Monthly Archives: February 2012

Jane Fun Friday: Meet Paul Osman

Let’s give a warm welcome and high five to Paul Osman, Developer Evangelist at SoundCloud who hails from Toronto! He’s here to help and inspire our awesome developer community to build neat projects on the web using the SoundCloud API.

Hello! Thanks for doing this interview. Can you introduce yourself?
For sure! I’m Paul Osman, a hacker who hails from Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

First, can you take a minute and let us know what you do at SoundCloud?

I’ve just joined the Platform Team as a Developer Evangelist. That means I’ll be working with our developer community to help make sure our platform meets their needs as much as possible. I’ll be taking care of documentation, some of our client API wrapper libraries, coming up with cool hack ideas and generally trying to be helpful.

You are working with our Platforms team in San Francisco but will be working from Toronto, correct? What do you love most about Toronto?

That’s right, we now have a Toronto office that consists of me and my cat :) There are so many things to love about Toronto. If I had to pin it down to one thing, I would say that it’s the neighbourhoods. Toronto does a great job blending commercial and residential areas in a way that seems really natural. One moment you’ll be on a busy street with lots of shops, restaurants and cafés, then you’ll turn a corner and be on a quiet tree lined street with gorgeous Victorian houses.

This is a question I always love asking – How did you get introduced to the ‘Cloud?
It was a few years ago. I remember I started seeing the distinctive waveform player all over the place (on music blogs mostly) and decided to check it out. I saw that a few people I knew had already uploaded sounds so I started following them and I’ve been hooked ever since!

And this is an easy one – What are your favorite things about working at SoundCloud so far?

I’ve got the best job in the world because I get to work with like minded hackers and see all the great stuff people build with our platform. It’s really exciting to see how people are coming up with new ways to use sound on the web.

At the moment, what are your favorite sounds on the ‘Cloud?
There are a few standards that I follow, for example here’s one of my favourite Four Tet albums:

Also, there’s a British band called Marconi Union who have composed what is apparently the most relaxing song in the world. Great background music for coding!

Lastly, do you have any fun facts you can tell us about?

I’m generally a pretty relaxed person, but for some reason I get really obsessive about angles in my workspaces. I can’t work if things aren’t at least mostly at right angles. I have to have everything on my desk arranged a specific way and I need to have all the windows in my desktops arranged a certain way, otherwise I get all distracted.

Nice! Where can we find you on the web?
Twitter: http://twitter.com/paulosman
Github: http://github.com/paulosman
Quora: http://quora.com/paul-osman
Stack Overflow: http://stackoverflow.com/users/195977/paul-osman

And my personal blog: http://paulosman.me/

Thanks Paul!<

Ben SoundCloud Voices

SoundCloud Voices is a weekly Community feature focusing on new spoken word creators found on SoundCloud. It might be a podcast, radio show, audio book, interview, audio messages, a poem, anything! Keep an eye out every Thursday for a new post.

This week on SoundCloud Voices we take a look (and listen) to a selection of authors who are using SoundCloud to promote newly released books. Clay Johnson, Barantunde Thurston and Dylan Ratigan have all released books recently and are currently out on the road promoting them. Here’s how they are using SoundCloud.

Firstly Clay Johnson, author of Information Diet, a book about consuming information in a healthy way.  Healthy information consumption habits are about more than productivity and efficiency. They’re about your personal health, and the health of society. Just as junk food can lead to obesity, junk information can lead to new forms of ignorance.  The book explains the role of information throughout history and why following Clay’s prescribed diet it essential is today’s information age.  He’s been using SoundCloud to post interviews he’s made on various radio shows.  Take a listen below and learn more!

Next up is Baratunde Thurston, who is Director of digital at the brilliant The Onion and co founded the black political blog, Jack and Jill Politics.  He has recently released a book called How to be Black which takes a look at humorous look at the modern day views and opinions on race and racial politics, essentially he explains how to be black using stories and experiences from himself and family.  Chapters include “How to be the Black Friend” and “How to speak for all black people”.  Currently on a promotional book tour he’s been using the SoundCloud iPhone app to record a “tourcast” giving updates and comments on the latest goings on as he travels across America. Take a listen to his post on Blackentine’s Day!

And last but not least is Mr Dylan Ratigan.  Long term SoundClouder and vocal political economist, Dylan has recently released a book called Greedy Bastards which has a subtitle that perfectly summarises the focus of the book – How can we stop corporate communists, bankers and other vampires from sucking America dry.  In alignment to this book, Dylan has continued to make his brilliant podcast but this time calling it Greedy Bastards Antidote – so essentially its a range of podcasts featuring guests and experts to discuss ways to stop solve the broken systems that have developed the current financial crisis.  Take a listen to episode 2 where Dylan and his guest, Dr Jeffrey Brenner, discuss healthcare.

If you are interested in trying out SoundCloud as a spoken word podcast platform, you can sign up for via this form. Successful candidates will be emailed with further details.

Edward Found Sounds: Animal Love

Found Sounds is a SoundCloud community feature focusing on some of the most weird and wonderful sounds that can be found on SoundCloud. Count on new installments with some of our favorite sounds each Tuesday!

It is the day of Saint Valentine, a day to cherish those we love and let it be known. Love is a universal language, spoken by humans and by animals. This week in Found Sounds we’re not going to get all soppy on you, we’re going to take a listen, and learn how it’s done in the animal kingdom. This week in Found Sounds we’ll be exploring the sounds of animal mating calls, the chat up lines and the woo’ing that goes on on Valentines day in the wild.

How would the story of “The Princess and the Frog” sound in real life? Let’s listen to those croaky creatures call out to their princess.

Some of the wild’s most vicious creatures have their soft side too! Caught in Bradenton, Florida, Bob Duthie recorded the sounds of an aligator mating call.

Now here’s something I bet you didn’t expect to stumble across today, this week, or even this year. The final mating call is from the friendly badger.

We hope this Valentines we were able to entertain you with the stranger side of love. Whoever you’re spending your day with, remember at least you’ll be treated with wine and chocolate rather than these sounds of the wild!

That’s all for this week’s Found Sounds! Tune in next week for more crazy sounds from the ‘Cloud.