Maybe the equation is this simple: SoundCloud.com = Twitter.com + BandCamp.com. But such cursory Web 2.0 mathematics doesn’t do justice to the resulting combination.
Thanks to a clean and smoothly functioning mix of friend-collecting, list-making, track-favoriting, and general music-uploading (and -downloading, including the ability to charge/pay for tracks), not to mention -listening, the SoundCloud music community has rapidly become a highly active international hub, especially when it comes to electronic music. One thing the Internet has yet to perfect is music collaboration, and given its clean engineering and emphasis on communal activity, if any site is going to become the Google Docs of music (especially in terms of share docs), it might very well be SoundCloud. And perhaps SoundCloud will expand further still, moving beyond its spartan focus and embrace video in addition to audio.
Then, musicians like Michel Banabila will have a field day. That transition came to mind while listening to “Harbour set (excerpt),” Banabila’s nine-minute trip through an evocative industrial sonic environment. The track moves expertly from a hazy atmospheric opening through a head-nodding, pneumatic-drills-on-pause middle, to an extended fade, but as it turns out, the audio is just part of the overall scenario.
Banabila’s piece is the audio to a collaboration with video artist Geert Mul — with visuals, such as the one below, available at a flickr.com, a site from which SoundCloud.com clearly drew information-architecture inspiration.