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