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The Next SoundCloud (soundcloud.com)
76 points by duggan 2047 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 37 comments

You guys seem weirdly resistant on this, but can you please turn off the inline comments? Or at least provide a global option for keeping them off? It makes navigating the songs hard and almost none of the text is ever interesting.

Perhaps I am alone in this, but when I play a song I don't like the inline social comments that popup in their player. I wish I could create a cookie that disables them by default.

You're definitely not alone on that. There's been a lot of work put into a new model for inline comments -- now they're less 'noisy' and definitely create less visual clutter than before. On some tracks, users have completely filled the waveform with comments (looking at you, Skrillex fans...), but we've hopefully come up with something that still won't get in your way even in these extreme cases.

Just add an "off" button.

It is beyond me why the current interface still does not have one.

I, like many others, have long installed the greasemonkey script to suppress these idiotic popups. They're even worse than youtube comments. At least the youtube drivel doesn't pop up in your face all the time.

> I, like many others, have long installed the greasemonkey script to suppress these idiotic popups. They're even worse than youtube comments. At least the youtube drivel doesn't pop up in your face all the time.

I agree. The comparison to YouTube comments is a good one - and not for the content. YouTube comments are typically below the fold, and therefore don't enter into your head when you're watching (listening to) the content.

I love SoundCloud, but even on some obscure artists, the in-line comments add nothing to the content on the page.

next SoundCloud comments solve this for me quite well.

This is excellent news! As someone working on a project in this space, it's a HUGE relief to see that they aren't planning (or publicizing, at least) any of the features I think are missing from the landscape.

Seriously, for the last 6mos or so I've really been second-guessing whether I can solo something that sites like this won't come out with before I have a chance to finish, which slows down development, so to see that they're going in a different direction is a great thing.

I wrote about things that have to change with SoundCloud a couple of months ago [1]

I'm carefully optimistic that an improved interface will help improve how people end up using the site, but the biggest issues for me with SoundCloud are still signal-to-noise rate in community engagement and sound quality.

I will pay close attention to how much behind-the-scenes improvement there is, but none is mentioned in the announcement (the only one that comes close to a point in my list is on search, which I personally never use).

SoundCloud seems to still focus on being a cool site instead of addressing the very basic "data" problems like comment spam [2] (or follow spam) and, in the year 2012, they still stream music at 128kbps, which just does horrible things to your music unless you have professional mastering (even then it's a bit horrible).

What irks me most is that there are very simple solutions to both of those - For comment spam, it seems like they still have no simple "if a user posts the exact same text a number of times, containing a link, that's spam" filters in place. I know that that can be a dirty arms race, but if it remains entirely unfought, the spammers will end up crushing any and all relevance. For the sound quality, even just bumping the bitrate to 192kbps would mean a huge improvement and at a very low cost to data transferred.

In any case - I understand that they have to focus their message and that it's common to show off the more prestigious improvements. But if they have, for instance, an improvement on spam control, this is big enough of an issue for all SC users that they would really enjoy an announcement there.

A community evangelist replied to my post on g+, saying that they would be rolling out improvements throughout the year and I will hold them to that. I must say, though, that I don't get how simple things like that aren't just rolled out in shameful "oh god, you're right, we will do that straight away" fashion, to be honest.

[1] https://plus.google.com/111011776153281260419/posts/KgxmnsMG...

[2] http://www.reddit.com/r/WeAreTheMusicMakers/comments/sr2s5/p...

> in the year 2012, they still stream music at 128kbps

I guess one reason for that is that artists themselves don't want their tracks to be streamed at a higher quality for free.

I've personally heard this more than once from musician friends.

Sure, that's possible. But still - why not at least give artists that choice?

suggestion: frequency domain instead of time domain. The waveform in time-domain doesn't really contain info, with a spectrum you can see lots of patterns, scroll to the section where the beat kicks in, look for vocals, ...

I fail to see how that makes sense. How would a spectrum enable you to skip to specific parts of a song? It only lets you see the frequency breakdown, and offers no benefits (that I can see) from a navigation standpoint.

If done properly (linear vs log scale, well-chosen cut-off frequency, thresholding values and discrete colors) you get a representation of the patterns in the song. With electronic/techno music you see where the intro/beats are. With other music you can see where the intro ends, the chorus repeats, instrumental solo, ...

The way it's done now you see a bunch of peaks/vertical bars. Unless there's a change in the power of the song the bars stay pretty much at the same level. It's a lot of real-estate that can be put to good use.

>With electronic/techno music you see where the intro/beats are. With other music you can see where the intro ends, the chorus repeats, instrumental solo, ...

Absolutely not you don't see that, how can you see where anything starts or ends, when it's not a temporal representation? The only thing it represents is the presence (or lack thereof) of frequencies in a song. For example, what does this http://i.imgur.com/QRka5.png tell you about the song? Can you tell where the intro or chorus or whatever else begins or ends? A temporal representation works way better because you can skip to parts of a song. A spectrum can't let you skip to anything, nor can it give you any information that the general population would like to know about a track.

Nice preview, but their JavaScript is messed up. I attempted to connect to beta in the Sign Up tab of their pop-up, but the error message for already having an account says, "Sorry, [object Object] is already registered with another account".

I just reported the bug with the appropriate team - should be an easy fix and resolved shortly. (In theory) it would only show if you already have an account though, so perhaps just try signing in instead of signing up?

This message should be less javascripty now.

I was hoping for news on reducing comment spam. Repost looks cool but I fear "plz repost me" will be the new "hey, I love (but didn't actually listen to) your track, plz follow me and like me on facebook".

I connected my account and it said the party was full and they weren't letting more people in. I'm not sure what the point of that was.

Hey Kabir, you're in the queue for a beta invite now.

Could I get in on the beta as well? Thanks.

Just sign in on next.soundcloud.com and that'll add you to our list.

Me too?

The page structure with the audio timeline serving as a navigation cue to the content below is great.

Could someone point me to how to make the audio image waveform reference the on page anchors? I scanned the developer page and couldn't see where to start.

Hey James, there's no pre-packaged system to do this, but you do have some options: you could use the widget API http://developers.soundcloud.com/docs/html5-widget

There's no special insider trickery happening on that page: it's all using the public API to load the sound and then just listening to 'time' events while the track plays to trigger scroll actions.

gotcha. Thanks Spadgos!

I sure hope the scrolling in your new interface is not as laggy as on your pitch page...

This is really exciting -- Soundcloud has changed the way I listen to music. Hopefully they will finally bind the spacebar to play/pause!

Yup, spacebar toggles play/pause :) ... Plus many more key bindings

hit "h" once youre inside next

the "neighbor" site jamendo.com recently switched to a buggy new version without prior notice. with reduced functionality, completely changed focus (single tracks instead of albums) and no community communication features (forums, private messages). instead of announcing it early and working with the community, they had to backpedal and post apologies.

Its really great hearing the Australian accent in the "What have you heard?" audio! :)

Heh, I noticed that too. Yay!

It is just like Ruby 5!


in my opinion soundcloud is one of the hottest most amazing startups out there. they reached a critical mass of important artists already a while ago. the fact that they're located in the epicenter of electronic music is just the icing on the cake. recently i had a complete harddrive failure and lost 500gig of music. since i couldn't access my backup for 2 months i was limited to streaming music. after a short while i realized that i needed nothing else than soundcloud to completely satisfy my daily need for good music.

the update seems to bring soundcloud closer to twitter's model of 'social'. i think this is a perfect fit for the site. i sorely miss an equivalent to twitter's lists feature, however. further more i'd like to create playlists in the browser and not just in the macstore app.

/edit: about the 'list' feature i mentioned: it'd be awesome to create lists of artists within which i'd be able to switch between recently liked tracks of these artists (with full waveform-player display) and recently self-released tracks.

> further more i'd like to create playlists in the browser and not just in the macstore app.

... you can in next.soundcloud.com, but only when you get access. and we call em sets.

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