updated 03:50 pm EST, Thu January 26, 2012
Seamless viewing expanded to iOS devices
SoundCloud has dropped Flash in favor of HTML5. The cloud-based social sound sharing service has added a widget which lets subscribers across multiple platforms leverage the app. Previously, while most Android users were fine, iPad and iPhone users were at a loss when they came across a song or sound sample using Adobe's plugin.
SoundCloud is a social audio platform which lets people create sounds and share them either them privately with their friends or publicly on blogs, sites, and social networks including Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and Foursquare. SoundCloud output can be accessed using the company's mobile apps or through third party offerings. While it can be used by anyone, it's increasingly being used by musicians as a way of giving away or sampling tracks and whole concerts.
In addition to supporting a broader base of customers' devices, the HTML5 widget offers some performance advantages over its Flash-based counterpart as well. Because it runs natively in the browser, it's more stable and suffers from fewer plugin-caused crashes. It's more efficient, requiring less memory and lower CPU draw. Also, because HTML5 is an open and genuinely universal standard, development of add-ins and add-ons moves faster.
Soundcloud claims that HTML5 support was the second-most requested enhancement from subscribers for its app. The first was iPad support, which the company began offering in October (free, App Store).
The new widget it is still just a beta. Consequently, SoundCloud has added some caveats for users. The widget has to be manually installed as a clean install, and not as an automatic update. It currently works only as an embed for websites and blogs.There are some issues with Internet Explorer. HTML5 is currently only supported for the standard waveform player, not the mini or artwork.