Friday, August 3, 2012


Coolest tool I've seen since Pinterest! MixCloud is a Web-based server (free! unlimited!) for your "radio shows" and podcasts. Of course, you don't HAVE to be a content-provider/deejay in order to enjoy the offerings of all its members! The music offerings alone seem incredibly rich. But the applications for this unique cloud-based media server site also include talk radio/podcasting, documentary/news, politics, and education.

The site is just as easy to navigate for producers as it is for listeners. Users develop a unique profile and have access to group functions that allow each to affiliate with like-minded souls and to share similar content easily in a social media stream model.

In comparison to i-Tunes, MixCloud is a Web-based software environment that does not require a client-side application (download/install) on the user's device (although there is an app for mobile devices). Content is entirely free unlike at i-Tunes, which offers a mix of free and billable content (which requires a credit card affiliation with each i-Tunes account).

Although MixCloud content is free like YouTube's, here the radioshows are presented as one continuous file of presumably consistent quality. And—at this point anyway—the content is audio only. YouTube offers the ability to create video lists with continuous play that operate somewhat like a "radio show" but unless they were all produced by the same content provider, playback quality can vary widely and playback can involve some tedious monitoring. With MixCloud, the listener simply hits the play button and sits back to enjoy the entirety of the radio show/podcast.

The environment at MixCloud is ripe for use in e-learning. And not just for course delivery! I imagine a class in which students are asked to produce their own content in assessment of their learning. The MixCloud venue is the most open, democratic and free that I've seen since YouTube launched, with a little tighter structure holding the content together in simple, easily navigable formats (groups and categories).

I plan to do something fun with MixCloud. I don't know what yet, but when I do, you'll be the first to know!

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