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SoundCloud brings discovery, social savvy to audio-sharing site

People now can link better with Facebook and other outside sites, find new music, and search faster, says CEO Alex Ljung.

SoundCloud CEO Alex Ljung speaking at LeWeb 2012.
SoundCloud CEO Alex Ljung speaking at LeWeb 2012.
Stephen Shankland/CNET

PARIS -- SoundCloud, a site for sharing songs and audio clips online, launched a redesign that lets people discover new audio, spotlights what's going on with an "activity" stream, and links users' activity with social networks.

The new SoundCloud version has been in closed testing but now is available for all users, said company founder and Chief Executive Alexander Ljung in a speech here at the LeWeb conference.

A new discovery section will help people find new material, he said. It's one reason users of the new site are 30 percent more active on the site than those with the old version of the site that's been phased out.

SoundCloud now has a "discovery" section to find new audio.
SoundCloud now has a "discovery" section to find new audio. SoundCloud

SoundCloud is now better linked to the rest of the online world, he said. When a person joins, "we'll show you things you already like on Facebook and other platforms," he said, and the new SoundCloud also makes it possible to share content with other sites.

The new version also revamps some existing features such as search. "The new search has a new user interface that's fast, really relevant, and personalized," Ljung said. "You'll be able to find really quick what you're looking for."

Taking a page from the YouTube playbook, Ljung said how much audio is uploaded to the site each minute. At present, it's running at the rate of 10 hours per minute.

One of those users is the Obama administration, he said, which joined right after the president's re-election and now posts weekly radio addresses and other audio.

New iOS and Android apps that take advantage of the new features are due to arrive Thursday, Ljung added.