An icon has been making itself seen around SoundCloud.com, as various users have replaced their individual account icons with a collective one: a white-on-black appropriation of the SoundCloud logo that has been altered to look a little weathered; it reads “Save SoundCloud Classic.”
That particular term, “classic,” refers to the version of SoundCloud that existed prior to this past week’s interface overhaul. As a protest to the recent changes, many of these accounts have now posted individual recordings of people bemoaning the new SoundCloud interface, while others have reproduced a single track, titled “Revolution Will Be Audiovised.” As of this writing, at least 101 people have. (Update 2012.12.10: I’d initially written that this “Audiovised” track originated at the account soundcloud.com/shores-1, but that appears not to have been the case.) While many of the protest recordings are fairly general in their complaints, the “Audiovised” one provides a line-item list of various concerns, and the author of the text lists them in the body of the track’s page so they can be read as well as heard.
Examples of these protests were made at such SoundCloud accounts as moody-alien, markjbennett, stephenrandall-1, and der-himmel-uber-lyon. One user, Peter Koeller, posted a JPG of proposed revisions at his peterkoeller.de site.
One thing that’s interesting about the current SoundCloud protest situation is that the service, being in the content-infrastructure business, has literally provided the foundation of its own critique. That said, this isn’t an anti-SoundCloud movement, to the extent that it is a movement. It’s people who care about SoundCloud discussing what they wish the service would remain, and what they are concerned it may be leaving behind.
To be clear, I’m writing not because I have a certain sense of the situation, but because I don’t have a full grasp on it. Perhaps this is because, for all my use of SoundCloud, I do so as a highly active listener — a community organizer, as it were — not as a musician, certainly not in any conventional sense of the term “musician.” Perhaps it’s because I signed up for the preview version, so I saw the “next” SoundCloud as it was iterated, and didn’t find myself suddently faced with it, as many people were.
I don’t know. And that I don’t know is why I am asking. As a heavy user of SoundCloud, and because of the Disquiet Junto a heavy participant in SoundCloud, I’d be interested in learning more about people’s concerns about the shift — or, perhaps, just peoples thoughts about people’s concerns about the shift. The “discussion” tab on the Groups pages at SoundCloud is a bit difficult to navigate to right now, in the current state of the service, so if you want to, please consider weighing in in the comment space of this post, down below. (I’ve been thinking about adding a proper discussion section, a forum, to Disquiet.com, and situations like this one help convince me it’s a good idea.) I’m as interested in hearing from folks who are happy, or non-plussed, about the changes at SoundCloud as I am by folks who are not in any way pleased.
And lest it go without saying, discussion here is intended to be done with mutual respect for differences of opinion. Trolling, ad hominem attacks, and rudeness will get the attention they deserve, which is none.