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Jeremy Cherfas

So, farewell then, Clammr. And SoundCloud?

2 min read

Clammr was a service that enabled you to tweet little bits of audio. I signed up in the hope that I could use it to market my podcasts. In the end, I barely used it, because its audience didn’t seem to include people who wanted to listen to my stuff.

A couple of weeks ago I got an email

Dear Clammr Users:

It’s time for our team to move on to new adventures. We write to inform you that we will be shutting down the Clammr service at 11:59pm ET on 2 July 2017.

Thank you for all of the creativity and joy that you have shared with the world using Clammr. We’ve been inspired by the community every day and cherish having had the opportunity to get to know so many amazing and talented people.

We realize that some of you may wish to keep the Clammr clips you created. We have posted instructions with a hack on how to do that in Section XIX of the User Guide. In short, you need to take three steps (1) share the clip to twitter using the Clammr app; (2) go to twitter and copy the url of the tweet; (3) enter the url on a tweet-to-MP4 conversion site to generate an MP4 video file that you can download.

On the same day I saw a link to an item on Hacker News from someone at SoundCloud who was concerned that the company was in financial trouble, and wanted advice.

Once is coincidence

The HN article dated to a couple of weeks before the Clammr email, and I made a note to maybe write about it here, but I was in catch-up mode and the HN piece wasn’t signed. So, it slipped. Then Chris Aldrich linked to a piece in the New York Times announcing layoffs at SoundCloud. That offers a cloak of respectability to cover my schadenfreude.

I can see why people found SoundCloud attractive: in return for an easy audio life, you put your stuff behind bars, bars that prevented other people, like me, sharing it without jumping through an absurd number of hoops. Some of those people did the smart thing, and syndicated to SoundCloud from sites they controlled, but many, many did not. Too bad. I hope some of them are now thinking about securing the availability of their work.