Last week, Soundcloud.com laid off 40% of its workforce — 173 of its 420 employees. Despite having over 175 million users in 2014 (the last year the company released numbers for), the audio hosting website has struggled to find a profitable business model. In 2015, it lost over $50 million. Spotify and Twitter flirted with the idea of acquiring Soundcloud, but neither deal materialized; instead, SiriusXM invested in the company.
I am not in the business of speculating about the future of tech companies. However, so many radio stations use Soundcloud as a means of sharing audio clips — from morning show bits to artist interviews — that I think it’s worth issuing a warning: If your station has important audio files hosted on Soundcloud, make sure that you have them backed up on a local hard drive.
Some tracks can be downloaded by logging into Soundcloud and clicking the small ‘Download’ button beneath the track itself. However, not all tracks are downloadable directly from Soundcloud; it depends on the settings of the user who uploaded the track.
If you don’t see a ‘Download’ button beneath the track, you can use a third party website to download it. This usually involves copying the URL of the track you want to download, pasting it into the other website, and clicking a button to grab the clip. I have found mixed results with these third party sites, but here are a few that worked for me:
Another option is to install an extension in your web browser that allows you to download Soundcloud tracks. For example, the Soundcloud Downloader Free extension for Google Chrome adds a ‘Download’ button beneath Soundcloud tracks to make it easy to back up your files.
I can’t predict what will happen to Soundcloud, but you can protect your radio station from any unpleasant surprises by taking some time to back up all of your Soundcloud tracks today.
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