As far as I can remember, no one in my circle of acquaintance ever talked about SoundCloud. They just started using it. The concept is similar to YouTube (uploading media, sharing, embedding, commenting, etc.) but it’s optimized for sound. It’s a great resource for composers, performers, and presenters, whether they’re emerging or established. The site is transparent to its purpose. It never gets in the way.
It’s free to use. (There are premium features, but you wouldn’t need those until you’re thoroughly caught in its web.) The mobile apps for iOS and Android are great.
One of the best things about this setup is that you can discover the things you weren’t looking for. The artists whose work interests you don’t have to keep promoting themselves to be heard. If you follow them, anything new they put up will show up in your feed. It’s more like Twitter than Facebook, in that you follow people, and they can follow you back or not. It’s also useful to see who the people you follow are following.
Here are a few tracks that showed up in my feed recently that I’m very glad to have found. Click on the info button on the right to link to the track or profile page.
There’s nothing to stop you from plunging in and having your own look around, or, if you’re a musician, uploading your own sound files and making use of them however you like. These are the accounts that I follow. (My own account won’t be interesting beyond that at this point. I’m not planning to upload any files as soundexpanse, except maybe an interview now and then.) Here’s a brief list of some interesting, active accounts to get you started. These were some of the biggest surprises to me, in either making work readily available that I knew I was interested in, or for drawing me into sound worlds that I hadn’t known before.