This is a rather more simple and short post than part one.

Huffduffer

I was well pleased when I found this, a few years back. Plenty of social elements to it, the one big design difference to YouTube is that Huffduffer doesn’t host audio, just links. In time it has tended towards geeky stuff, with the recorded lecture and two-guys-talking-and-laughing-podcast format dominating. However there is plenty of good, diverse stuff there, and the twitter feed is a nice discovery tool.

Said.fm

Not quite new on the stage but seemingly everywhere all of a sudden. Said.fm goes down the recommendation route, so again it’s not place to post your own content, rather it’s a place to discover established outlets. So far I’ve only found either stuff I know or stuff I don’t want to waste any more time on, but I will keep checking back for fresher stuff. On the whole, more about curation than creation or sharing.

Audioboo

All about creation. It’s perhaps a mixed blessing that Audioboo is seen as audio-tweeting. It’s greatest asset has been some high-profile diversity – Stephen Fry, The British Library’s UK Soundmap, and in the past few weeks, Al Jazeera English. The five minute limit is not dissimilar to YouTube’s fifteen, and helps with audio. On the whole, it’s my favourite, as witnessed perhaps by my own boos and how my old boss uses it to host his podcast (intro by yours truly)! Bonus fun game: on the mobile app, chose “nearby boos”, and let the sounds of where you are mix with the sounds of where you are, shifted slightly in time and place. Really confusing if you’re, say, waiting for a train at Clapham Junction.

Soundcloud

I used to get confused between this and Mixcloud for the longest time. Soundcould is da biz when it comes to hosting content directly. That made it seem like a good podcasting platform, though this is only just at beta stage. Those podcasting platforms all seemed to having mutual favouriting and other social features, that never really did it for me. Didn’t help me discover new stuff. But I’m finding interesting audio on Soundcloud and I suspect it has the critical mass to push through. Not to the level of YouTube, for the reasons outlined in part 1, but still the main player.

Mixcloud

Apparently this has nothing to do with Soundcloud, despite how the names, functions, and visuals are all kinda similar. I’ve come across the odd interesting podcast here, but the almost overbearing emphasis is on music, making me feel like a dorky middle-class white boy hanging out with urban yoofs. Inadequate, in other words. So, no, I’m not terribly consumed by brand loyalty here.

MySpace

Lord only knows how this was seen as a social network. Apparently it was popular with US soldiers overseas, and other renowned communicators and community stalwarts. The newer styles of MySpace have really focussed on the players, and this is A Good Thing. Even I enjoy listening to music or poetry on MySpace. But I’d get a link there from eleswhere, listen to content on that one page, then leave. And of course download via Safari’s Activity window.

Blip.fm

They send me regular emails telling me I’m not using them. I signed up because James Cridland said something convincing about them. I’ve forgotten what that is, and what it does. Update: Just got a new password so could kick the tyres some more. Still lost.

Odeo.

Remember Odeo? They had ugly black and purple audio players that you could embed anywhere but seemed to make sharing and downloading tough, unless you had a website or blog. I guess I wasn’t the only one this left dumbfounded, as it tanked. The founder went on to do something called “Twitter“.

YouTube

See? YouTube is the YouTube of audio! No of course it isn’t, that doesn’t make sense. But it does seem like a dandy way of sharing audio, being familiar. But… the simplicity of YouTube is one-touch publishing from applications. If you’re up to using the web interface, you’re up to using Soundcloud or Audioboo. Just as a trial, I just now tried uploading a wav, which it did, and didn’t give an error… until I went to see it in the list of my videos, where it said couldn’t convert. You see, to use YouTube for audio, you still need to upload a video file, with something for the eyes. You then cede clarity as to sound quality. Well, it’s a video sharing site, not audio, so you can jam audio into it, but it’s not the best way.