Why You Shouldn’t Use SoundCloud to Host a Music Portfolio
A music portfolio is all about wellharing your creations with the world. Whether it’s to attract potential employers or just for fun, a portfolio should always represent your music at its best. In addition to a nice looking website, you also need to think about sound quality. I’ve seen a lot of people use SoundCloud to host their music portfolio. This is something you should never do. Why? Because SoundCloud encodes all your music to 128kbps MP3 for streaming.
By today’s standards, 128kbps MP3 is pretty low quality. Spotify’s free tier streams at 160kbps for desktops, with the superior Ogg Vorbis codec. Spotify’s paid premium service can stream up to 320kbps Ogg Vorbis, which can be considered “transparent” for 99% of the population. Apple Music streams at 256kbps AAC, and TIDAL even streams lossless for $19.99/month. Meanwhile, even SoundCloud’s paid service streams at a measly 128kbps with an outdated codec.
A spectrogram is a visual representation of the spectrum of frequencies in a sound or other signal as they vary with time or some other variable.
Here’s a song I recently mixed, along with its spectrogram. Be aware the file size is approximately 40MB, so don’t stream it if you’re data-concious.