Soundcloud has taken the blogosphere by storm with its easy to embed interface and slick comment system allowing users to pinpoint the exact portion of a song they like best. Stripped of the ability to upload tracks other than your own voice recordings, Soundcloud’s Android app is more of a straight up music streaming service with some great social features chucked in. It’s free as well which always helps.
We’d heard a lot a lot of complaints from Android Market users about playback issues with the Soundcloud app but after rigorous testing, we didn’t didn’t encounter a single error message. Our guess is the handset you download the app on has a big effect on any streaming difficulties you may encounter.
Like Hype Machine, the online music aggregator, Soundcloud’s library of tracks is entirely dependent on its ardent army of uploaders. Some of these uploaders are men and women of great taste, others do a horrid trade in low bit rate radio rips. That’s why the app’s ‘Follow’ tool makes so much sense, since it allows you to keep your ears trained only on the users who have their fingers on the hottest bands and beats. Our tip is to keep tabs on your favourite record labels, since these usually release their acts’ tracks for streaming first in the best available quality.
Although you can upload full music tracks through Soundcloud’s web portal, on its Android app you’re restricted to voice recordings only. This brings the app more in line with tools like Audioboo but at least you’re saving a fair whack on data usage costs. Another slight annoyance is the inability to listen to private links in through the app, instead they’re restricted to browser use only.
Overall, the Soundclound app does the simple things well but could shirks any on any tricky features that would make it a truly unmissable download. As it is, Soundcloud trails behind Spotify in the music app stakes but not by an embarrassing distance.
A solid music streaming app with some innovative social features.