Early today, reports arose suggesting Soundcloud had secretly decreased the quality of it playback format. The complaints stemmed from an apparent switch from the standard 128 kbps MP3 codec to the newer 64 kbps Opus one, a change some claimed led to a noticeable reduction in audio quality. However, SoundCloud has now said that there has been no such change, and that Opus has in fact been in use for years.
Responding to an inquiry from Consequence of Sound, a representative called the reports “inaccurate.” “SoundCloud has not altered its approach to audio quality,” the statement continued. “We have been using the Opus codec (among others) since 2016, and we regularly test different combinations of encoding and streaming to offer listeners a quality experience on any device.” Regardless of the complaints, developers of Opus argue that the lower bitrate doesn’t actually equate to a loss of quality.
The statement concluded by saying, “Furthermore, we store all content from creators at its originally uploaded quality level so we can continually adapt to advances in encoding and playback.”
SoundCloud is doing well to shut down the negative reports quickly, something they’re likely keen to do after facing some subpar press last year. In July of last year, they shuttered their London and San Francisco offices, firing 173 employees, only to be saved in August by a $170 million investment.