Soundcloud

From FYSE 1396: Digital Media Literacy
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Soundcloud is a music sharing website that allows any individual to create profiles for themselves and upload music files. Based on the settings established by the owner of the music file, the audience will be allowed to share the music or legally download said song. In other words, Soundcloud is a music sharing site that provides a free and easy way for music producers and sound designers to expand their audience.[1]

Soundcloud History

Soundcloud was created in the year 2007 by two German sound designers, Alexander Ljung and Eric Wahlforss.[2] The company has it's original roots from Stockholm, Sweden, but the creation and establishment of Soundcloud came together in Berlin, Germany. [3] Soundcloud was created on the bases for artists to be able to share and connect through music. [4]

Soundcloud Interactivity and Community

Soundcloud allows for users to create their own profiles. In terms of the interactivity of the site, although users are not allowed to instant message one another, they do have the ability to message other users. This allows for users to communicate not only through sharing music but on a personal level.

Along with audio clips, users are able to comment on each others work which allows for instant criticism for the publishers of those audio files. Such interactions with the audience allows for users to have a personal connection to their listeners.

When a user's public profile has not shared any music at all, Soundcloud automatically puts the phrase "hasn't shared any public sounds." But if the page has multiple "sounds," in other words songs, they will show up on their profile. Here's an example of a Soundcloud page: Christina Aguilera's Soundcloud Page . As in the page of | Christina Aguilera, there are a certain amount of followers that pertain to each user's page. Both those who listen to Soundcloud files and those who upload Soundcloud files can choose to "follow" one another in support of their musical career. These follows enable users to get recent activity updates and recent upload updates from that user.

The community of Soundcloud is composed on music sharers, or 'Uploaders' and the audience which is composed of the listeners of Soundcloud. This creates a dynamic social scene for Soundcloud users. The added ability to upload pictures and create avatars for profiles gives individuals the ability to create an identity that is tied to the comments they make or the sound clips they upload.

Listeners of Soundcloud

The community of Soundcloud has a large audience. Billboard's 40 Under 40's reported that Soundcloud gathers about "40 million users, reaching 200 million listeners a month."[5] The way that listeners are able to add comments to songs is by integrating the written comment into the audio clip file. This allows for the artist to see where the listeners comment on their file. Those who choose to listen and not upload anything onto Soundcloud are still able to create their own profiles and have an identity for themselves online. Also, the site allows users to actively collaborate and discuss the music they post. For instance, if there are cool drums at 2:38 of a song, a user can leave a note acknowledging their approval. This social communication allows artists to hear the thoughts of their fan base.

Uploaders on Soundclod

It should be noted that not all uploads of songs are done by their original artists. This then sparks a legal debate as to the type of website that Soundcloud is developing into. Some have even gone to say that Soundcloud is becoming theYoutube of audio clips. [6]

Soundcloud does have certain restrictions that restrain the replicability of the audio files that are uploaded onto Soundcloud. This touches base on the Community Guidelines that Soundcloud expects all of it's users to follow and respect. Some of these guidelines include showing respect for others through comments that are constructive critisisms but also "Don't upload things that aren't yours to upload."[7] In other words, Soundcloud places high expectations on the users of the cite to value authenticity.

There are plenty of DJs that make mixes of tracks and users that upload covers of famous tracks with their own spins, however, uploading a song prerecorded by another artists can have serious copyright consequences. So when you post on Soundcloud, be authentic.

Analysis

Soundcloud offers a portal where audience members can communicate through sound. This type of interaction is less relying on the visual aspect of communication but focuses more on the auditory distribution of creativity. This distribution is further made easy because of the mobility of Soundcloud. Soundcloud can not only be accessed through the web, but can also be accessed through apps on the Android and on the Apple market. Because of the facility to access Soundcloud on mobile devices, there is also a greater reach that the website has. The reach of the clips uploaded onto Soundcloud has a potentially unlimited audience. The clips are posted specifically for people to hear and with options like sharing, re-posting or adding to specific playlists that can be made public, there is an unlimited number of people who can listen to content posted on Soundcloud. Because of the facility of sharing, the participation on the site is made even easier. Participation on Soundcloud is not limited to those who post audio clips. The audience participate in the online music sharing culture just as well through their comments and their redistribution of music.

References