Dave What you always wanted to know about Privately Sharing your music (and weren't afraid to ask)

SoundCloud is great for putting up tracks and sharing them across the web. But sometimes you want a little more privacy right? You want to send your music to a journalist or pitch some tracks to a music supervisor. Or maybe you’ve got an unfinished track that you need your vocalist to hear but certainly isn’t ready for primetime.

supermegasendfile

And most of the ways people currently use to share music privately are broken, cumbersome or plain ugly. FTP is fiddly and long. And generic file sharing services mean that the recipient sit through spammy ads, whilst waiting for the link to even become active. These links aren’t secure either, often expire and can hide viruses. Not nice!

SoundCloud is easy for the recipient, easy on the eye and let’s your music take center stage. And of course, we can also help you keep it private and secure.

HOW DO I SHARE A TRACK PRIVATELY?

1. Upload your release

If you want to send a release, showreel or playlist then upload all the tracks at the same time. This will create a ‘set’. Complete as much or as little metadata you want. The great thing about using SoundCloud is that you’re not just sending files, you’re creating a beautiful page on the web that can include cover artwork, video links and full descriptions or promo text.

2. Mark as ‘Private’

This will make the track completely private and secure. It won’t show up on your public SoundCloud page and can’t be searched for either. No one can get to the track unless you have given them access.

3. Select who has access

There are 4 different ways that you can give people access to the track or set that you just created.

i. add their email address(es)
ii. add their SoundCloud username(s)
iii. add a previously created Contact List
iv. create a ‘secret link’

SoundCloud Private Sharing

4. Mark the track for download

Now you can decide if you want the track(s) to be downloadable by the recipient or if you want to give them streaming access only. If you mark as downloadable the recipient can access the original file (WAV, MP3, AIFF etc) as well as the preview quality stream that SoundCloud creates.

HOW WILL THE RECIPIENT GET THE TRACK(S)?

Once you have given someone access to the track they will receive an email notification that you have shared the track(s) with them. Inside the email there is a unique link that takes them directly to the track page that you created on SoundCloud that includes all the information you added. They can also download the original artwork or view any video links that you included.

If you marked the track for download then they simply click to get the download. There are also direct download links in the email notification (they’ll need to be logged in to download of course).

email notification

DOES THE RECIPIENT HAVE TO SIGN UP?

Yes, and no. If the person you’re sending music to doesn’t already have an account then we automatically create them a temporary account and all they need to do is put in a password, known only to them. This has to be done in order to make sure your track is only available to those you’ve given access. But it’s an extremely quick process for the recipient and they don’t have to create a full account on SoundCloud or spend anytime inputting their details. Also, they can use this same password the next time you send them a track.

signup to get track

If you want still want your tracks to be private but you don’t need this top level of security then you should use our ‘Secret Link’ feature which is available for anyone with a premium account.

YOU MENTIONED IT WAS SECURE?

Yes, you control exactly who has access to which tracks. Recipients are sent a unique link which is tied to their own account. The link is secure and can’t be accessed by anyone else unless they also know that persons account details. You’re also able to see stats on your track. How many plays or download it has had and even who listened when.

Of course no audio on the web is completely secure. But we make it as secure as possible without making the user experience totally suck. And if you’re only making a stream available this is a lower MP3 quality file encoded at 128kbps.

If you have any questions on using SoundCloud for private sharing then please feel free to get in touch or leave comments below.

  • http://dev.null.org/acb/ acb

    The Secret Link is particularly useful; by posting a secret link, you can control sharing by the privacy settings of the service you post it to (i.e., Facebook, LiveJournal, &c.).

  • http://dev.null.org/acb/ acb

    The Secret Link is particularly useful; by posting a secret link, you can control sharing by the privacy settings of the service you post it to (i.e., Facebook, LiveJournal, &c.).

  • outline4

    is there a way to control access to a set?
    or do I have to grant access to each song – one by one?

  • http://david-noel.com David Noël

    Of course you can, click the “pen” icon of the set to access the settings,
    make it private and you can select who has access, just like for tracks.

  • outline4

    hi noel,
    thanks for your answer.
    what I meant is: can you override each song settings with a set…
    let's say I have 4 tracks and I want to share them with somebody. at the moment I have to edit each track and grant access from there.
    is there a way to batch select songs and change multiple rights at once?

  • http://david-noel.com David Noël

    Not really, you'd need to assemble these four tracks to one set and share it
    via the set. Or you need to do it independently for each track.

  • outline4

    that's sad…
    but I guess this will be available in the future…
    cheers
    stefan

  • Hagopm

    would also be good if u could send a private download link to somebody for a tune u have set to stream only

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  • Ryan

    Is there a way to save default settings for uploading a file, so that I don't have to set every upload to private, secret link, etc. EVERY time I want to send something?

  • http://twitter.com/timetexture Leon Milo

    Hi,
    I just uploaded a private track and sent the link via email to a couple of colleagues. I wan tot keep it private until the release in a 2 days. Going back to my soundcloud dashboard, it is nowhere to be found. Can I not find it again, send it to others or change the permissions?

    Thank you very much, Leon Milo.
    http://soundcloud.com/leonmilo

  • http://david-noel.com David Noël

    The Dashboard will only show you tracks from people you follow. To see your
    own tracks, go to: http://soundcloud.com/you/tracks

  • lindsayluv

    how do I now make the track UN-Private- i didnt mean for it to be private in the first place!

  • http://david-noel.com David Noël

    Go to your track settings: pen icon above the waveform and change to public

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  • Adrien

    I made the track private, but now I want to invite more people to the list of people who have access. How can I do this?

  • http://david-noel.com David Noël

    Click the edit button above the waveform (pen icon)

  • Bernard

    ive made my track private but there doesnt seem to be any confirmation that the people ive granted access to were sent an email notifying them of it. are these emails sent automatically without letting you know that soundcloud have done so?

  • Carol Jones

    Hi, I have found it a bit awkward to put the track over to facebook. Downloaded it onto Soundcloud ok but some of my friends say they can get on the page where the track is and it shows no tracks (or shows 1 and they cant play it.) Maybe its something I have missed – perhaps due to opting for “private” when I downloaded it?

  • Sara

    Can someone posting music on soundcloud see your name if you're not logged in?

  • http://www.myspace.com/djrashah Rashah Petrovici

    Thank you guys, soundcloud was a good change for me, i love it ! The help info is short and clear , best!

  • djjfx

    How do I change my tracks to stream (publicly) only so they are not available for public download?

  • http://www.planetgong.nl Rhianon

    Hi, I cant see where to “login below” so excuse the anom post. In short I want to send out a podcast to my 1000 newsletter subscribers. Last time I did this I uploaded the track publicly and by the time my newsletter went out I almost reached my max 1000 download limit thus annoying my subscribers. So my question. Can I create the secret link for my newsletter – then if a day later I change to public – will the secret link still work?
    Thanks for advice

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