Find New Music Using SoundCloud's Stations Feature

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Discovering New Music With SoundCloud

SoundCloud Logo
SoundCloud Logo. Image © SoundCloud

If you've never used SoundCloud to listen to digital music then it's not your average kind of streaming music service -- like Apple Music or Spotify for instance. It's a free platform that is great to use especially for discovering more non-mainstream music. And if you're a budding artist that hasn't been lucky enough (yet) to be discovered by a music label, then SoundCloud also gives you a great virtual stage to promote your creations. In fact, it's a bit like YouTube in many ways where you can upload audio files and reach out to the world!

This isn't to say you won't find popular artists and bands on SoundCloud, because you can. There are plenty of songs from mainstream acts, but not as many. As previously mentioned, it's more suited to finding new music that isn't necessarily featured on the more popular subscription-based streaming music services. This is an area in which SoundCloud excels at and you can often be surprised at what you end up listening to.

But, the big question is, "what's the best way to discover new music that's relevant to your tastes and doesn't involve heavily interacting with your iOS device?"

SoundCloud Stations is the perfect choice. This option in the iOS app gives you non-stop music just like listening to the radio!

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SoundCloud Stations

SoundCloud Stations
Station option in the SoundCloud iOS app. Image © Mark Harris - Licensed to About.com, Inc.

 For a long time now SoundCloud has traditionally suggested new music via the Related Tracks list. This works fine and is great if you want a quick-picks type of system, but what if you want new music delivered to you in a more personalized way?

Until now the service hasn't really offered the kind of experience you get with an Internet radio type of service. But, with the Stations feature now built into the iOS app you can discover new music in a similar way to others such as Pandora Radio and Spotify's radio option.

Creating a SoundCloud Station

Using the Stations feature allows you to create your own personalized channels that continually play music related to the song / artist you've selected. As you'll already know, there's a huge amount of undiscovered material on SoundCloud and this option allows you to sit back and listen without too much interaction.

If you haven't already got the iOS SoundCloud app then the latest version can be downloaded from the App Store. Incidentally, if this is your first time using SoundCloud then you'll need to choose the 'create an account' option first in step 1 before following the rest of the steps.

Launch the app and follow the step-by-step guide below to create your first station.

  1. Sign into your SoundCloud account by tapping on the Sign in button. You can either use your Facebook log in details, Google+ or email and password. If you get a message to create an account in order to start your collection then just tap on create account button.
  2. Once you've signed in you can start searching for music you like. If you know what to search for then the easiest way is to use the find option. To do this tap on the magnifying glass button near the bottom of the screen. You can type in the name of an artist or song.
  3. If you want to search by genre then tap on the down-arrow at the top of the screen (next to Stream). This will give you a list of options. Scroll down the list and select a genre that interests you (in the All Music section).
  4. When you've found a song, tap on it to start it playing. If you want to base a station on it, tap the options button (three dots) at the bottom left-hand side of the screen. This will bring up a menu giving you a range of options. Tap the Start Track Station.
  5. The new station will be automatically added to your SoundCloud profile.
  6. To play another song based on this new station, swipe your finger across the screen from right to left.

To create more stations based on different artists, songs, or genres just repeat the above steps.

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Bookmarking Songs Discovered in a Station

SoundCloud Playlists
Adding a song to a new SoundCloud playlist. Image © Mark Harris - Licensed to About.com, Inc.

 The stations feature in the SoundCloud app is a great way to discover new music. But once you've found a really great track, how do you bookmark it so you don't have to trawl millions of songs looking for it?

In order to easily play songs again at a later date you can use playlists. Using your personalized stations in conjunction with playlists is a powerful combination which enables you to build up your collection in record time.

To bookmark a song that you've found using a custom built station, follow the steps below.

  1. Tap the options button (three dots) at the bottom left-hand side of the screen. From the list of options that is now displayed, tap the Add to Playlist option.
  2. If you want to create a new playlist then tap the + (plus) symbol at the top right-hand corner of the screen. Type in a name for your new playlist and tap the Done button. The song will now be automatically added -- you'll see a check mark displayed verifying this has been done. After this you'll be automatically returned to the song view mode.
  3. If you want to add the song to an existing playlist then simply select one in your library. The song will be added automatically. Again,  a check mark will be displayed showing it has been successfully added.

Accessing Your Collection

If you want to access your collection anytime while playing a song then do the following:

  1. Swipe you finger downwards on the screen.
  2. Tap the collection icon (image of head and shoulders) near the bottom of the screen.
  3. You will now see a list of your stations, playlists, and likes.