When you’ve read the interview with Media Futurist Gerd Leonhard a couple of weeks ago, you know there’s a huge shift in music going on. The early adopters don’t download music anymore, but listen to it on the web. These Last.fm lunatics and MySpace maniacs all ask the same question: why would we wait for a download to finish? They want to listen right a way. In this changed music landscape, people also prefer a different, faster, and better way of sharing. Well guys, welcome SoundCloud.
Founders Eric Wahlforss and Alexander Ljung
This Swedish/ German start-up allows you to share your own music with friends, fans, and possible fans – your could – and has made quite an effort to make this process as easy and intelligent as possible. No more cluttered emai boxes with large files, but a clean and good-looking place where your tracks are gathered. When you’ve used the – very smooth – uploading tool, you can publicize the music by using the embeddable player (there’s a Facebook button as well). Then, the fun part starts, at least, I hope it’s fun for you.
Your cloud can start fine tuning your music, literary, as it’s possible to put comments on a music time line. No more endless conversations about where that strange little sound is, just put a dot there. I think music fanatics have enough material here to have fun for at least a week.
Is it all sunshine at SoundCloud? Well, for the user, the answer is almost yes. There’s one thing though, I wonder whether your music library will be open. Can you download your tracks when you’ve accidentally lost your collection?
Apart from that, the main challenge for founders Alexander Ljung and Eric Wahlforss seems to be the business model. How will these guys make money? The service is in private beta, and so far, I can’t discover any features that would grant these two Sweeds and their team any money. Though they probably will receive some high bills for data usage. I’m sure the angel founding they received in 2007 and 2008 will help to get them started, but I wonder how long they can cope with the – unavoidable – popularity.
However, they’ve got their corporate image, user interface, and killer app all pretty lined out, so I think I just have to trust these guys business instinct. Will you? Give it a shot and grab one of the fifty invites.