Whatever identity crisis and legal wrangling may be going on at SoundCloud at the moment, the site’s DNA is all about creation. That’s where the site came from – initially, with labels and producers as a way of sending around tracks – and it remains the strong point. SoundCloud is the operating system for music sharing and discovery for creators much in the way Facebook is the OS for social interaction and YouTube for video.
Of course, lately, SoundCloud has largely been in the headlines for “hey, my account was taken down for posting mixes” or “PRS wants royalty payments.”
So, here’s a change of pace. The site has a new mobile app out geared not just for listening, but for creators managing accounts. And, here’s a reversal: while the app coming to iOS soon, it’s Android first.
SoundCloud Pulse is announced this week, available next (it’s in beta now). It’s a companion for managing your account. It’s already useful, if the functionality is narrow in scope:
1. Reply to comments right in the app.
2. Check live stats on how your tracks are performing.
3. Set sharing for tracks you’ve uploaded (public/private).
4. Follow users.
So, it’s the ideal app to have in your pocket when you meet someone and want to check out their music, or make some quick changes to active accounts.
There features will look familiar to heavy mobile users; they used to exist in the main app. They were stripped out, over a chorus of objections from hard-core SoundCloud users. And now we have a better picture of the strategy: SoundCloud will split “listeners” from “creators.”
Mostly, though, this gets interesting in future versions:
- Private messaging
- Additional statistics
- Track information editing
- iOS version
- Upload capability
None of this is likely to satisfy impatient SoundCloud users, but it at least demonstrates mobile apps are pointed in a more creative-friendly direction.