MP3tunes is announcing free, unlimited storage music
lockers for everyone. Oboe - our music locker technology -
has been out for more than a year. We've refined the process and are
ready to invite the world to come create an Oboe music locker.
to realize the benefits of online
storage. Here's a Q & A about Oboe
Free, our new music locker with free unlimited storage.
Q: Why is the Oboe Free music
locker a significant development?
A: This is the first time a free
music locker with unlimited storage has been made available. Users
sign-up with a valid email address and then load their Oboe Locker with
their music using the free Oboe Sync software for Linux, Macintosh or
Microsoft Windows. Once loaded, users stream
their music from any browser
or from a growing list of mobile devices -
and can also sync to another
computer. Oboe Sync will even add
cover art for all your albums at the end of the sync process. We've
also added our number one feature request of scheduling so a locker
sync can happen in off-peak hours when your computer is normally idle.
Q: A free music locker - what's
the catch? There must be a catch.
A: The Oboe Free offer is a free
music locker with unlimited storage and unlimited bandwidth for
streaming or syncing. This is not a trick where you can upload your
music but then can't download it without paying. No credit card is
required. There are some limitations, but most users won't bump into
them. For example, individual files must be under 10mbs and digitally
restricted files (DRM) will not be synced since they cannot be played
Q: Does MP3tunes have massive
storage to support the wave of traffic that you get from new users
A: Our system allows us to deploy
new servers every day. As we expand capacity we grant more Oboe Free
lockers with unlimited storage. It's similar to how Google allocates
gmail accounts as they add servers. The difference is we do not have
invitations. All are welcome to sign-up and accounts are granted on a
first-come-first-served basis. Everyone immediately gets a 1gb free
locker so they can begin using it right away. As we deploy servers, our
system automatically sends an email alerting a user that their account
has been upgraded to unlimited storage, giving priority to anyone using
their 1gb of storage.
Q: Didn't MP3tunes previously
charge $40/year for an unlimited storage music locker?
A: Yes, and we still have a
premium locker for $40/year with unlimited storage.
Q: Why would someone pay $40/year
if they can get the same music locker for free?
A: The lockers are different. Oboe
Free lockers are advertising supported meaning there will be graphical
and audio advertisements embedded in the experience. So Oboe
Free users should expect
advertisements interspersed into their music experience. There are
storage differences as well – an Oboe Premium locker can
store bigger files and DRM songs such as iTunes and Napster
purchases. Oboe Premium locker purchasers also get priority
access (no waiting for an invitation to an unlimited storage locker)
and personal customer support.
Q: Why is MP3tunes offering free
music lockers now?
A: Our goal is to store the entire
world's music library and we can only achieve this if we have an
advertising based locker in addition to our $40/year offer. In addition
we have a system that can grow with demand by adding new servers each
day. We've also worked diligently to streamline the Oboe syncing
process. Only 0.24% of users have problems loading their Oboe
Locker. That's a very small number given the wide variety of music
files that users are now loading to lockers over different network
connection speeds, operating systems, naming conventions, bitrates, and
formats. This is another way of saying our technology is sturdy and
ready to handle lots more users.
Q: How can MP3tunes afford to pay
for the storage and bandwidth to provide free music lockers?
A: It's true that storage and
bandwidth can be expensive today but my belief is that it won't be
nearly as expensive in 2-5 years. When you're building a business you
have to build for where the world will be, not necessarily for where it
is today. What may be a big infrastructural investment today will
parlay into a valuable business in a few years. By then we will house
millions of music lockers where people will play their music on all net
connected devices (computers, phones, PDAs, music appliances, TVs,
Q: How can you be sure that
storage and bandwidth costs will come down to make your business work?
A: When I started MP3.com in the late 90s
I did something revolutionary and unprecedented. I offered free web
hosting with unlimited storage and bandwidth to any band that would
give away a promotional song. At the time storage and bandwidth were
expensive (much more so than today). Experts told me I'd go bankrupt,
but I knew the prices would come down. There's no sector more
competitive than the technology industry and my gamble paid off.
Although there was substantial storage and network expense, I created
the world's largest digital music site. Today the tradition of free
band hosting is carried on by major community and media sites with MySpace being the most
notable, but there are many others such as purevolume, SoundClick, and even
which hosts music
Q: If I sign up today
for an Oboe Free music locker, when can I expect to be granted
A: You will immediately get a 1gb
locker which you can begin using instantly. From there it depends on
the number of users in front of you and how late our system
administrators work to deploy new servers. Remember priority is given
to people that use a portion of their 1gb.
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