The rise of social media has made many of us feel more comfortable with the notion of sharing what’s happening in our daily lives, whether it’s a quick tweet about a late train, a photo of a beautiful view, a link to a rare YouTube clip of a favourite band or a rant about another cold call from a direct marketing company. Most of the popular social media sites aren’t so geared up to handle sound recordings, though, and often there’s an immediacy to snatching a quick recording of something that’s going on around you that goes beyond what you can capture by typing on a keyboard.
That’s where SoundCloud comes in. Already popular with musicians and media types thanks to its excellent embedded player, the SoundCloud app lets you record and share (or keep private if you prefer) all manner of voice recordings quickly and easily.
Device: iPhone or iPad
Time required: 5 minutes
What you need:
SoundCloud (free, itun.es/i6DK9w6)
iOS 4.3 or later
Step 1: Getting started
Download and install the SoundCloud app from the iTunes store and tap the icon to start. Sign in using your Facebook account (or sign up using a valid email account) and allow the app to send Push Notifications. Ignore all the Find Friends stuff and tap the Done button. This loads the Record screen.
Step 2: Recording a sound
The whole idea behind the app is to record voice memos, snatches of song ideas, a podcast, a band playing in a pub or just you and your friends joking around. So tap the Rec button, make the recording and when you’ve finished, tap Stop. Tap Reset to remove the recording and start again or tap Save.
Step 3: Name and details
Type a name for the recording, tap ‘Where’ to enter a location, tap the empty image slot to pick (or take) an image to accompany it, and then decide whether to share the recording on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or Foursquare. Since we signed up with our Facebook account, that’s already active. Tap Upload & Share.
Step 4: Playing sounds
Although the previous step implies that the file will share with your chosen service (in this example, Facebook) that’s not the case – yet. So wait for the sound to load on to SoundCloud’s timeline and then tap it. The recording plays back full screen in the iPhone. Tap the Share button (top right) to continue.
Step 5: Sharing sounds
Where the account is active and connected – with Facebook, say – the app inserts a standard message with the recording. Tap one of the other, unconnected services and you’ll see a ‘Connect to’ button. Tap the ‘Share to all connected accounts’ option or tap the blue button to share to the currently selected service.
Step 6: SoundCloud on Facebook
And here’s the sound displayed on our Recent Activity timeline on the iPhone’s Facebook app. From here, you can tap the picture and this will load Safari, open the SoundCloud page and let you play the sound back. On a desktop PC, the same recording will play back using the distinctive SoundCloud player.