Quietly, steadily, software has been making SoundCloud upload a standard feature. In some mobile applications, it’s second only to “save” as a feature. That makes getting your music online and shared uncommonly easy. Below, we’ve got the running list for mobile and desktop – and it looks very impressive, indeed, so we can at least get your attention with our own list.

But apparently Berlin-based neighbors Ableton and SoundCloud didn’t want their collaboration to be so quiet. To herald the inclusion of SoundCloud integration in Ableton Live, they’re giving away their products.

  • If you’re a SoundCloud user, you get a copy of Ableton Live Lite for free. It’s not the full version, but it is a reasonably capable version for remixes, production, and DJing. (In fact, it does more than the early versions of Live 1.x on which I started using the platform.) That’s a copy of Ableton to some 11+ million users – a very big deal, as SoundCloud’s explosive growth has attracted a lot of users outside our normal music producer community.
  • If you’re an Ableton Live 8 owner, you get five months of free SoundCloud Pro service.
  • If you don’t yet own Ableton Live – or you own a version prior to v8 – you can get SoundCloud Pro free for 5 months when you purchase a new copy of Live or Live Suite 8 or upgrade your existing copy.
  • You can now upload to SoundCloud inside Ableton Live.
  • Make a track in 24 hours. From May 14-28, Live users will be able to download a free Live Pack of sounds by M83, Junior Boys, and Nosaj Thing – and once the download starts, they have 24 hours to finish a track. You can win prizes like lifetime software upgrades and SoundCloud service or a trip to Berlin. (This is different from the trip to Berlin I’m giving away, which can be yours if you send in your entry written on the back of a complete Buchla modular.)

Sweden and Germany haven’t gone together this nicely since I was eating meatballs and lingonberry at IKEA in Lichtenberg. (Hmmm… that’s a terrible line. I’ll let you know if I come up with a better one. I’m taking that one out of my pay for today.)

So, okay, the promotion is obviously designed to get people hooked on SoundCloud and Ableton. But it will be really interesting to see whether a free copy of Live helps attract SoundCloud’s non-specialized audience to get hooked on making music. As popular as Live is – and I’m told it continues to grow, even as we wait on the next major release – there are still plenty of people who use sound who don’t use Live or even a similar tool. Apple’s GarageBand helped bridge that audience, for one, by being included free on Macs. On Macs and PCs, as people start using SoundCloud for audio of all kinds (podcasts and spoken word joining music), we’ll see if more music tools can appeal.

SoundCloud and Ableton [SoundCloud blog]
5 free months of SoundCloud Pro for all Live 8 users [Ableton]

That’s the story with Ableton. But if you haven’t watched closely, a lot of software has been adding SoundCloud integration. Mobile apps are especially common, since the idea of uploading to the “cloud” and being mobile with a tablet or phone naturally go together. But desktop apps have been adding integration.

I was curious just to keep up with that list, so I spoke to Henrik Lenberg, VP of Platform for SoundCloud. He gave us just a few highlights. (If you’re a developer and left out, feel free to give us a shout in comments – there are too many apps to be comprehensive.)

Plug in mic, hit record, upload to SoundCloud. Photo ()CC-BY) Phil Campbell.

Major mobile integrations:

– Apple GarageBand
– Korg iMS-20, iElectribe and iKaossilator
– Retronyms Tabletop
– Native Instruments iMaschine
– FL Studio Mobile
– NanoStudio
– BeatMaker 2
– AmpKit
– Yamaha TNR-i
– Music Studio
– iRig Recorder
and more…

Major desktop integrations:
– Ableton Live
– PreSonus Studio One
– Avid Pro Tools
– Steinberg Cubase and WaveLab
– Cakewalk Sonar and Music Creator
– Magix Samplitude and Music Maker
– OpenLabs Music OS
and more…

FL Studio is another important one – thanks to reader Brandon Adkins for the reminder! It’s especially interesting, as Image-Line briefly had a tool called Collab which was intended to encourage its users to share their work. Now, they get more features – and easier collaboration across different tools and platforms – on SoundCloud. (I will say, there were a couple of nice things about Collab. It opened actual FL files, and had a live chat; I even wrote the thing up for Keyboard, but it didn’t last. Still, SoundCloud and FL could go together nicely.)

I have to ask the obvious question. Does having SoundCloud integration right in an application matter to you? Or would you rather take your time, export normally, and upload separately? And is it as important to you on a desktop as on mobile?

Which of these tools matter most – is any bigger for you than Ableton?

Beyond that, how do you use SoundCloud with your music software – if at all?

Let us know what your online/sharing workflow looks like; I’m very eager to hear.