For musicians, DJs and music enthusiasts of all sorts, SoundCloud is a great social network to discover and share new music. And while you might already be satisfied with using sites like YouTube, Spotify or iTunes for music, you may actually be missing out on some great stuff and a great community on SoundCloud.
Here’s what you need to know when getting started on SoundCloud via web and the SoundCloud mobile apps.
Understanding SoundCloud’s Main Components
When you first visit SoundCloud.com, it would probably be a good idea to take “The Tour” first, which takes you through a brief showing of SoundCloud.
The Player: Anyone who has a SoundCloud account can upload or record something, which is then hosted for free on SoundCloud and can be accessed by anyone. The “waveform” is the visual timeframe of the recording, with timed comments that pop up over the course of the recording when other users leave them for you.
The Community: As a SoundCloud user, you can comment on other recordings, add them to your favorites and mention other users. Your dashboard shows you all your activity as well as interactions, and you can find or create groups to find users with similar tastes in music. You also have complete control over your share settings. Share your recordings with just a few friends or share them with everyone.
The Web: SoundCloud makes it easy for you to share recordings on other social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, your blog and more. SoundCloud also has a few different styles of widgets you can embed in your social profiles or blog. And of course, if you’re serious about music promotion, statistics are available so you can analyze how people are consuming and enjoying your stuff.
The Apps: SoundCloud has mobile apps for both Android and iOS devices. This is great for users who want to share their recordings while on the go, straight from your smartphone. There are also over 100 available that work with most platforms, making it easier for you to discover and share recordings. And if you have experience in building apps, you can actually build your own to be integrated into SoundCloud with the use of their open APIs.
So, now you have a brief understanding of what you can do with SoundCloud. But what should you do next? That depends on how exactly you want to use SoundCloud, but for starters, you should definitely sign up for an account. You can sign up through an existing Facebook account or through email.
If you’re already familiar with Twitter, you can think of SoundCloud in a similar way. Like Twitter, you can follow other users and find notifications of activity in your stream. All of your settings can be found at the top of the page, including your dashboard, your personal activity, tracks, people, groups and a button to upload and share.
When you want to listen to any track, it appears in waveform, with description from the uploader and comments from listeners shown below. Depending on the artist or uploader, you can also purchase or download the recording for yourself.
Both Android and iOS apps for SoundClouds are very intuitive to use and are great for discovering new music when not sitting in front of a computer. Your stream, activity, personal information, and search tabs are provided conveniently for you at the bottom with an option in the middle for recording.
The latest updates for the apps also make them more social, giving you the ease of sharing them all over the web right from your smartphone. Simply tap any recording, and you’ll notice it take the form of a real music player like iTunes or Spotify, with extra options to like, comment and share any track as well.