SoundCloud debuted its paid streaming service in the US yesterday, called SoundCloud Go, to very mixed reviews.
Costing $10 per month for ad-free listening like other services, SoundCloud launched its version of a paid streaming platform just after closing a deal with Sony Music, the last of the big three labels required on board before a rollout could go smoothly.
For SoundCloud users who are already satisfied with the user interface experience, Soundcloud Go doesn't seem to have any issues.
But for people who have always had a problem with the song-by-song or create a playlist method of listening-- those who prefer to listen to an album rather than a playlist of your own or someone else's making --Soundcloud Go is more of the same.
The biggest gripe of one particular reviewer is essentially this: songs are only organized by individual tracks rather than by album, so barring in-depth familiarity with the musician, you're hard pressed to determine whether that song is free or only one obtained by paid-subscription, let alone organize them into a playlist without listening to each track individually.
There are other issues including a very limited library and the confusion created in following user-generated stations as this lack of regulation allows for users to upload remixes and user-submitted content seemingly at will.
It's cool in theory, but hellish for getting that data organized in any way.
A SoundCloud spokesperson reached out to Engadget to address some of the bigger gripes head on, including what it lacks in its library.
"We can't comment on individual artists, but we're ingesting a huge amount of tracks, which takes time, and so you can expect to see many more added each day. As with any streaming service, there will always be some exceptions but, even tomorrow morning, you'll see more tracks and artists than you'd see late tonight, for example. In short, any discrepancies are either result of some continued ingestion of certain large catalogs or exceptions."
Some redesign is inevitable, and only time will tell if SoundCloud Go is a real competitor for those already up and running with millions of users.
What do you think?[via Engadget] [Feature Image Courtesy Engadget]