A Short Rant about SoundCloud.

SoundCloudFor years SoundCloud’s app for Facebook pages, which enables page owners to effectively embed their soundcloud content, has been … down. Doesn’t work. No resolution timeframe. Oh well.

In 2011, SoundCloud announced a new player for web developers to embed music from their service. With the new player came standards-compliance with HTML5 (hallelujah), and a loss of customizability (we can no longer specify the colours so it coordinates with our sites). The company has been promising a “dark theme” HTML 5 player so that their audio players aren’t ugly on sites like this one. Still nothing. Seriously, I just want a colour scheme suitable for dark sites. Case in point: have a look at those visually jarring white squares on the OM/ORP sets page. It’s so ugly that it’s part of the reason this site still hasn’t come out of beta.

Meanwhile SoundCloud’s own web site still serves many pages in their old theme. The transition to “new SoundCloud” began well over six months ago. This has been going on long enough, guys. It’s time to abandon the old, and bring full functionality to the new.

I still use a free, no-frills SoundCloud account. Until I see issues resolved for webmasters and Facebook page owners, I will remain dubious of their value as an audio hosting service. In fact, SoundCloud’s greatest asset has long been their easily embeddable and customizable player. I’m quite happy to keep my free account and host my own audio, thank you very much. And I will continue to wait for a SoundCloud-style player for WordPress.

SoundCloud: you’re so close to being really great. Please clean up your messes before you try to move forward.

Forcing Facebook to Refresh its Cached Previews

Facebook iconAfter some searching, I discovered (thanks to Barbarian Blog) that it is possible to get Facebook to update the text excerpt and preview icon from shared web links by going to the following page:


… just enter your URL, and any Facebook entries pointing to the link will be updated with new content.

Site Status … When can we launch?

There are only a few things left to finish up before juggernautmusic.com is ready to launch. We could launch today, but I feel that the site isn’t quite feature-complete. Here’s what we still have to do (roughly in order of priority)

  1. Wordpress LogoUpdate to WordPress 3.5.
    The new version offers lots of nice new features. It’s already in place at the test site, and once I test the new version of the twenty eleven theme with the child “jugger” theme we’ve created, and all the plug-ins we’re using, the update will be a go. Of course, in the interest of perfection, this means we must…

  2. Soundcloud "cloud" logoManually fix all existing SoundCloud references on the site to correspond with the new WordPress oEmbed methodology.
    If we want to do something with all that audio en masse in the future, it’s probably for the best if the embedding method is consistent.

  3. Audio WaveformDatabase-driven audio.
    The “Om Sets” page is a manually created table – some custom coding will be required to tag all of the audio resources so that it is automatically delivered and formatted correctly. Also, the “Audio” page is nothing more than posts that are in the “audio” category. We’ve been diligently adding that category to all posts that include music, but the delivery is lackluster.
    I want the “Audio” menu item to bring users to a page, which includes a slick table of all audio, automatically including every snippet that is posted. Sorted by artist for good measure. The plug-ins I’ve been investigating are “File Gallery” and “Media Library Assistant” although “Media Downloader” looks like it could be interesting.
    Including SoundCloud (or other third-party) hosted audio as part of the same schema would be a bit tricky, so we might have to limit this feature to locally-hosted audio. But for an audio-centric site, I maintain that third-party content hosting is generally a bad idea.

  4. Get Info IconFix the awkward handling of category descriptions.
    Presently category descriptions allow for a quick artist bio or sub-blog description. I have installed a plug-in to allow HTML within this field – a must-have for the likes of Boots Boogie’s bio, where I used the “small” tag so that, god willing, there is still room on the page for the first post.
    I’m thinking that this should somehow find its way into the sidebar. This will also call for some custom coding, but the result should be much prettier than the current implementation.

  5. Document IconMake sidebar links look clickable. The coloured text is not enough! Things like “View The Calendar” and “About Us” just don’t look like actual links where they are. Icons or buttons are required.

  6. A more distinctive font for article headers would be nice.
  7. That standard helvetica-ish thing looks just so … vanilla. Should be an easy fix, but I have to research to find either a pretty standard font or else something that can be delivered very quickly.

  8. iPhone IconMake site look acceptable on iPhone which presently looks pretty crappy – also need to check it out on Android and Windows phones. The “WPTouch” plug-in looks like a pretty cool option – need to test. Site looks pretty decent on iPad though.

  9. Tidy up the sharing buttons at the bottom of each post. I’d like to have a single “share” button which pops up a little AJAX window with Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter etc.


Any ideas / assistance here would really be appreciated. Thanks to all the web developers who have helped me so far, and any further advice would be very much appreciated. I’ll try to provide updates as I make progress.

Friends and Idols: A SoundCloud Set

Continuing to experiment with the new SoundCloud. I created a set with a few of my tracks in it alongside some friends’ and acquantainces’ tracks (and a couple mixes). Suddenly my play counts have skyrocketed (by the count on the player) although the stats page doesn’t reflect it yet. Perhaps SoundCloud is recommending the set, or tracks within it, as being related to other tracks they may be listening to. In any case this probably gets more plays for everybody who’s included.

So far it includes tracks from Steve Cowan (i.e. me – “nebula”), Arthur Oskan, E.R.A., Hawkeye and Cosmosuave, plus sets from Mike Gibbs and Sarah Shaw-Cowan. A good cross-section of Friends and Idols.

[update 2012-12-20: added two tracks by Flim]

Here’s the set. I will likely continue to add to it.

Marko Fürstenberg – morning deep techno set for ya

Actually I was just testing out some parameters on the player, while listening at the same time to this set that SoundCloud thought I would like. I will concede: SoundCloud was bang on.

So I’m really trying hard to embrace the new SoundCloud. To me it is now geared more toward listeners than to contributors. I don’t think I hate it, but to me it seems like a departure from the artist-centric resource I perceived SoundCloud’s original vision to be. To remain afloat we must adapt, however, which is why I can easily forgive them.  Besides, they have obviously coded in some psychic powers, because it picked exactly what I wanted to hear before I even knew it myself.

Marko Fürstenberg graphicAnyway – have a listen to Marko Fürstenberg throwin’ down some pretty damn fine deep techno for Das Kraftfuttermischwerk, a “German based blog with the thematic focus of visual art, culture and music – especially electronic music”.

Oh, and good morning. Put your dancing slippers on, go make yourself a drink, turn up the volume and clean the house. The track listing can be found here:



Better throw this one in as well…