Audio file sharing on the Web may be useful; safety and privacy issues

Learning rating

Community rating

Based on 5 reviews

Privacy rating

Expert evaluation by Common Sense



Subjects & Skills

Arts, Communication & Collaboration, Creativity

Great for

Creating Media, Social Media

Price: Free, Paid
Platforms: Web

Pros: A great resource for students already engaged in audio creation, and for sharing audio projects or assessments.

Cons: Not the best creation tool -- better for sharing; lots of safety and privacy issues for kids.

Bottom Line: Teachers looking to have students share digital audio creations may find SoundCloud very useful, but not all content on the site is school-appropriate.

While music teachers will be most apt to use SoundCloud, content-area teachers may find some use for it as well, especially when assigning audio-based projects. Students may find SoundCloud a simple way to save and share larger audio projects with teachers or classmates. Also, teachers of English-language learners may find SoundCloud useful for helping students speak and listen to themselves as part of pronunciation and reading fluency practice. While SoundCloud is not designed specifically for learning, teachers may find other creative uses for saving and sharing audio files in the cloud.

SoundCloud is a listening and sharing platform for uploading streamable audio files to the Web -- like the YouTube of audio. And as with YouTube, content varies greatly. From amateur to professional, users include musicians of every genre, comedians, spoken-word artists, podcasters, voice-over artists, teachers, and newscasters, among many others.

All content is user-created, so it's important for teachers to keep an eye on student use. Also, give consideration to what students may decide to upload. Some students may not want to join (or their parents might not want them to), given the social-media integration and how much user information the site shares with third parties.

SoundCloud can work as both a classroom tool and as a creative outlet for teens, although it isn't perfect for either purpose. Less creation tool and more sharing platform, SoundCloud may work well for some classroom purposes, like uploading and sharing podcasts. However, most teachers will find SoundCloud lacking in a few important areas. First and foremost, SoundCloud would work better in the classroom with greater privacy controls and the ability for teachers to create closed networks. Also, a recording platform with some basic editing tools might appeal to teachers and students who don't want to navigate between a separate audio-creation app (like GarageBand) and SoundCloud's sharing platform.

Learning Rating

Overall Rating

Teens into audio creation will love exploring the vast selection of tracks, as well as sharing their own work. However, teens who only want to listen may like Pandora or Spotify more.


Many kids and teens will find the site useful as a way to share and present audio projects, or to search for new ideas. However, while it's a great sharing tool, SoundCloud isn't the best option for audio creation.


The site is easy to navigate, and file uploads are simple; however, some privacy settings aren't easy to manage. Most help topics are geared toward consumers and may or may not be helpful for kids.

Common Sense reviewer
Jeff Knutson
Jeff Knutson Senior Producer & Content Strategist, Education

Community Rating

This site has helped me and my music students interact with each other

in my opinion, this website is great for young artist or learners, like i said it's easy to find work, and my students most of the time are very fond of it

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Privacy Rating

Data Safety How safe is this product?

  • Users can interact with trusted users.
  • Personal information can be displayed publicly.
  • User-created content is not filtered for personal information before being made publicly visible.

Data Rights What rights do I have to the data?

  • Users can create or upload content.
  • Processes to access or review user data are available.
  • Processes to modify data are available for authorized users.

Ads & Tracking Are there advertisements or tracking?

  • Unclear whether personal information are shared for third-party marketing.
  • Traditional or contextual advertisements are displayed.
  • Personalised advertising is displayed.

Continue reading about this tool's privacy practices, including data collection, sharing, and security.

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