AudioBox.fm, the cloud-based music service that lets users upload their music collection and access it anywhere, has added the iPhone/iPod touch to its list of supported devices through a native application.
Previously, iPhone users could only access AudioBox via Mobile Safari, a bit of a kludge since the QuickTime Player plugin effectively takes over the phone’s browser. There’s also existing support for Android, a nifty HTML5-based browser version and a Windows desktop app, with the Italy-based company touting itself as an open platform to store a user’s media library in the cloud, giving them “access to uploaded media from anywhere through the highest number of devices possible.”
Of course, with Apple’s expected launch of its own cloud-based music offering based on the company’s purchase of Lala, AudioBox is just as well to emphasize ‘open’ and multi-platform support. On that note, I’m told that the company wasn’t even entirely sure if its iPhone app would be approved by Apple for sale in the iTunes App Store to the extent that it delayed developing advanced features such as ‘offline’ playlists in case it turned out to be a waste of time.
As it stands, the iPhone app supports streaming of a user’s music library over WiFi and 3G, multitasking/background support thanks to iOS 4, and unlike AudioBox’s Android app, playback can start and resume from any point in a track.
Along with the possibility of Apple, AudioBox competes directly with a number of services, including Spotify with its recent support for syncing a user’s own music library. There’s also the likes of mecanto.com, bitspace.at, psonar.com, moozone.com, and tunesbag.com (see TCEU coverage). Update: And of course, MP3tunes (see TC writeup), founded by Michael Robertson, an early pioneer of music locker-type services.
Revenue-wise, AudioBox operates a freemium model, with Pro accounts starting at $3.99 and providing greater storage than 1GB and, crucially, mobile app access. The company, founded in December 2009, also claims to already be profitable.