SoundCloud today announced an update to its iPhone and Android apps that greatly simplifies the recording, editing, and publishing process. The new app includes the ability to trim your audio clips, pause and resume recording, and scrub your finger along a slick new audio waveform graphic in real time. Each app gets on exclusive feature (for now): the iPhone app gives you the ability to listen through your phone's earpiece if you don't have headphones around, and the Android app lets you add fade in/out to your recordings.
"Sounds are emerging as a new kind of communication."
The service has doubled to 20 million users since January, and has steadily climbed to more than 5.7 million monthly users. Founder and CTO Eric Wahlforss noticed that a lot of the growth was due to mobile usage, so he refocused his team's efforts on delivering some of his users' most-wanted requests. "Sounds are emerging as a new kind of communication. People are recording the first sounds their babies are making," Wahlforss said. He's a huge fan of podcasts and their unique value as audio-only experiences, and wishes more people had the power to post their own audio creations straight from a mobile device. Until now, Soundcloud users could only record and share audio, but never trim a file or continue recording where you left off.
SoundCloud has quickly become integrated and embedded in many websites and third-party apps like GarageBand for iPad, which now allows you to export content directly to SoundCloud — a pretty serious endorsement from Apple. "That's the strongest point of what we're doing right now," Wahlforss says, "embedding ourselves into social sites." SoundCloud internally has also become much more social — users frequently remix each others' work and memes have even formed and mutated. "We see a lot of Shia LaBeouf dubstep remixes," Wahlforss says, "but I guess dubstep itself is also like a meme." One of SoundCloud's most popular users is Snoop Dogg, who solicits remix submissions from his fans and posts his favorites.
SoundCloud's update today is just part of a larger movement towards redesigning the service to be simpler, Wahlforss says. We've already heard about the site's upcoming redesign, as well as Wahlforss's dreams about a SoundCloud app for TV, but looking forward he has one real goal in mind: SoundCloud as the de facto place to store and share audio, in the same way that YouTube is the place to share video and Tumblr is the place for cool pictures.