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SoundCloud unveiled the next version of its service at a press event in San Francisco Wednesday, which was launched in private beta at the event. The relaunch aims to put a bigger emphasis on social sharing, including social notifications. SoundCloud also revamped search and discoverability.
SoundCloud CEO Alexander Ljung demonstrated real-time notifications by recording a sound via the company’s iPhone app, only to have it immediately show up in the site. SoundCloud CTO Eric Wahlforss explained that all activity is indexed in real time, making it searchable right away. “This is a complete rewrite of our Web app,” he said, adding that it will enable the company to launch a number of additional features in the near future.
Ljung explained that the company released the new version early in private beta to get SoundCloud’s users involved in the development. People can sign up for the private beta invite list at Next.SoundCloud.com, and the company will send out 10,000 invites this week. Additionally, every participant of SoundCloud’s upcoming world-wide meetup day will receive an invite.
One other feature launched Wednesday is continuous play across the entire Web app, making it possible to play a sound while leaving the page it is hosted on. The site’s player stays in the background, but offers keyboard shortcuts, so users can pause and continue playback anywhere with the press of a button.
SoundCloud has been quickly growing in recent months to the size of 15 million users. Ljung said that the goal of the relaunch is to bring SoundCloud to the rest of the world. “We think of this as unmuting the web,” he said.
Check out first screenshots of the new web app below: