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Refreshed SoundCloud out of beta and publicly available

Music-sharing site SoundCloud today removed the beta tags, and opened up the service to the public.

Formerly in limited beta mode, the revamped site incorporates new discovery, social, and mobile tools.

"The complete reworking of the platform's flagship product is now open to all, offering everyone the opportunity to explore a world of original music and audio content, as well as to connect and share with the largest community of artists, bands, podcasters, and other sound creators," said SoundCloud.

"Audio and music discovery is now simpler, thanks to the new Explore page, which will highlight original music from SoundCloud members. There's also an improved search feature, related sounds suggestions, and Continuous Play, which "encourage users to find more sounds," the company added.

In an effort to mirror the social networks that attract so many Internet users, SoundCloud has turned up the heat on social connectivity. It has enhanced the Facebook sign-up option to allow new users to find Facebook friends on SoundCloud, as well as music creators they've previously "liked" on the social network. With Facebook Connect, users can also share SoundCloud music on third-party websites.

The Sets feature, meanwhile, allows users to "curate sounds they like in a single waveform," which can then be reposted by friends. SoundCloud has also enabled real-time notifications about comments and reposts.

SoundCloud has not neglected mobile; reposts, updated search, and interface updates will roll out on 6 December for iOS and Android.

"Much more than an aesthetic redesign, the latest SoundCloud is a state-of-the-art, re-engineered platform that feels so different from before and offers an even better music and audio experience," CTO Eric Wahlforss said.

"There's no other platform out there that lets everyone get so close to such a diverse community of music and audio creators," said Alexander Ljung, SoundCloud CEO.

In May, the service launched in a private beta known as Next SoundCloud. With today's public release, it drops the "Next" and will simply be known as SoundCloud.

Since the beta launch, engagement with the website increased by over 30 per cent, the company revealed. SoundCloud creators now post more than 10 hours of music and audio every minute, reaching more than 180 million users, or about 8 per cent of the Internet population, every month.

Consumers can sign up for the new SoundCloud online. On Thursday, the updated mobile apps will be available for free in the Apple iTunes Store and the Google Play store.

In October, SoundCloud teamed up with Gerry Images Music to allow the site's users, both casual and professional, to license their original music and sound effects.