New Disquietude podcast episode: music by Lesley Flanigan, Dave Seidel, KMRU, Celia Hollander, and John Hooper; interview with Flanigan; commentary; short essay on reading waveforms. • Disquiet.com F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #field-recording, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

Listening to art. Playing with audio. Sounding out technology. Composing in code. Rewinding the soundscape.

Talking About, and Within, the “Next” SoundCloud

Perhaps the weirdest thing about the redesign of SoundCloud is the presence of my face.

The SoundCloud.com service has gone live with its “next” version, which I’ve been watching develop in recent months thanks to beta access to changes as they iterate. Though the service’s new version is now fully public, it isn’t fully implemented. For one thing, iteration is continuous. More specifically, though, certain things have gone missing, like the discussion space in “groups” pages. SoundCloud groups provides the infrastructure for the weekly music-project community that is the Disquiet Junto, so I pay particular attention to how it is changing. Here is the current state of the Groups page:

And here is the previous version — note the use of tabs, which have now gone away:

There is a lot of change evident in the new SoundCloud, but one thing that stands out in the design is the increased attention to the role of listeners. This is particularly evident in the “repost” tool, which lets listeners take a track from someone else’s account and slip it into their own stream. The SoundCloud interface has long suffered from a situation in which the pages of listeners haven’t had much to them; the repost tool changes that. The reposting is just the start. There’s also a new version of “sets” in SoundCloud. It used to be that one could only create sets of one’s own tracks, but now anyone — notably those who listen rather than upload — can create sets of any tracks they want. This recognition of listening as an active means of participation is important to the growth and maturation of SoundCloud.

But perhaps the weirdest thing about the redesign of SoundCloud is the presence of my face — see the bottom right:

Over at soundcloud.com/creators, the service has begun rolling out a series of interviews with people who use SoundCloud. So far there are three of these interviews, and they’re quite different from each other, which works well in making it clear that SoundCloud isn’t just about uploading one’s finished record (a la Bandcamp) or amassing “adds” (a la the original MySpace). There’s a bit about a university that uses it for its multifaceted podcasting; they discuss the move from merely uploading lectures to “shorter, documentary-style podcasts with researchers,” to a more formal, fortnightly news podcast, to documentation of the university’s music events, among other endeavors. And there’s an interview with a singer-songwriter, Cyra Morgan, who does a good job of summarizing the manner in which the casual communal aspect of SoundCloud has allowed her to take risks: “It feels safe even though the music isn’t perfect, even though it’s in its most vulnerable state.”

And then there’s me, yapping about the way the SoundCloud service helped give birth to the Disquiet Junto:

These interviews are being posted at the company’s own, recursively titled soundcloud.com/soundcloud account. I knew this was coming, of course, because I submitted to the interview, but I wasn’t sure when it would pop up. I happened to learn that the interview had gone live this morning when Peter Kirn mentioned it in his detailed analysis of the new SoundCloud interface at createdigitalmusic.com.

By Marc Weidenbaum

Tags: , / Comments: 4 ]

4 Comments

  1. Lee R.
    [ Posted December 8, 2012, at 7:51 am ]

    So.. is the forum/discussion tab coming back? Also noticed that the main junto page will now load ALL the tracks, refreshing when you get to the bottom. My browser will no doubt crash faster than Nervous Norvus.

    • Marc Weidenbaum
      [ Posted December 8, 2012, at 8:21 am ]

      The discussion still exists, but can for the time needs to be accessed by going to /discussion (that is, adding it after /disquiet-junto/ in the URL for the group).

      The all-tracks thing is the same as in Twitter and Facebook: they don’t all appear automatically. They are appended in batches as you scroll down.

      • Lee Rosevere
        [ Posted December 8, 2012, at 5:18 pm ]

        Ah, ok. At least it’s still there.

        Yes, sorry.. not refreshing but batches as you scroll down. But the longer the scroll gets, the longer my computer lags. I miss the option to ‘jump in’ pages instead. Not every group has 1500+ tracks! :)

  2. Marc Weidenbaum
    [ Posted December 8, 2012, at 5:23 pm ]

    Interesting. I haven’t experienced the lag, but I will keep alert about it. Thanks.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

*
*

Subscribe without commenting

  • about

  • Marc Weidenbaum founded the website Disquiet.com in 1996 at the intersection of sound, art, and technology, and since 2012 has moderated the Disquiet Junto, an active online community of weekly music/sonic projects. He has written for Nature, Boing Boing, The Wire, Pitchfork, and NewMusicBox, among other periodicals. He is the author of the 33 1⁄3 book on Aphex Twin’s classic album Selected Ambient Works Volume II. Read more about his sonic consultancy, teaching, sound art, and work in film, comics, and other media

  • Field Notes

    News, essays, surveillance

  • Interviews

    Conversations with musicians/artists/coders

  • Studio Journal

    Video, audio, patch notes

  • Projects

    Select collaborations and commissions

  • Subscribe



  • Current Activities

  • Upcoming
    • December 13, 2022: This day marks the 26th anniversary of the founding of Disquiet.com.
    • January 6, 2023: This day marked the 11th anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.

  • Recent
    • April 16, 2022: I participated in an online "talk show" by The Big Conversation Space (Niki Korth and Clémence de Montgolfier).
    • March 11, 2022: I hosted a panel discussion between Mark Fell, Rian Treanor and James Bradbury in San Francisco as part of the Algorithmic Art Assembly (aaassembly.org) at Gray Area (grayarea.org).
    • December 28, 2021: This day marked the 10th (!) anniversary of the Instagr/am/bient compilation.
    • January 6, 2021: This day marked the 10th (!) anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.
    • December 13, 2021: This day marked the 25th (!) anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.
    • There are entries on the Disquiet Junto in the book The Music Production Cookbook: Ready-made Recipes for the Classroom (Oxford University Press), edited by Adam Patrick Bell. Ethan Hein wrote one, and I did, too.
    • A chapter on the Disquiet Junto ("The Disquiet Junto as an Online Community of Practice," by Ethan Hein) appears in the book The Oxford Handbook of Social Media and Music Learning (Oxford University Press), edited by Stephanie Horsley, Janice Waldron, and Kari Veblen. (Details at oup.com.)

  • My book on Aphex Twin's landmark 1994 album, Selected Ambient Works Vol. II, was published as part of the 33 1/3 series, an imprint of Bloomsbury. It has been translated into Japanese (2019) and Spanish (2018).

  • disquiet junto

  • Background
    Since January 2012, the Disquiet Junto has been an ongoing weekly collaborative music-making community that employs creative constraints as a springboard for creativity. Subscribe to the announcement list (each Thursday), listen to tracks by participants from around the world, read the FAQ, and join in.

    Recent Projects

  • 0544 / Feedback Loop / The Assignment: Share music-in-progress for input from others.
    0543 / Technique Check / The Assignment: Share a tip from your method toolbox.
    0542 / 2600 Club / The Assignment: Make some phreaking music.
    0541 / 10BPM Techno / The Assignment: Make some snail-paced beats.
    0540 / 5ive 4our / The Assignment: Take back 5/4 for Jedi time masters Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond.

  • Full Index
    And there is a complete list of past projects, 544 consecutive weeks to date.

  • Archives

    By month and by topic

  • [email protected]

    [email protected]

  • Downstream

    Recommended listening each weekday

  • Recent Posts