Soundcloud has become a ubiquitous part of the modern music industry. If you want to send music to a record label, they want you to use Soundcloud. Applying to DJ at a festival, they probably want you to submit your mix using Soundcloud. Do you want to get your music featured on your favourite blog, then send it to their Soundcloud account. Looking for undiscovered talent, Soundcloud has you covered. Whether you are an A&R or a Music Blogger, if you work in today’s music industry you probably spend a considerable amount of your time on Soundcloud. So it is a shame that it sucks.
So without any further adieu here are five reasons Mixcloud is better than SoundCloud
1/Soundcloud sent me a takedown notice.
Imagine this scenario. After years of hard work and social networking you have finally signed your first track to a Label that actually has a promotional budget. Full of joy, you rush to your Soundcloud account to share your freshly signed release with the people who have faithfully followed you for years. Later that evening, when you should be “popping bottles” and celebrating with friends, you get an email notification that tells you that your new track has been removed from your page because its copyright is owned by Artist “X”…YOU are Artist “X”. Soundcloud should know you are Artist “X”. You even “invested” into your career by paying for a “pro” account. No big deal, you tell yourself. After a polite email exchange with customer support the track is back up and you think that the issue has been dealt with. One week later your track is down again.
Now what would have happened if you had featured your new track in a mix for your Mixcloud account? Nothing. Well that is not completely true. If your mix is popular enough you might end up getting a few pennies from them because they support artists who are in heavy rotation on their website by paying them money.
2/Soundcloud doesn’t work today.
I visit Soundcloud at least twice a week. And I probably see some sort of error message from their website at least once a week. My personal favourite is when I have been browsing the site for hours and it decides that it will not let me listen to any more music. A small error pops up that tells you that you cannot listen to “that track” at this time. But I just listened to “that track” five seconds ago, how am I supposed to finish writing my review?
In comparison Mixcloud isn’t perfect but at least its downtime is lower than Soundcloud’s. Sure, sometimes Mixcloud can have a few hick-ups streaming a mix. But usually a quick refresh will resolve whatever the problem is.
3/Soundcloud sounds like crap.
One of the most common questions on mastering engineer forums is how to make music sound presentable on Soundcloud. I wish I was joking. People go on to forums frequented by engineers who have mastered everything from Motown classics to EDM and all they care about is making their music on Soundcloud sound better. Now this isn’t (completely) Soundcloud’s fault. In order to accommodate as many audio formats as possible Soundcloud employs an always on encoding protocol that coverts whatever you feed it into a 128k MP3, even 128k MP3’s (yes it re-encodes MP3’s into MP3’s…which probably doesn’t help improve sound quality). To make matters worse this always on encoder cannot handle inter-sample peaking at all. Normally inter-sample peaks are a minor problem, and maybe it is the way the encoder handles the inter-sample peaks, or maybe the playback codec is just really old. Whatever the problem, the result is that peaks that are not audible in your music can cause audible distortion in your music once it is put on Soundcloud.
4/Soundcloud is redundant.
Soundcloud has gone from an industry leader to an industry follower. I do not know why, but recent changes to Soundcloud have made it an inferior version of Spotify, a service that is not profitable. Why would a successful platform willingly choose to imitate an unsuccessful platform to increase their listenership. Furthermore to monetize your original music on Spotify all you need is a distribution deal. To monetize your original content on Soundcloud you have to pay for a premium package. Which brings me to my final point.
5/Soundcloud is a waste of money.
What do you get when you pay for a premium account with Soundcloud? More space to upload your music? Many people simply set up multiple free accounts. A chance to Monetize your music? There are better places to do this. Not to mention Soundcloud is plagued with hacker generated fake fans and plays that make it essentially impossible to compete legitamitly unless you have excessive resources. Pay for Mixcloud and Mixcloud will put your mix front and centre on their website, essentially promoting your mix. Search for a mix in your favourite genre and the vast majority of the top search results will come from their paying customer base, NOT just those who pay for plays (although people do pay for plays on both platforms).
Don’t get me wrong Soundcloud is still an important service. It probably has the largest population of any music streaming, social media website. Unfortunately recent changes they made have weakened the platform and left many people scrambling for an alternative to their service. Now there is no competitive service when it comes to sharing individual tracks with the world but when it comes to sharing mixes; Mixcloud is better than Soundcloud.