Following the recent mass layoffs at MySpace, there have been several articles trying to analyze the situation and speculate about who will replace the void. Shockingly, very few of those articles mention SoundCloud: one of the major players in the online music space.
Writing for paidContent, Joe Mullin thinks the “most logical destination” is Facebook, but “it doesn’t have the same tools to play or discover new music that made MySpace so popular for music fans.” Instead of talking about SoundCloud, which does have those tools and more, he mentions The Sixty One, Sellaband, Bandcamp, Pledge Music, Tunecore and last.fm.
Tunecore and Pledge Music don’t belong in that bucket because they only focus on one specific aspect of the music business. All Tunecore provides is a paid service to distribute your music to various online stores. There is no music to listen to on Tunecore. Pledge Music is basically Kickstarter, but specifically for bands who are raising money for charity. That leaves those 4 other sites and SoundCloud. I’ll also throw in official.fm. I created an account on all of those sites, and I put together a comparison for you at the bottom of this post. I’m not a designer, so forgive the looks. For a larger version, download the PDF. If I missed any features or if you feel any of the information is wrong, please let me know and I’ll update it.
As you can see, SoundCloud is the clear winner. They’re the only ones who offer the following features:
- Advanced Search (track length, BPM, release date, type)
- Simultaneous posting of your music to various social sites
- Private sharing of your music
- Stream of activity from all users you follow
- Constructive visual feedback via commenting on specific parts of a track
- HTML5 Player
- Groups around a genre or other theme, such as the Ableton Live Users group
As a musician and a DJ, those are all must-haves for me. Their level of social engagement is also quite exceptional: SoundClouders of the Day, meetups, Local spotlights, recording sessions, active blogging, and online interaction with their users. It’s also worth mentioning that SoundCloud is a German company. When it comes to music software, the Germans have a proven record of stellar performance. Some of the top applications used by musicians are all made by German companies: Ableton, Native Instruments, and Steinberg. Logic Pro, used by music professionals all over the world, including hundreds of celebrities, was originally created by Emagic in Germany before being bought by Apple in 2002.
If you’ve been using MySpace to showcase your music and to connect with other musicians and fans, give SoundCloud a try and thank me later.
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