Soundcloud doesn’t play well with others

The creators of Soundflake, a third-party Soundcloud app, write about the demise of their Soundcloud app at the hands of Soundcloud.

I’m starting to wonder how SoundCloud defines “best interest”? We wanted their service to be simple, beautiful and easy to use, we did everything to be in compliance with their TOS and we were willing to give it away for free— if that isn’t in the “best interest” for SoundCloud and their users, then I don’t know just what the fuck “best interest” means.

The only thing good out of this is that there’s hope that Soundcloud has a better player coming out.

Soundcloud has the richest community of music fans and music creators, but I’ve never been a fan of the web and iOS apps. You can’t listen to anything offline. You can’t huffduff anything from Soundcloud without downloading it and hosting it yourself. You can’t get an RSS feed out of it.

That’s really my main problem with Soundcloud. I have to constantly check their site and apps for anything new. The model for the past 10 years from RSS readers and podcasts has been that new content comes to YOU, not the other way around. It feels like Soundcloud has been trying to reverse that in order to get people going to their site – which is strange if true, because they make money by selling services to publishers, not listeners.

Soundcloud is making this big push to overtake podcasting, but that means changing the definition of podcasting from “you automatically get audio when there’s something new” to “go to our site and live on our site and listen to stuff with our players that aren’t as good as even Apple’s podcast app that everyone seems to hate.”

To their credit, publishers love Soundcloud for its ease of use. They upload an audio file and the hard part is done. Soundcloud even tracks unique downloads for them across web and RSS downloads, if they’ve set it up.1 But in its current state, Soundcloud isn’t for podcasting. It’s for making audio widgets that everybody can use.2

The ironic thing is Soundcloud COULD be the dominant platform for audio on the web. They have an advantage over Libsyn with the widgets and audio tracking, but publishers also need listeners. Widgets work ok for audio that’s 3 minutes long. But for an hour-long podcast? I don’t think it’s the right model.


  1. One of my friends claims he’s submitted a request to Soundcloud to get in on the experimental podcasting features that Soundcloud has been running for a few years. He says he didn’t hear anything back. If you search the internet a bit the advice is “try again.” 

  2. I’m of the belief that, despite all the advances in web technology, web browsers are still crappy media players. They don’t accept feedback from media keys. They don’t save your playback position. They don’t have (good) keyboard shortcuts.