How To Download Songs From SoundCloud to MP3
SoundCloud is an amazing resource that manages to compete with the bigger budget Pandora and Spotify despite being available for free. It does allow you to listen to audio offline within the player but if you want to switch from SoundCloud to MP3 you have to use third party tools. Today, I’ll list a few tools that can do just that.
When SoundCloud first came out it would download the entire track to your device and then play it back. That made keeping a copy simple. Sometimes it still does that but most of the time it now streams those files. SoundCloud now breaks an MP3 file down into smaller files, streams it onto your device and reconstructs those files within the player. This allows the app to cope with latency and slower connections but makes keeping those tracks slightly more difficult.
Legal stuff: SoundCloud is a streaming service and the license you have as a member is to stream audio, not keep it. This is a legal minefield that you mess with at your own risk. You have been warned!
SoundCloud to MP3
Some artists on SoundCloud are happy for you to download and keep their work. The easiest way to find out is to click the More menu button within the app. If there is a Download link within that menu, you can freely download that track in MP3 format.
As mentioned, not all tracks are supposed to be downloaded but we can use the app for that.
SoundCloud to MP3 using Android
You don’t actually need a third party tool to download tracks from SoundCloud if you use the app. It will download those file parts as described above and compile them into a complete MP3. All you then need to do is find that file and save it somewhere as an MP3 file.
- Visit the Google Play Store and download and install the SoundCloud app.
- Play a track within the app and pause it partway through or listen to all of it.
- Navigate to ‘/sdcard/android/app/com.soundcloud.android/files/stream/Complete’ on your Android device to locate the completed download. Files will contain random letters and numbers.
- Save the file somewhere and add ‘.mp3’ to the end.
- Identify the track by playing it in your usual audio player and rename it accordingly.
That’s all there is to converting SoundCloud to MP3 on an Android device.
SoundCloud to MP3 using iOS
As you would expect, iOS does things its own way and the above method won’t work. Fortunately, where there is a will there is a way. SoundCloud does have an iPhone app but because everything is locked down in iOS unless you jailbreak you cannot rebuild the file like you can in Android. Instead:
- Open Safari on your device and navigate to http://www.iosem.us/app/install/downcloud.html
- Download DownCloud and install. It is safe (Jan 2017) as I installed it myself to check.
- Once installed, tap the DownCloud icon on your device and search for or stream audio as you see fit. It will save them as MP3.
SoundCloud to MP3 using Chrome
If you run a Windows phone or computer, you can use a Chrome extension to achieve much the same thing. It’s a fast, easy way to download tracks as MP3 for later use.
- Open Google Chrome on your device.
- Add this extension to Chrome.
- Go to SoundCloud and find a track you want to download.
- Use the new download button that appears next to the track.
The extension adds that download button and will download the audio in MP3 format. It’s just a case of downloading and playing from there.
SoundCloud to MP3 using Mac OS X
Like the iPhone, Mac likes to lock us out of the interesting parts of our devices, which works for us in many cases but against us in many more. Like iOS, you will need to use an app to convert SoundCloud to MP3 on a Mac or you can use the Chrome method above if you can get the extension working. Chrome for Mac can be downloaded from here.
- Download and install the Soundcloud Downloader app for Mac. Be careful with the installer to avoid installing the ‘extras’ contained within it.
- Once installed, navigate to any track within SoundCloud and copy the URL.
- Paste that URL into Soundcloud Downloader to download it as an MP3
As mentioned above, copyright and digital rights management is a minefield so be aware when using any of these methods that you might be breaking a bunch of laws. Plus, it’s always good to support the artist, so if you like their work, buy it!