Digital Music Online – MP3tunes and the Oboe Locker review
My Review: 7
Mp3tunes is a neat site that exists in a couple of different circles at once. They run with the online storage folks by offering a storage space called the Oboe locker, that lets you store your digital music online. They have a free downloadable piece of software called Oboesync (PC, Mac & Linux) that will help you upload your music to your Oboe locker. These files are then accesible from anywhere with an internet connection, and you can also download your music back to yourself from another machine. For a limited time, free accounts will include an unlimited amount of storage space, with a 10MB limit on individual files. $40 / year will net you a 5oMB limit on individual files, in addition to the unlimited storage. My suspicion is that in the near future only paid accounts will get unlimited storage. Currently only a portion of new signups per day receive an unlimited locker.
They also act as a streaming music service – your online Oboe locker lets you stream your music back to yourself, so anywhere you go that has an internet connection you can access your music. If you have many gigabytes of music, then your best bet is to turn on Oboesync and just let it run all weekend. They’ve created a stable effective uploader, but it still takes a while.
Mp3 tunes is a Michael Robertson company. Robertson was the founder of MP3.com, and is a veteran in the online music space. His other ventures (Beam-It from MP3.com) were “run out of town” by music labels for legal improprieties, but he is still vying to create an online music solution, and MP3tunes does a good job.
Online storage is useful and people like being able to access their music from anywhere. The ability to stream my music back to myself is great (I’m on a borrowed wireless network using my laptop and listening to Johnny Cash streaming back to me from my Oboe locker right now.) Also if I am a mobile user, or someone who turns over machines a lot it is nice to be able to store some music centrally and download it to myself again and again.
I think these guys have created a useful website and an effective piece of software. In theory, people could easily use this to trade and share music by sharing password information, but I don’t think MP3tunes is going out of their way to aid or abet piracy. They are offering an effective tool to backup, stream, and move personal content, and Ithink they’ve done a great job. I rate it a seven of ten, and I’m excited to see them succeed. MP3tunes is based in San Diego, CA – not really sure what their funding situation is like. They have usership in the tens of thousands.