SoundCloud update causes frustration among users


Photo from Flickr user Ashton6460 CC BY 2.0

The global online audio distribution SoundCloud recently released a new update April 5 that now gives users the option to get access to an offline feature to download certain music so users can listen to it without wifi or cellular data, an ad-free option and the benefit to listen to all tracks on the app for $12.99 a month with a free one-month trial.

“When I first heard of the update, I was really disappointed because some of my favorite songs from that app were cut short to 30 second previews and I would have to pay to listen to the whole song,” Isabella Barrientos said.

SoundCloud is one of the few apps that incorporates underground artists and users can find music that cannot be found on other popular music apps such as Apple Music or Tidal. For example, artists such as PARTYNEXTDOOR and Blackbear share songs directly to SoundCloud before it is released to other music apps.

“I use SoundCloud because it’s free, and it allows you to listen to a variety of artists that you can’t find anywhere else,” Kyle Mullins said.

However, one feature that sets SoundCloud apart from other music apps is that a user sometimes cannot find a certain song sang directly from that artists. Mainstream artists such as Adele do not give permission for users to upload their songs through SoundCloud. This leads to poor quality songs being uploaded to SoundCloud or songs being completely unavailable. Because of this flaw, users will have multiple apps to listen to songs that cannot be found on SoundCloud.

“When SoundCloud doesn’t have songs that I’m specifically looking for, I switch to my other music app Pandora because I can usually find songs there that I can’t find on SoundCloud,” Mullins said.

With the new update, however, users have become more frustrated that SoundCloud is turning towards charging users for features users had before.

“I don’t think SoundCloud should turn into something like Apple Music or Tidal because I’ve had SoundCloud for eight months now and my favorite feature was that I could listen to a variety of songs for free, and now I can’t anymore,” Barrientos said.

Before this update SoundCloud had given an option to users to pay for ad-free music but is now extending its limitations to have users pay for ad free music and to listen to the full song of selected tracks, with the option to download offline. These options sound very familiar to other music apps such as Apple Music and Tidal.

Ashley Ceragioli said, “I think that the new update is not very good because SoundCloud was originally based on putting free music online and now they just have 30 second snippets to listen to certain songs, if I want the full song I would have to pay.”