SoundCloud is a great service for music lovers; while you aren’t going to find Billboard’s top ten songs there, it’s a goldmine for independently produced music. Apart from music from aspiring artists, SoundCloud will also get you some great song covers and instrumental adaptations to your favorite tracks. If you are a SoundCloud addict and find yourself frequently visiting the website, SoundCloudNav is for you! It’s a Chrome extension that adds universal keyboard shortcuts for controlling SoundCloud in your browser. You can move to the next or previous song, play/pause a track and favorite it. The extension not only works when the SoundCloud tab is active, but also when it’s inactive.
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Once installed, reload SoundCloud to get the extension working. If you find the extension is still unresponsive after initially reloading SoundCloud, open SoundCloud in a new window/tab. Do note that when the SoundCloud tab isn’t active, the extension can be noticeably less responsive.
Coming to the controls, you have four keyboard shortcuts to work with:
- Alt+K moves to the next song,
- Alt+J moves to the previous song,
- Alt+P will play or pause the current song, and
- Alt+M will favorite the current song (you should be logged in).
As mentioned above, the extension’s responsiveness suffers when the SoundCloud tab isn’t active. At times it will register an action once but a subsequent action will garner no response from the extension. For instance if you use Alt+K, it will switch to the next song but hitting Alt+K again or even another shortcut like Alt+J will be a no go. If you’re wondering where are the volume controls, the SoundCloud player doesn’t have its own volume controls and thus, this extension can’t provide you with those either. However, you can still use the media keys on your keyboard to control the volume.
SoundCloudNav is a simple and minimal extension; it works most of the time and is unobtrusive. There aren’t a lot of extension for adding shortcuts to SoundCloud, which makes SoundCloudNav fairly unique. While it does fairly well what it does, it can certainly do with some more features. A shortcut to quickly switch to whichever tab SoundCloud is open in would be a great idea, since it’s easy to lose track of tabs when you have many open. Also, the extension can communicate with tabs open in the current window only, so support for SoundCloud open in a different window would be a good idea. Lastly, the extension lacks any sort of button or GUI element and the developer might consider adding one to incorporate a login or search feature, and offer a quick glance at the supported shortcuts and their descriptions.