The Mark Ledden Blog

…audio, video, web and general tech ramblings.

Tag Archives: SoundCloud

Tweet Power, Grateful Mentions & Yet More Stats!


So last week I wrote yet another post about SoundCloud. This time though it was a nice and compact ‘quick tip’ on how to use it to incorporate a demo reel of your work into your portfolio. Something which I thought was a bit more original than the millions of SoundCloud reviews out there. (Yes I know I wrote a SoundCloud review, but it’s time to think outside the box/cloud!) Anyway, take a look here if you missed it.

The next day the lovely people of SoundCloud were good enough to thank me for the post. See, look.. 🙂

It’s always amazing to hear back from things like this and it is a great way of demonstrating what social media is all about. What made this message all the more powerful though was the ‘Hey’ at the start of the mention. As you knowledgeable people will know, if the tweet had simply started with @MarkLedden (making it a reply), the reach of that tweet would’ve (generally) been restricted to those who follow both SoundCloud and myself. I say generally because it will still turn up in searches and would show up on their profile. But the fact that it was styled more like a mention then everyone who followed SoundCloud would’ve instantly seen it. Which is nearly 60,000 people! ..or robots 😉

Now it would’ve been nice if all those followers had rushed over to read my post but let’s be realistic, the yield was a mere fraction of that. You can see how many people actually followed the link by clicking here. Yeah, not that impressive, right? But hey, I only get very modest traffic as it is. I’m no prolific writer and I don’t offer anything special so this was actually a massive boost for my blog stats. Cue the graph…

A big spike for little old me. But as you can see, after all the excitement, things have now returned to what they should be. *Sigh* Ah well, the next post will have to be even better!! And I’ll need more of them!!!

Anyone out there should keep writing as it’s these little victories which give you the motivation to crank out another blog post, just like I have done here 😉

Advertisements

Quick Tip: Use a SoundCloud Set as a Demo Reel


Here’s a cool use of SoundCloud that I came across. One of my all time favourite bass players, Ryan Monro of The Cat Empire (one of the best bands in existence!) has created a SoundCloud set on his profile. This set contains clips of his bass playing and takes the form a demo reel. The set has then been embeded in his portfolio on his personal website. Pretty useful and a good way to share your skills, just share the set with whoever you need to. This obviously Isn’t restricted to musicians, it could be used by sound designers, voiceover artists or anything else you can think of.

SoundCloud Mashups From SoundGarage At Music Hack Day


The new official SoundCloud app for Android might look amazing and have one significant feature over the rest (audio recording) but my favourite app of them all is SoundGarage. If you’ve kept up to date with what’s been happening at Music Hack Day you might have already heard about this but if not then you might find them very cool.

Both hacks are clever mash-ups of the SoundCloud API and other API’s, which allow for new ways to interact using the SoundGarage Android app.

SoundBump

The first is SoundBump. This uses the BUMP API which allows users to share information by simply bumping their phones together. In the pictures below you’ll see the option to BUMP with other users and the ability to share a number of things.

This could be a really useful application and helps bring things back into the real world, If only just for a moment.

SoundNest

SoundNest taps into EchoNest’s API to give you artist recommendations. It uses the SoundCloud users you follow to come up with recommendations tailored for you then searches SoundCloud for these users and gives you the option to follow them.

This just makes the whole process of music discovery even easier and pushes it a little closer to being the go-to app when you want to listen to some new music.

 

 

2011 – The Year of Social Audio?


Social Audio is tipped to be a massive trend this year. There’s even been some talk of 2011 being the year of Social Audio! Strange, I thought 2010 was pretty social in terms of audio. We shall see.

One indicator which stirs claims like these is the massive growth we’ve seen from SoundCloud recently. The site is now the place to be for music-makers and leaves MySpace (or My_?) cowering in the corner.

The other platform at the centre of this Social Audio uprising is Audioboo. Put simply, it’s twitter for audio. It’s mobile, it’s instant and it’s universal. This has made it perfect for news gathering and reporting on events as they happen, all you need is the one thing most of us wouldn’t be without: Our phone. The platform is now being used by the likes of The BBC, The Guardian and Channel 4 News.

Getting Social

These two platforms are already both very healthy, with good numbers of users that are continuing to grow. Audioboo is launching great new features by reinventing the voicemail and allowing developers to add AudioBoo functionality to their iPhone apps through a plugin. Surely a good move which could see Audioboo integrate itself as a framework for sharing audio.

SoundCloud has had a huge amount of investment and seen signups to it’s service grow tremendously recently. It’s an essential place for music makers looking to spread the word, interact and collaborate. It’s an interactive hub and even if your not musical in any way it’s perfect for music discovery and getting free music.

SoundCloud vs Audioboo?

With these two being at the forefront of social audio naturally people want to compare and contrast the two. Something I’m not convinced with is the notion that the two are in direct competition.

They are aimed at different people with distinctly different uses. Audioboo don’t need to mess with high quality. Well, not uncompressed audio at least. And it’s understandable why SoundCloud are avoiding implementing RSS feeds. Musicians don’t need this feature. I think it would only open the gates to users who are outside of what the aim of SoundCloud is. Which is to share music.

The only instance where I can see these two stepping on each others feed in with the apps. Soundcloud has added recording functionality to it’s app. It’s an experimental feature and something im not convinced was needed but cool nonetheless.

What’s Ahead?

Surely there are more uses for social audio and I imagine we’ll be seeing alot more of them soon if 2011 really is the year of social audio. My tip is to keep an eye on Mixlr. It’s live audio broadcasting for all and something which I find very cool. The radio is dead, long live Social Audio!

For your reading pleasure:
SoundCloud hits 3 Million users, grows by 50% in 100 days
Audioboo gears up to take on SoundCloud in the year of Social Audio
Audioboo Launches Social Voicemail With Help From Stephen Fry
Soundcloud Threatens MySpace As Music Destination For Twitter Era
Audioboo iPhone Plugin

SoundCloud & Symbian – What Are The Options?


SQ&A #1

Welcome to SQ&A, my Search Queries and Answer session. This is where I pick through some of the most useful search queries which have landed my blog to use as post titles in and effort to answer any questions and go into a bit more detail. Hopefully this make my posts a little more useful and helps people find what they’re looking for.

SoundCloud & Symbian

These two keywords, in a number of combinations, are among the highest ranking search queries I’m getting traffic from. So I’d thought it would be helpful to pull together all the resources I can find to help users of both SoundCloud and Symbian.

The Symbian OS has been around for a lot longer than Android or iOS so why should they get all the love?

Sadly there is no good news here. There are no third party apps which let you upload or listen to any content on soundcloud. Unless you have Flash installed on your phone and can get the full site running there’s really nothing you can do.

I was hoping Pixelpipe had managed to port some soundcloud upload functionality. SoundCloud themselves don’t even support uploads via email. The only way to get SoundCloud on the go is if you are lucky (or unlucky) enough to have and iPhone/iPod Touch or an Android handset. (If you do have an Android be sure to check out SoundGarage.) Being an open system, I’m surprised nobody has made an app themselves.

Sorry to bring you the band news! Don’t worry too much though, as it turns out SoundCloud are looking for a Symbian developer. So we can (hopefully) be sure there is an app is on the way and if you fit the bill, get on over there and make it happen.

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.

SoundCloud & AudioBoo, Part 2: SoundCloud


I know this has been a long time in the making but there’s been loads of news on SoundCloud recently. I even opened an issue of Sound on Sound magazine recently to discover a two page spread coinciding with their podcast moving over to SoundCloud! So I’ve had to re-write a few things. Anyway, here it goes!

The Cloud

In part one of this review I talked through the features of AudioBoo which can be summed up as any/all of the following: audio-for-twitter, automated micro-podcasting etc. Now we’re looking at another relatively new platform with very different features. Both platforms/services store your audio in ‘the cloud’ with AudioBoo focused on speech and SoundCloud focusing on music. Read more of this post

SoundCloud & AudioBoo, Part 1: AudioBoo


OK, originally this post was meant to be about SoundCloud, then it was going to be on AudioBoo. In the end I though why not talk about both and give a rundown of their individual features, a comparison of the two and what you might be able to achieve using the two together. This will be a two part post, bringing you AudioBoo in the first half and SoundCloud in the second.

What we have here are two audio-based social networking sites at quite different ends of the scale…

Read more of this post

%d bloggers like this: