SoundCloud, a web service created by music-creators, for music-creators, is a byproduct of the simple desire to share music well online. The young team at SoundCloud has taken this straightforward concept and transformed it into something special: an online community for musicians to store and share music, featuring all the tools one needs to master the ever-changing world of digital music.
Push Setting and Widgets
Whether an aspiring artist or a musical giant, a free SoundCloud account enables you to upload 120 minutes of any audio format and lay the groundwork for your music online. You can upload any audio - whether it's a finished track, work in progess, riff or just practicing your solos - and it's placed on SoundCloud a page to stream in one of their nice-looking waveform players. Or you can allow people to download as well, if you so wish.
But many assume that once their music is uploaded, the job is done. SoundCloud takes it further. Way further. In order to get your music out to the world, SoundCloud features a nifty way for you to automatically push newly uploaded tracks and sets to your other social networks like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace, which saves you a lot of time when updating your different profiles. This feature also sends your new material straight into your fans' timelines where they can discuss your latest creations and, in turn, use the same extensions to push tracks they favorite on SoundCloud straight to their social network profiles -- effectively helping you to promote your songs to their friends. Click here to read the step-by-step guide about how to set up your extensions or access them directly in your settings.
If you aren't ready to push your music to the world, SoundCloud is well equipped for private sharing, which is a feature used heavily by bands and musicians looking for feedback on works in progress. Timed comments are killer features for anyone seeking feedback on tracks - public or private, constructive or deconstructive. Check out our blog post for more info on how to collaborate via SoundCloud.
In order to get your audio out in style, SoundCloud has created various audio widgets that are easily sharable, embeddable, and customizable. In addition to the classic waveform player, the Premium accounts come with two extra widget players: the artwork and minimal player -- ideal for artists and bands working with albums.
Extending SoundCloud with Apps
Now this is where you can take your music to a new level online. SoundCloud allows others to build lots of useful tools on top of its platform or integrate SoundCloud into existing services. This means that you, as a user, have access to dozens of applications that can help you move your music. Here are some gems that we thought would get all you shred-savvy string enthusiasts excited:
AmpKit and AmpKit+ are the ultimate iPhone amp and effects studios with extensive recording and re-amping capabilities. With both apps, an in-app Gear Store enables simple purchasing of an amazing array of gear, up to a total of 12 amps with 20 distinct amp channels, 13 cabinets, 16 pedals, and 8 microphones. Check it out to see how you can connect your guitar and get your music onto SoundCloud from the app.
Myna is an online audio editor provided by Aviary.com. You can create a mix using audio files from SoundCloud, upload your own, or even record your voice.
Rootmusic allows you to build and customize your very own Facebook BandPage using your SoundCloud tracks and is being used by some of the biggest names is industry today.
Flavors.me allows you to create an elegant and dynamic website that aggregates services from around the web. Link up your accounts from SoundCloud, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr - you name it. You'll have everything in one place on a site that you can fully customize, from backgrounds and color palettes to fonts and layouts.
And for those of you that are ready to put a little change in your pockets, TuneCore now enables SoundCloud users to import their tracks into the TuneCore application and sell them digitally all over the world, with 100% royalties going back to the artists.
The Times They Are A Changin'
Most people playing music today, professionals and hobbyists alike, are at least moderately aware of the fact that the digital music era is upon us. The evolution of web tools and services available to music-makers of all calibers has been swift, and in many cases, awe-inspiring. Choosing the right web services still boils down to personal preference, but I hope that you will give SoundCloud a shot and really get dug-in testing all that it has to offer.
Guest post by Ian Hooper. Ian is a singer-songwriter from Seattle, and he plays the guitar, mandolin and banjo. He lives in Berlin and also works at SoundCloud. This post exemplifies some of the ways that SoundCloud simplifies his life as a musician, and should speak to anyone looking to get their audio recordings online and out to their friends and fans.