The idea of creating a separate space for cutting-edge development branded as Labs isn’t a new one, of course, mostly notably employed by Google. But in SoundCloud’s case it perhaps makes even greater sense since the service was originally targeted at music makers but is now aiming to be a much wider consumer play. Strapping on additional features that move too far away from its core proposition could, arguably, dilute SoundCloud’s brand. However, cordoning these off goes someway to mitigate this, while at the same time doesn’t discourage innovation.
Additionally, since Labs will feature projects from inside the company built using its API it will also act as an additional showcase for how third-parties can develop on top of SoundCloud in addition to the 150-strong app gallery on the main site.
To that end, four projects are currently housed at SoundCloud Labs. These are:
Social Unlock – a way to create a customised page to promote and stream sounds/tracks and then reward fans with a download when they share the link via Twitter.
Importer – the importer allows users to import tracks from a URL, via email or phone it in via their own private telephone number, negating the need for Internet access.
Google Apps Gmail Plugin – SoundCloud waveform players are automatically included for track and set links in received emails (currently for Google Apps accounts only)
Takes Questions – a simple, personalized audio Question & Answer feature – see our previous coverage.