Alternatives to SoundCloud
So, I recently started recording exercises from the Hal Leonard book and random practice exercises I’m working on. Some of these are shared on the blog via SoundCloud. I started looking at it more closely though and I think there’s a limited shelf-life there for people like me.
SoundCloud has a 3 hour limit for uploads for free accounts. Its not 3 hours per month or per year. Its 3 hours in total. This means that if I keep blogging and sharing, I’ll eventually run out of “space” on SoundCloud. I can upgrade to a Pro account, which carries a monthly/yearly fee and doubles the time allotment. I can also upgrade to a Pro Unlimited account and have an unlimited upload capacity, but this also costs money.
I was looking for free options that I can use in the long term. As much as I enjoy SoundCloud, I don’t want to hit a wall where I’m unable to use it to share my progress or just share exercises. Youtube is the first alternative that comes to mind. Its free and there’s no limit to how much you can share there. However, I don’t want to share audio files using large video windows. I like SoundCloud’s option to embed a short audio player.
We can already upload audio to Youtube. It would be nice if they eventually added the option to share audio with a smaller player. I think it would actually dominate the landscape, as Youtube is the largest provider of audio and video files on the internet. We’ll see if they go in that direction at some point.
Another alternative that looks promising to me is Audiomack. Its similar to SoundCloud, but is a newer and somewhat smaller service (6M users vs 250M). The upside to it that really got my attention was that all users – even free accounts – have access to unlimited uploads and playbacks. So, in a way, it does what SoundCloud does, but with the delivery capacity of Youtube.
It sounds like a great match, but I haven’t actually tried it yet. For bloggers like myself, there’s another benefit: It integrates with WordPress, like Youtube and SoundCloud do.
So, after I try it out, I’ll report back. Criticisms that I’ve read basically say its not as friendly as SoundCloud. Development supposedly went overboard with feature-bloat, which is the opposite of SoundCloud, and it makes it harder to use, but I’ll have to see. I don’t plan on promoting myself or monetizing my practice recordings. If uploading an MP3, adding info about it and sharing it aren’t too complex, I’ll probably turn to it in the long run.