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It's been a downhill trend ever since trending likes were replaced by reposts. Trending likes actually showed which tunes my friends found most interesting. Reposts allowed a single user to spam a feed with their personal taste. Then repost bots were allowed to require repost to unlock a free download and now discovery on SoundCloud is almost dead. My friends who are successful producers but refuse to play the bot and pay-for-repost game are completely drowned in the noise.

My bet is that since trending likes are a Graph DB problem, SoundCloud just chose not to solve it once it became too hard on their database. They famously had issues with early Mongo adoption so this would fit right in. Their most recent frontend HTML5 rewrite always winds up my CPU and hasn't changed in a couple years.

SoundCloud to me has always been a great idea with some great design that got ruined by some poor engineering choices from the top. And at the end by a desperate grab for stats and cash. I think producers would have paid more, better subsidizing free plans, if discovery hadn't gone downhill. I ran the numbers once on how CDbaby and Bandcamp became successful (based on stats trickled out over the years) while SoundCloud could never turn a profit. There's still plenty of room for someone to do this right.




Agree on the reposts issue. I used to spend 30 minutes plus a day finding new music, then stopped after that change.

I made this if it helps anyone: https://github.com/kyranb/SoundCloud-Feed-Cleaner


Maybe there's an incompatibility with another extension or they have changed the site, but I can't get the Uploads Only tab to show up.


What browser are you using? Care to take a look in Chrome's console for any errors and submit your findings as an issue?


Howdy,

I investigated your issues page and the previous comment may be related to the following issue.

https://github.com/kyranb/SoundCloud-Feed-Cleaner/issues/10

After loading a fresh copy of the page, the tab appeared.

With that said I opened an additional issue. Chrome console log did not appear to provide any relevant information.

https://github.com/kyranb/SoundCloud-Feed-Cleaner/issues/11


I used to go to SC every day. When reposts started becoming a thing I loved it, since the people I followed would repost stuff I would have never found. But I guess I quit in time, as I never saw bots or what you are describing. That's too bad :(


I only started using sc once reposts were already out and never had an issue with them, but there's this new trend I've started noticing on SC, where artists add their new songs to a playlist and then repost the playlist every day. If a playlist has 20 songs it can be impossible to listen to anything else on your stream because the whole playlist gets added to the queue. I find it extremely selfish since it just makes it that much harder for other artists on the stream to get their fair share of air time.


What caused you to quit SC?


Cultural and product focuses that emphasized engagement quantity rather than engagement quality.

Comments would be littered with things like "hey, great, check out my stuff!"

That type of shallow "like for like" culture is absolutely cancerous for what was previously a very maker-heavy audience.


> Comments would be littered with things like "hey, great, check out my stuff!"

> That type of shallow "like for like" culture is absolutely cancerous for what was previously a very maker-heavy audience.

Man, I've been in there since day one practically and it was always like that, as has been every service of that kind I've ever used (hands up anyone who ever maintained an MP3.com playlist). Music runs on shameless self promotion. Players gonna play. Etc.


Ideally, promoters would always be trusted experts. Question is: How do those experts, without engaging other promoters, discover potential tracks for promotion?


The slush pile or spending an ungodly amount of time in low end venues.


What would be your solution to this?


The amount of music in my feed and the trouble of curating it all. I found new songs I loved every day, but being a programmer, and having to switch to the SC browser window/tab to hit shift-right-arrow to skip a song, or space to pause it, became too troublesome.

I eventually switched to Spotify, since I could have global keyboard shortcuts for the app. If SoundCloud had a desktop app I would use that instead of Spotify in a heartbeat (assuming I could play my own music as well).


http://www.streamkeys.com is a chrome extension that gives global hotkeys for many streaming media sites (including SC).

I wish there was a firefox port.


I use this desktop app, opensource and cross platform, constantly

https://github.com/Soundnode/soundnode-app


I was aware of that, but if a company fails to understand it's users' needs, I don't have much faith in them, so I just move on to something else.


Not to mention that the limitation in the API usage made the soundnode app useless, as it hits the API limit in a few hours of use.

They are failing not to provide an alternative and to prevent you from using an alternative.


Is the API dependent on popularity of songs you listen to? Because I find I dont hit limit until a whole day of use (4 to 6 hours) but guessing this could be because I don't have much popular music in my queue. I ask because I notice that now they introduced advertisements but these also only come up on songs with over 60k plays


That’s the reason I’m using Hype Machine to listen to those "trending likes" tracks on SoundCloud. I almost find a nice new song to listen every single day.


Yeah me too, Hype Machine is fantastic for that. Such an undervalued service nowadays. If you haven't subscribed as a supporter I'd recommend it http://hypem.com/supporters


Got my supporter stickers in the mail today, they even printed a special postcard with a bunch of titles I have loved over the years. Love the site.


One out of how many? I'm just curious about the signal to noise ratio. I could use a new discovery tool, with not too much noise.


Between 1/10 and 5/20 or sometimes more from http://hypem.com/popular/noremix


Sounds tryable. Thank you.


I wasn't a fan of the UI refresh for the same reason, so I made my own alternate homepage which sorts the feed by artist and de-emphasizes reposts (http://gurlitz.org/soundcloud-digest/). Unfortunately like you said, content also dried up around the same time.


I haven't been using it long enough to have an opinion, but I did notice that the hosts of podcasts I enjoy would repost when they guested on another podcast, which I otherwise would not have noticed, and did appreciate.

I only use it for podcasts though, never music.


Trending likes solved this, because even an upvote brigade required the user to have multiple friends in the brigade. All I had to do was follow a few key influencers on a topic and the post would show in my feed.


Trending Friend Likes is a Trivial GraphDB problem. We could help them offload that to a separate service if they'd ask.

MATCH (u:User {Id:123})-[:FRIENDS]->(f)-[:LIKED_ON_2017_07_08]->(t:Track) RETURN t, COUNT(f) ORDER BY COUNT(f) DESC LIMIT 25


I signed up years ago, but only became a user in the past year or so. It's never really appealed to me for music discovery but it's been great for checking out new podcasts.


> …it's been great for checking out new podcasts.

For anyone confused by this: SoundCloud can't play podcasts, but a small percentage of podcasters host their show on SoundCloud, and the app can (naturally) play those.

However, SoundCloud has probably seen the peak of its podcast-driven business. Podcasters have been wary of SoundCloud's fortunes for some time, and most have a Plan B in place. Today's news has likely expedited plans to find alternatives among at least some podcasters.


Any reason you don't make use of iTunes or the charts in other podcasting applications?


I use pocket casts on mobile and soundcloud on the desktop. Soundcloud's better for discovery and it lets me listen without going through a subscription workflow.


How successful are CBbaby (nowadays) and Bandcamp? I know people who use Bandcamp but I don't know how much of a bubble I'm in.


Insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

The music industry is a shade of what it once was, and both CDBaby and Bandcamp are tiny slithers off of that.


Bandcamp is fine, but it's not on the level that Soundcloud was for browsing music (or for hosting your own). It's still really limited on the social side - the only way you get "likes" is when people download your stuff, the discovery tools are limited to "what's popular in this tag today" and random curated content. There's no "feed" like Soundcloud had. Also, possibly the most irritating part of the site is that fan profiles and artist profiles are distinct entities. So if you want to buy someone else's music but you're signed in, you have to sign out, get on your other account, purchase, and then log out/in again. Super clunky. Last, there's no way to communicate with other people, other than the email that you send when you buy things. I used to legitimately befriend like minded musicians through SC messaging and we'd collab or remix each others stuff. Not a thing on Bandcamp, or not as much. Everything lives outside of their network - in Facebook chats or Reddit threads or some random forum.

However, despite its shortcomings, Bandcamp is where cutting edge music lives in an age without Soundcloud. Labels like PC Music, Mall Music and Dream Catalogue have all pushed independent music to bizarre new limits in the last 4 years alone. Orchid tapes, an indie outfit, made their name off of Bandcamp releases. Alex G, Katie Dey, Elvis Depressedy, and a slew of other musicians have been recognized for their indie releases and now enjoy moderate indie popularity. As long as no one else is beating them, Bandcamp will continue to run on its skeleton frame and empower artists who use it.


I think bandcamp didn't take money - so they can operate as they want. I totally agree with you with respect to bandcamp being where cutting edge music lives.


Doesn't True Ventures have a stake in BandCamp?


Bandcamp is where most of the bands I care about seem to release their music.

But, like you said, most of my discovery occurs on YouTube and a small forum thread.


Sounds like BandCamp is leaving a lot of opportunity on the table.


That's exactly what's going on. It could be, however, that the cost of that opportunity outweighs what they're working with right now. Building a social network is a ton of work and could be a lot of risk. Allowing users to upload homemade music and post it to other social media is apparently tried and true, as they've been doing it for 10 years. While Soundcloud went "full social media" and then ended up with losses and layoffs, it could be that Bandcamp has opted for a slower and more measured approached to growth.


Yes. But discovery and repeat visits are key. Bandcamp != #HookedBook :)

They don't have to go crazy. But something less than the current clinical experience would be a step in the right direction.


Def yeah they are insignificant, but OP said they ran numbers and used the word "successful". I was wondering if that meant something pretty impressive like in the range of $1M a week in rev or something closer to $1M a month in rev, which is still good, but really small.


Iterface not changing in years makes me think it's ripe for an acquisition from Barry Diller's IAC. They specialize in sites that don't update their interfaces for years at a time.

(Apologies to those that work for one of those companies.)


*IAC

Unfortunately for SC, IAC tends to price acquisitions based on historical revenues...


Thanks. Fixed.


Meanwhile Bandcamp is killing it with discovery, something they used to be notoriously bad at.


I originally went to SC to find new music. If that's even possible, I haven't been able to crack that code. I've given up, and typically only end up from a link. Rarely by choice.




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