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. 

Digg’s “Why Audio Never Goes Viral”

A friend of mine and I have arguments about what a “podcast” actually is. I say it’s something I can get on my phone without me having to do anything. He says you don’t need a feed to have a podcast and it’s not a big deal to go to a web page and press a button.

This debate is one reason why audio doesn’t go viral on the web and why podcasts are pretty much the same as they were back in 2005.

This Digg original also discusses Soundcloud’s place in podcasting:

“Podcasting: It’s a fairly old school method of distribution,” says its co-founder and CTO Eric Wahlforss. “We are certainly of the opinion that SoundCloud is the superior way of broadcasting your show across the web.”

Podcasting, which brings audio automatically to your device without you having to do anything other than subscribe, is “fairly old school” compared to going to some page, pressing play on a widget, and keeping that browser tab open.

Maybe the modern web is pretty much the same as it was back in 2005 too.

Suit & Tie – Julio Bashmore Remix

I heard this on All Songs Considered. They talked about how it was on Soundloud then got taken down.

It’s been reposted a bunch (like what’s embedded above) and I was able to find an MP3 of it elsewhere. But man, I saw LOTS of pages with expired Soundcloud embeds. Makes me hesitant to use Soundcloud for embeds.

But still do.

Edwin Van Cleef January 2012 Mix

I really really like these Edwin Van Cleef mixes. I haven’t listened to them in a while. What I’d like to do is just have them in my Instacast, but there’s no good way to get these as a feed.1

Still, sometimes they’re so good I consider cutting the tracks up in Fission so I can have the mix in iTunes.

  1. Soundcloud download links don’t appear to work well with Huffduffer. 

Soundcloud’s HTML5 Widgets

Also, we are proud to announce that today we are officially switching our default widget to be the HTML5 widget. We also know that our major partners plan to support it in the near future. Of course the old Flash widget will be still available if you need it as an alternative option.

Good news.

Iframes for widgets comes with some drawbacks if you use an RSS reader like Reeder. Oftentimes I’ll see an entry with no content, click through, and there’s a Youtube video on the other side.

Anoraak on SoundCloud, also have you checked out SoundCloud yet? Yes. One word.

If you like Anoraak as much as I do you should check out his Soundcloud page.

If you don’t like Anoraak like I do, it’s probably because you don’t like that French electro stuff that Valerie puts out (also on Soundcloud).

I still think Soundcloud is the coolest way to post music online. If you’re in an RSS reader you might not see an embedded player for Nightdrive With You.