SoundCloud uses the most widely supported streaming protocol to ensure your sounds can be played everywhere, by everyone, across the web. When someone hits play on a track, the technology behind this streaming protocol is put into action to make sure your track can be played. By using a streaming technology which is widely supported, we can make sure that your content is playable on all devices, and browsers.
Websites can exploit vulnerabilities which are inherent in this streaming technology, which allows them to rip the stream and provide it for download elsewhere. This means that they cannot download the original file you have uploaded with us, but instead the streamed audio (which is 128 kbps). This is the downside to using a system which allows you to be heard by everyone, everywhere.
There are other streaming protocols which are considered to be more secure, but sadly, they are not as widely supported. By switching the streaming protocol we use, your content would not be playable on certain browsers or devices, preventing people from being able to play your tracks.
While we are doing all we can to improve this situation, there are a number of measures you may want to consider to prevent unauthorized downloads of your content. While we cannot guarantee that this will stop these sites from accessing your content without your permission, it will put you in the best position possible to prevent people from downloading content without your consent:
- Disable downloads on your tracks. You can learn how to do this here.
- Disable app playback, so that your track will not be playable outside of the SoundCloud platform and our own apps (i.e. the official SoundCloud iOS and Android apps). You can learn how to do this here.