What Is SoundCloud Desktop?

SoundCloud's history with Windows and Mac desktop apps is a sad one

A woman wearing orange headphones listening to the SoundCloud Desktop app on her laptop.

 Hero Images

SoundCloud is one of the most-popular places online for musicians to upload their creations, share them with the world, and build a following. The service is also fairly popular with podcast creators and listeners.

Users can stream music tracks or podcast episodes via the SoundCloud website in any web browser on a computer, smartphone, or tablet or via one of its official apps. Those who pay for the premium monthly SoundCloud Go or SoundCloud Go+ memberships can also download files for offline listening when using the SoundCloud apps.

SoundCloud has released an app call SoundCloud Desktop app, however, someone talking about SoundCloud Desktop could be referring to a number of different things on different devices.

What is SoundCloud Desktop app?

The SoundCloud Desktop app is an official SoundCloud app that was released for Mac computers in 2011. It was officially referred to as the SoundCloud Desktop app for Mac and allowed users to record and upload tracks to their SoundCloud accounts, listen to tracks, favorite tracks, create playlists, listen to playlists, and search for music and podcast files.

SoundCloud Desktop app for Mac offered a rather limited experience when compared to the SoundCloud web version and other apps as it only allowed for the playing of specific files that had been granted third-party app access. This was a limit imposed on certain files by their creators or owners.

Due to a lack of resources, the SoundCloud Desktop app for Mac was eventually discontinued as the company shifted its focus towards improving their web and iOS app.

What is SoundCloud for Windows?

When people talk about SoundCloud Desktop, especially when referring to accessing the service on a Windows device, they're likely talking about the SoundCloud for Windows app.

SoundCloud for Windows app
 SoundCloud

The SoundCloud for Windows app is an official SoundCloud app that launched in the Microsoft Store app store for Windows 10 devices in 2017. Unlike the desktop app released for Mac users, the SoundCloud for Windows app lets users listen to all audio on SoundCloud, however, it doesn't support any uploading or content creation features.

Windows 10 users are able to control SoundCloud for Windows playback with the Cortana virtual assistant which sets it apart from the growing number of third-party SoundCloud apps on Windows.

What is the Web Version of SoundCloud?

Something else people could be talking about when referencing SoundCloud Desktop is the web version of the music service. This is because the web version of SoundCloud is available in any web browser via the official SoundCloud desktop website and is often accessed by Mac and Windows users when using their desktop computer.

SoundCloud web version.
 SoundCloud

The web version of SoundCloud is basically just the official SoundCloud website but it can be used to listen to and upload audio, comment on, like, reshare, or repost discovered files, and curate playlists. The audio player is particularly well-liked as it can play music or podcasts continuously while navigating to other pages on the SoundCloud website.

The SoundCloud web version is also accessible on smartphones, tablets, video game consoles, and any other device that has an internet browser. It generally works very well for listening to audio and is a good option if you're unable to download an official app or one simply isn't available on your device.

Are There Any Third-Party SoundCloud Apps?

Due to the lack of a quality official SoundCloud app for computer users for so many years, there are now a number of unofficial apps that have been made by third-party developers. Here are some of the most-popular SoundCloud desktop apps.

  • SoundCleod: SoundCleod is a very popular third-party SoundCloud app that works on Mac computers running macOS Mojave (10.14) and up and Windows devices running Windows 7, 8, 8.1, or 10. SoundCleod features support for following accounts, answering messages, listening to audio, uploading audio, and sharing favorites.
  • 8 SoundCloud: This third-party SoundCloud app is available for Windows 10 devices and Xbox One video game consoles. It allows for the listening of music and podcasts and the following of SoundCloud accounts.
  • Soundnode: Soundnode is a SoundCloud app that's available for Mac, Windows, and Linux computers. It doesn't feature any upload capability but it works well for listening to music and podcasts and feels very similar to the Windows 10 Spotify app.
  • Vox: Vox is a music player for Mac users that can play local music saved to your computer and supports importing music from your iTunes library, YouTube, and SoundCloud. It also features built-in internet radio functionality which makes this app a real beast when it comes to audio playback. Vox doesn't support any SoundCloud community features or uploading of content though so it isn't for everyone.