Mixcloud.com is a social networking site that offers thousands of radio shows, podcasts and DJ mix sets uploaded by individuals and music publishers. The site refers to itself as “the YouTube of radio”, as all content is audio only. Users can search the site by cloudcasts (this is what the site calls individual files on the site), people, tags or artists. Users can also browse cloudcasts using categories such as Popular, This Week, Featured and Tags. The home page of the site shows a listing of the most popular cloudcasts as well as a list of the most recently uploaded. There are also many radio shows hosted on the site. Playback is entirely browser based – clicking on a cloudcast brings up a player in a separate browser window which shows a tracklist while playing the cloudcast.
Registered users can also maintain a profile on the site as well as upload music to the site. Registered users can choose their own sitename to host their files in the form mixcloud.com/sitename. Users can maintain a list of favorites, post messages to the Mixcloud activity stream and upload their own music, radio shows or DJ mixes. The site allows only MP3 files under 100MB to be uploaded (at least while the site is still in beta, which it was at time of review). Files should consist of multiple songs or talk radio type content, as individual songs are not accepted. A unique name can be assigned to any file the user uploads, and this is the name that will be used for generating search results.
London-based Mixcloud.com was launched in July 2008 by co-founders Nico Perez, Mikhil Shah and Mat Clayton.
Competition to Mixcloud.com comes from sites such as Play.FM, Last.fm and Pandora. Mixcloud offers a service very similar to these sites, but has a much smaller userbase. Mixcloud has become the radio site of choice in GB however, and continues to add new users. Mixcloud also offers talk radio as well as music.
The Mixcloud site has a very Web 2.0 look and feel. The site is quite responsive, and navigation is intuitive. The built in audio player works seamlessly, and music uploads are quite responsive as well. There is a convenient top menu bar for navigation, along with a prominent search bar for keyword searches. Advertising is displayed on the site, but it is relatively unobtrusive.
Registration to Mixcloud.com is free and is required to have favorites, send messages to the Mixcloud activity stream or upload music. The registration process asks for username, password, email address and sitename. Validation of the email address is required.
There is no premium membership offered to the site. It is unclear if there will be any paid services offered by the site after the beta period is over.
Mixcloud is recommended to music and talk radio lovers and content creators alike. For music and talk radio listeners, the site provides thousands of cloudcasts and radio shows. For content creators, the site is an ideal place to promote and host their work. The site is easy to use, has a dedicated userbase, and offers a good variety of genres and talk topics.