The Mark Ledden Blog

…audio, video, web and general tech ramblings.

SoundGarage (previously SoundCloud Mobile) [Android]


Time technology and time seem to move much quicker than I do. And just as I was wrapping up my review of the only available SoundCloud app for Android an update for it appeared in the Android Market which, at first seemed like a major overhaul but was actually only really a renaming. The app was originally called ‘SoundCloud Mobile’ but now appeared as ‘SoundGarage’. I suspected this was due to some influence from Soundcloud themselves, but on keeping up with threads in forums etc, I didn’t get the impression SoundCloud actually had their own app in the pipeline. Then once the flashy iPhone App got it’s release I really was hoping for an Android release and now that wish has just come true. It looks much like the iPhone app but sadly I haven’t managed to get the official app working so in the meantime here’s a review of SoundGarage.

Getting Started

To download the app just search for SoundCloud SoundGarage Mobile in the Android Market. On the first launch you will need to authorise the app by signing in to your SoundCloud account. You will be re-directed to your browser and back once this is complete. On the SoundGarage main menu you are presented with five choices:

  • You
  • Tracks
  • People
  • Groups
  • Genre

‘You’

This page gives you a further four choices:

  • Profile
  • Tracks
  • Favorites
  • Groups

When you select ‘profile’ you can view some basic elements of your profile. There are some icons towards the bottom which aren’t immediately clear at first glance, but on closer inspection do make sense. It shows the number of people following you, the number of people you are following and the number of tracks you have.

When you step backwards to the previous screen and select tracks, as you would expect you are confronted with your tracks. When you select a track to listen to the app turns into a nifty music player which also gives you the stats (plays, loves, downloads, comments) for that track. It also allows you to add or view comments while listening. You can also love or share the track you are listening to. While a track is playing you are also free to browse the rest of the app and let it play in the background.

‘Tracks’

This screen gives you a number of options to browse through tracks.

  1. Your Tracks
  2. Hot Tracks
  3. Latest Tracks
  4. By People You Follow
  5. Creative Commons
  6. Search

‘Your Tracks’ and ‘By People You Follow’ are pretty self-explanatory. ‘Hot Tracks’ and ‘Latest Tracks’ are great for music discovery and ‘Creative Commons’ is perfect if your looking for some audio or music free of copyright restrictions.

‘People’

This is pretty basic and doesn’t need explaining.

  1. You Follow
  2. Following you
  3. Search For People

‘Groups’

Now I don’t participate in much of the group stuff on SoundCloud which is shocking, considering it’s a social site, but it’s a really great way to keep up with what’s going on. It also helps kill some time when you’re on the go and is good for some more music discovery. You cant view discussion threads though, only comments of tracks that exist in that group. I’ve also tried to join groups within the app, but it doesn’t seem to be supported.

  1. Your Groups
  2. Active Groups
  3. Latest Groups
  4. Search For groups

‘Genre

  • Easy Listening
  • Electronic
  • Jazz
  • Latin
  • Metal
  • Pop
  • R&B/Urban
  • Rap
  • Reggae
  • Rock
  • Soundtracks

Each of these give you huge lists of sub-categories to chose from.

Summing Up

You can see how every functionality has been packed into this app in a sensible way and actually makes for a nice media player. Some nice additions would be the ability to download those tracks that are free to download and back-to-back playback.

Also, Im not sure of the bandwidth eaten up by this app but it’s definitely something to watch out for if you’re on a particularly limited data plan. I don’t think I’ll be worrying too much though.

It’s a bit of a shame that the official SoundCloud app has now overshadowed this one. I think it could be difficult for it to compete, especially with the recordiing functionallity. But it’s great to have the option. I think a great way to go would be to try and offer something different, like the range of web and other apps soundcloud already has. I’d love to see a mobile music player built on SoundCloud, with back-to-back playing, queing, playlists etc and the ability to download and purchase music all through SoundCloud. In terms of a music player think of the Chrome Extension; ExtensionFM, which is a nifty little browser-based music player which allows you to listen to your SoundCloud music (as well as music from other sources). Then if you add the social aspects of SoundCloud; the dashboard, the discussions etc, and have all of this combined and incorporated into one app then you’ve got yourself a truely mobile, social music experience.

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4 responses to “SoundGarage (previously SoundCloud Mobile) [Android]

  1. Gaurav Mehta January 8, 2011 at 7:29 am

    Mark.. huge thanks for the review. Really appreciate your effort to give such a detailed insight into our application. Your feedback is immensely helpful. An update for the app is due in a few weeks and will have features that people have requested for. Will keep you posted. Again, thanks!

    • Mark Ledden January 8, 2011 at 9:52 am

      You’re welcome. Thanks for asking me to review it. I just wish I could’ve got the post out sooner. You’ve got me excited about these updates now! Keep up the excellent work, it really is a top App. 🙂

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