So you’ve made a great new DJ mix and you want to get it online and out to the world. SoundCloud has been the number one choice for DJs, but the service is currently rejecting mixes upon uploading if they have material in them from copyright holders who have requested they do this, and it is also removing existing DJ mixes without warning.Because of these reasons, many DJs are abandoning the service. So where are they going? What mix hosting services are more DJ mix-friendly than SoundCloud? We thought we'd find out.
We've talked to DJs all over the world and compiled five services that could offer a viable alternative to SoundCloud. All the sites listed below welcome DJ mixes, and have not had multiple reports of DJ mixes being rejected/removed. Being dedicated to DJs, these sites seem prepared to fight harder for the art of the DJ mix and to keep your tunes up there. At least if you choose a service that's specifically designed for DJ mixes you might get better treatment should your mix fall foul of somebody or other, but of course there are no guarantees that any online service won't come up against the same problems SoundCloud has. It's a risk you take when using a service like this.
Update: there were originally five sites here. One, letsmix.com, closed at the start of Jan 2012.
Our four picks...
They say: Mixcloud is re-thinking radio. Listen to great radio shows, Podcasts and DJ mix sets on-demand. Upload and promote your own Cloudcast for free.
We say: While not exclusively dance mixes, this popular and attractive site is packed with them, and welcomes DJs and DJ mixes with open arms. They claim to take all the necessary steps to remain a legal service. Tracklistings necessary, and downloads prohibited.
You say: I have my mixes on both SoundCloud and Mixcloud. Personally I think the latter gives the listener a far superior experience – with a stand-alone player and tracklistings. However 10x as many people have listened to the same mix on Soundcloud... - Digitall DJ
Downloads: No • Widget: Yes • Free: Yes
They say: Listen to DJ mixes, upload DJ mixes, DJ mixtapes. Mixcrate is a music distribution platform that enables DJ artists and their fans to discover and share mixsets for the purpose of promoting DJs and their mixes.
We say: Dedicated DJ service with a good-looking site and nice player, plus all the modern sharing features. Unlimited uploads. Their forward-thinking upload policy actually defines what they consider a DJ mix to be, so you know what's acceptable to them. (I tried this service out, uploading my recent Sunset Rocks Spring 2011 Mix" here - check it out).
You say: Knowing that Mixcrate holds probably hundreds, thousands or even more DJs within its website, it's real assuring and flattering to receive love for my mixtapes. I was real surprised catching my tape featured in the "Picks of the Week" section. What made it even more fulfilling was that an actual member of the Mixcrate Crew did a review and entered me in. Very appreciative of the support. - DJ Eufonik
Downloads: Yes • Widget: No • Free: Yes
They say: Mix.dj is a DJ community that provides an exciting music discovery experience for fans. The Mix.dj service embraces DJ mixes to help sell the producer's [sic] individual tracks used inside each DJ mix. Our DJs use the best streaming radio and social network technologies to promote their DJ mixes around the world.
We say: Not as slick as some of the above, this DJ mix service is nonetheless technically capable, with an iPhone streaming app too. It's ad supported and you pay for a premium service above 500MB of storage. The paid-for option won't protect you if they decide to take your mix down for any reason, though.
You say: I’m using Mix.dj to upload my mixes. It’s an assload of work to upload them there (you have to provide a playlist for every single mix and you can’t just copy and paste your whole tracklist, because each track number, artist, title and record label requires a new field) and if you listen to the mixes without being logged in, you hear a "mix.dj" namedrop from time to time, but so far I’m far from being disappointed with it. - Psychofrakulator
Downloads: Yes • Widget: No • Free? Yes [limited]
They say: Download thousands of free DJ mixes and DJ tracks from the internet's largest free music community. DJs can upload and share your mixes with the world for free.
We say: Established and popular DJ mix site, with forum, widgets and sharing, and a large number of mixes sorted into just about every flavour of dance. Has had a design overhaul but still not visually or technically as slick as the best sites here.
You say: I like House-mixes.com, but to download mixes you have to be a member first." - Indigo Deville
Downloads: Yes • Widget: Yes • Free: Yes
Even if a site says it's for DJ mixes or is happy to tolerate them, and even if a site claims it pays its dues and is 100% legal, every single one of these has some line somewhere about you being responsible for the copyright in any material you upload, or that they reserve the right to remove your mix without warning or comeback - we've checked. If you want to retain in as full as possible control over your mixes, setting up your own site remains the only true way of doing so.
But if you can't get your mixes onto SoundCloud any more, or you've had them removed, or you're now too worried to use their service for fear of it happening to you too, at least you know there are alternatives out there that are ready to welcome you into the fold. Just make sure you keep copies of the mixes themselves, and where you've posted widgets and so on, so you can go and make repairs should your mix unexpectedly disappear someday.
A quick word about the rest. There are dozens of other sites where you can host DJ mixes. Sites like PodOmatic and Official.fm are great to use and have plenty of DJ mixes on them, but they don't encourage DJs to use them, and so aren't likely to try and defend your corner if push comes to shove - in these respects, they're no better than SoundCloud.
And frankly, most of the scores of others will make you look bad. Poor design, non-existent or vague terms and conditions, nothing appealing about the mixes already there, no social features, always having public server issues, appealing for funds to keep going, nothing new uploaded in the last year... do you really want to be associated with this type of site? Of course, if there are any good services you feel we've missed - do let us know.
Where do you host your DJ mixes? Do you use a service like this or do you prefer to use your own website? Or are you a happy SoundCloud user wondering what all the fuss is about? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.