If you're taking our course on SoundCloud, chances are that you're just going to be using it to listen to music. And that's perfectly fine. Though we showed you how to sign up for a SoundCloud account in our previous tutorial, you don't actually need one to listen to most of the songs and other sound bites on SoundCloud. However, logging into your account does allow you to do some other neat stuff when you're listening to music on SoundCloud. Some of it will be covered here, while some of it will be explained in detail in later tutorials.
Go to www.soundcloud.com in your web browser and log in.
Once you're on your home page for SoundCloud, you can either browse for new music that you might want to listen to, or search for something in particular. To learn how to search on SoundCloud, head over to our SoundCloud Search tutorial. For now, we're going to stick with browsing, so click Explore.
Tracks on SoundCloud are split into two categories: "music" and "audio". "Music" is pretty self-explanatory, while "audio" includes things such as comedy skits, news programs, lifestyle advice, audiobooks, and recorded sports broadcasts.
If you click the drop-down menu beside "Category", you can choose to browse Trending Music or Trending Audio to see the most popular music or audio tracks right now. You can also click a particular genre of music or audio to filter your browsing that way.
When you find a track that you want to play, click the big orange button beside it to start or stop the playback. You can also click the track name to go to an information page for that track, or click the user/artist to go to their profile page.
The waveform beside the track will change colour to show where you are in the track; you can click it at any point to jump to a particular part of the track. This is useful when you're using the commenting function; we'll explain how to use that in a minute.
When you begin listening to a track, you will notice that a miniature player will appear at the bottom of your screen, too.
Click the three leftmost buttons to skip to the previous track in the list, play or stop the current track, or skip to the next track in the list (respectively).
You can also click the "1" inside the arrows to have the current track play again once it's finished, or click this icon again to turn off the repeat function.
Lastly, you can click the speaker icon on the right to mute or unmute the sound, or move your mouse cursor over it to make a volume slider appear. Click a point on the slider (or click and hold the mouse button on it and move your mouse around) to adjust the volume of the SoundCloud player.
If you'd like to say something about a track that you're currently listening to, click in the box below it labelled "Write a Comment" and type in what you want to say.
The unique thing about SoundCloud is that comments about a track are tied to a specific part of that track. For example, you can comment on what some particular lyrics in a song make you feel, or on a point made in a news program or advice seminar that you find interesting.
Your profile picture will appear at the point in the track where your comment will be made; click and hold the mouse button on it, and then move your mouse around to change where your comment will be placed. Press the "Enter" key when you're ready to post your comment.
There are a few other things that you can do when listening to music on SoundCloud.
Click Like to show appreciation for this track; this will also add this track to your Collection, so you can quickly find it and listen to it again whenever you like.
Click Repost to place a copy of this track on your profile page, and on the home page of anyone who is following you. This is an easy way to bring more attention to tracks that you like!
Click Add to Playlist to add this track to an existing playlist, or to create a new playlist that includes this track. Our SoundCloud Playlists tutorial will go over this process in more detail.
Click Share to spread this track to other people. You can post a copy on your social media accounts (such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Google Plus), embed a copy into a page on your website, or send a copy to someone you know on SoundCloud.
Depending on the track, there may be an additional link here that allows you to download the track, either directly from SoundCloud or from a third-party service. We'll explain more in our How to Download Music from SoundCloud tutorial here.
That's how to listen to music on SoundCloud, and a few different things that you can do while doing so. Happy listening!
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