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“The Cloud” has become quite the popular phrase in the digital age of today, with companies such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft all jumping on board with products that carry it in their names. But who was the original cloud service? Enter SoundCloud, the audio distribution platform that supports playback of a variety of song types across multiple devices, without the need to download the actual song to the music player. This tried and true method of cloud computing has boosted SoundCloud to the high ranks of music websites, along with services such as Spotify, or iTunes. However, SoundCloud has done a great job of setting itself apart from other services with some key features that are lacking with other sites. First and foremost, SoundCloud is an open distribution platform, meaning that any user who has original music recorded and wants to share it with the general public can do so very easily. The site encourages it, in fact, right on their home page with the tag line “Share Your Sounds.” While musicians can’t sell their music specifically on the SoundCloud website, SoundCloud provides a way to link to other music stores such as iTunes or Beatport right from the music player window. Of course, if artists want to provide some of their music for free on SoundCloud, this is also possible directly from the music player by means of a simple Download button (these downloads are limited with the free user account, but can be made unlimited with a paid upgrade). On top of this, the music player window that SoundCloud has designed is attachable to virtually all webpages, including Facebook posts that allow the listener to play the song right on the same page. This provides an extremely effective way of advertising new releases for artists, who often will post previews of tracks instead of the entire song, and then will provide a link to buy the full release all in the same window. A streamlined music advertising experience such as this shows the true power of cloud computing in the world of today. Furthermore, SoundCloud has become a very attractive platform for up-and-coming DJs because of their lack of restrictions on song file length. With the entry-level user account on SoundCloud, the song length

per upload is capped at 2 hours total. This allows for entire DJ sets to be uploaded and shared at no extra charge–something that is very necessary to gain enough interest to be hired for a DJ gig. This length can of course be upgraded with a subscription fee, but the free service itself is still an unprecedented product that remains unchallenged in quality and ease of use. For users who do decide to purchase the first upgrade tier, however, SoundCloud also provides another crucial detail about the plays an artist receives in the form of statistics. For artists planning their next move on distribution, tour planning, and advertisement, SoundCloud Lite subscribers are provided with specific details about the location, number, and activity amount (e.g. number of tracks heard per person, number of favorites) of each time a track is played. As any artist manager will know, this is an incredibly invaluable tool when planning for an artist’s future. With the CD world coming finally to a close, and with music piracy still very much alive and well, SoundCloud is the digital equivalent of a lifeboat for musicians in the world of today. Putting the play button in as many places as possible is one of the most effective ways an artist can survive and propagate, and the way that SoundCloud provides this to the music world is a truly priceless service. More at:

Sound cloud plays  
Sound cloud plays  

“The Cloud” has become quite the popular phrase in the digital age of today, with companies such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft all jumping...