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July 7, 2018

How to download songs from SoundCloud

by John_A

Music discovery is a hot term these days, and while platforms like Spotify and Apple Music offer ways to find you new music to fall in love with, they tend to lean toward established artists. SoundCloud, on the other hand, is home to a ton of up-and-coming artists who use the platform to distribute their work. If you’re a fan of electronic music or are looking to dive deeper into a given subgenre, this is the way to do it.

But what do you do once you have found a new favorite artist and want to add their music to your collection? SoundCloud offers apps on various platforms, but it isn’t always convenient to hop from app to app depending on what you want to hear. That is why you’ll probably find yourself wanting to download tracks, and we’re here to help you do just that.

The official way to download songs from SoundCloud

If you’re looking at this guide, chances are good that you’re already aware that there is an official way to download tracks from SoundCloud, albeit with some limitations. On the off chance that you weren’t aware, downloading tracks using the official, SoundCloud-sanctioned method is incredibly easy.

Simply look below the track you’re playing, in the same area that you would go to comment on the track. On some tracks, you will see a button here marked “Download.” Just click that and you’re good to go.

This is the only way SoundCloud intends for users to download tracks, but you’ll notice that not all tracks can be downloaded. This is by design, as artists have the option to allow or disallow downloading of their tracks. You’ll also notice that you can only download one track at a time — downloading entire playlists isn’t an option.

The unofficial way to download songs from SoundCloud

If the tracks you’re looking to download aren’t available for download directly from the SoundCloud website, you’ll need to turn to alternative methods. This isn’t endorsed by SoundCloud and is actually forbidden in the company’s terms of use. To date, it doesn’t seem that the company has banned users for downloading via third-party means but do be aware that it isn’t officially supported.

Download via a browser extension

The simplest way to download from SoundCloud is to use a browser extension. There are a few out there, but we like SoundCloud Downloader Free for Chrome or SCDL SoundCloud Downloader for Firefox. The instructions here will be for Chrome since it’s so popular, but the steps are very similar for Firefox.

Step one: Install the SoundCloud Downloader Free extension for Chrome (or SCDL SoundCloud Downloader for Firefox).

Step two: Find a track you want to download from SoundCloud.

Step three: Click the download button that now appears below every track, or hit the download button at the top to download a playlist.

A word of caution

While these extensions may be handy if you’re downloading a lot of files from SoundCloud, they do run the same risk of infecting your computer with a virus that any browser extension does. Be careful about what you click and what you install.

Download via a third-party website

If you’re only downloading infrequently, there is an easy way of downloading from SoundCloud that doesn’t require installing anything. Instead, you just copy the URL of a given song from the top of your browser and head to a website that handles the rest for you. There are a ton of sites that promise to do this, but the one we’ll use for this example is KlickAud, which is a fairly common one. As with browser extensions, you’ll want to be careful about which sites you trust.

Step one: Find a track you want to download from SoundCloud and copy the URL from the address bar at the top of your browser.

Step two: Head to the KlickAud website.

Step three: Paste the URL and hit the Download button.

Next steps

It’s worth mentioning that the reason a number of artists don’t want their tracks available for download is that they’re trying to sell them somewhere else. If you fall in love with an artist, consider looking to see if they have a Bandcamp page. Not only does buying tracks this way help to support the artist, but you’ll often end up with higher fidelity. In the case of Bandcamp, you’ll be able to download FLAC versions of the song, which don’t suffer from the same compression artifacts you’ll find from sites that convert SoundCloud songs to MP3.

Once you have yourself a fair amount of tracks to listen to, you will want to make sure you’re listening in style, so be sure to take a look at our headphone buying guide and our list of the best headphones you can buy.

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