By Khurram Aziz | Dec 06, 2012 09:07 AM EST
SoundCloud, a site which calls itself the "YouTube of audio," has relaunched with a new design that lets people discover new music, spotlights what's going on with a Facebook-like "activity" stream, and links users' activity with other social networks.
Previously known as "Next", SoundCloud began nearly five years ago in Berlin as a site for music and sound professionals to exchange music. The new version promises to be more compatible with Android and iOS smartphones.
Testing for the beta version of the new site took six months, a period which saw its user-base grow by 30 percent in that period, according to SoundCloud.
"The complete reworking of the platform's flagship product is now open to all, offering everyone the opportunity to explore a world of original music and audio content, as well as to connect and share with the largest community of artists, bands, podcasters, and other sound creators," said the site in a press release.
"There's no other platform out there that lets everyone get so close to such a diverse community of music and audio creators," said Alexander Ljung, founder and CEO of SoundCloud. "From today, 'Next' is now simply SoundCloud. It's a platform for people to discover new, original music and audio, for creators to build audiences, and for everyone to share what they hear whether online or on mobile."
"Everything's new: much more than an aesthetic redesign, the latest SoundCloud is a state-of-the-art, re-engineered platform that feels so different from before and offers an even better music and audio experience," said Eric Wahlforss, founder and CTO. "Our passionate community's feedback during the beta has gotten us to where we are today: ready to turn on the new SoundCloud for everyone."
Unlike consumer-targeted music sites such as Pandora and Spotify, SoundCloud began with the sound-creator in mind, and was a way of unknown artists and producers to share their music. However, mainstream artistes such as Taylor Swift, rapper Big Boi from OutKast, Radiohead and Drive-By Truckers all have SoundCloud channels, as do the BBC and CBS News. The White House has also started its own channel.
SoundCloud claims that today over 10 hours of music and audio are posted every minute on the platform reaches over 180 million registered users.
Interested user can sign up to SoundCloud by visiting its site.