At the LeWeb conference, SoundCloud announced a new version of its popular audio sharing platform as well as a completely redesigned site and brand new social, search, and curation features to make more content accessible to its users.
The new site was in beta testing before the official announcement was made today. With sights set on becoming the YouTube for audio, SoundCloud’s slate of new features mimic Tumblr-like sharing features integrated with music discovery platforms like Spotify. The startup also announced that 180 million people were using SoundCloud and were uploading 10 hours of music and audio per minute. While SoundCloud is well shy of YouTube’s 72 hours of video uploaded per minute, it’s still some impressive growth.
As we mentioned, SoundCloud is taking a page from Tumblr with addition of “Reposts.” The feature allows users to republish tracks onto their own news feeds. These curated segments are call “Sets.”
“Sets” are basically playlists. It’s a feature that’s predominantly used on 8tracks, which encourages its users to create collections of playlists based on themes. Users will be able to add a favorite track to their “Set” by selecting an inline prompt.
With “Continuous Play” users can browse the site and discover new content without interrupting their music listening session. To return to the track that’s currently playing, users can click on the Continuous Play icon that looks like a miniaturized version of the track’s interface.
The last (but not least) addition to the New SoundCloud is an update to search to better recommend the music and audio that you’re looking for. And for those of you looking to discover new music, you can browse through the “Explore” page where users can drill down into the preset filters and categories of audio tracks including genres like classical, rock, and reggae, or audio tracks that aren’t music like World News, Business & Technology, and Storytelling.
SoundCloud announced other minor but noteworthy features focuses on its community. SoundCloud has upgraded its timed comments feature, which allows you to comment on certain sections of a track. The startup added an activity feed for you to check out what your friends and users you’re following are listening to, and recommends other users for you to follow.
But this of course doesn’t mark the end of SoundCloud’s updates. In a blog post, the platform reassures users that the features announced today will be added to its mobile apps to provide a cross-platform experience.