Is new SoundCloud “easier and more fun”?

New Soundcloud

I’m having a crappy time at the moment. My husband and baby are both ill, and – truth be told – I don’t feel brilliant, either. My plan for the evening yet again involves snuggling under the duvet with my mobile phone and the Netflix app, watching some cheesy movie and hoping Princess Pickle doesn’t throw up again. Life is … inconvenient.

The people at SoundCloud realise we have difficult, annoying lives and are trying to make one less thing bloody irritating. The site has relaunched with a range of new features to pitch it somewhere between Last.fm and a less sucky MySpace. You can make and share your own playlists, repost links and continue listening to your playlist while jumping from page to page while you discover new bands. 

You’ll recall from a few days back that I admitted that I hadn’t used BandCamp or SoundCloud as a medium for discovering new music, though that really ought to change if I’m to keep up my vow to hear as many of the most wonderful records out there as possible.

I’m excited by the description, but a little alarmed by the user comments on the site:

“Lost loads of my links, can’t find my groups, nothing works, tracks wont play. Too many font sizes. Seriously, what have you done?”

“The new layout makes it completely difficult to figure out what’s even going on rather than enhancing the user experience.”

“Whoever chose this new design and allowed it to be released today needs to go back and start again.”

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soundcloud2

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The sign-up process is easy enough, since you can just Connect With Facebook, but it does promise to spam your newsfeed unless you tell it not to. You’re then asked to point to all your Facebook friends (ugh!) and then choose your favourite genres (double-ugh!) and then pick your favourite bands from those genres (triple-ugh!).

It then immediately, without any further fuss, start playing you some music. Luckily, I found its first selection – an inoffensive, crisp slice of indie pop called Letter of Intent by Ducktails – quite pleasant.

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All in all, it’s not the most amazing experience ever, but I can see myself going back to SoundCloud when I’m stuck for new sounds to hear. I’m just glad I’m not one of the bands uploading onto it, though, because by all accounts they’ve just tripled the irritation factor when it comes to uploading and publicising your music.

Given the choice, I think I’d rather go back to scrubbing up baby vomit.

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