when that exact segment is played. This especially is great for tracks or mixtapes that are longer.
8. SoundCloud promotion channels
These are usually genre-specific SoundCloud profiles who have gained hundreds or even thousands of followers. In order to include a track in them, the artist would have to pay a certain fee and with a repost by the promo channel, the track gets delivered to all its followers who can listen to it and with that increase its traffic, and possibly its popularity.