Oboe's Web Music Locker

I begged for this in a post last week about companies I’d like to profile that don’t exist yet (no. 1 – “better and cheaper online storage”). MP3Tunes nailed it with a product suite called Oboe.

Oboe offers unlimited online storage of music for $40/year. A free version of the product is also available, although it has extremely limited functionality (no online storage, for example).

I’ve registered and have paid for the premium product. Music syncing is accomplished via a downloaded application (windown, mac and linux), and it is going to take forever. I have somewhere around 10,000 songs – and they upload at a rate of 200 songs per hour. That means I’ll be uploading for about 50 hours.

Once the songs are uploaded, I’ll write more about how Oboe works. The site promises that users will be able to create and edit playlists, stream music at 128k, and even stream directly through itunes. Supported formats include MP3, MP4, M4A, M4P, AAC, WMA, OGG, AIF, AIFF and MIDI.

One feature that is not clearly addressed in the FAQs is whether or not users will be able to download music back to their hard drive (in the event they’ve lost the data locally, for example). The FAQs do state, however, “Just a few mouse clicks will ensure you never lose your music. You can even load it to your other computer with no hassle!”.There are obvious pirating issues with allowing this, as anyone with borrowed or stolen account credentials could download the music.

MP3Tunes is a Michael Robertson company, who was the founder of MP3.com. Oboe is his latest attempt at allowing users to access their music online. Previously, MP3.com offered a service called Beam-It which allowed users to verify that they owned a cd by inserting it into their computer, and were subsequently able to access that music directly from the web.

MP3Tunes is hoping to avoid the fate of Beam-It by acting as a service provider only and assuming that users legally own the music they upload. The Digital Millenium Copyright Act provides limitations on service provider liability “with respect to information residing, at direction of a user, on a system or network that the service provider controls or operates”.

I hope they win this one.

Via Brad Hill.

UPDATE: I left the syncer on all night. Everything crashed, nothing has uploaded yet. Uh oh.

UPDATE: I am completely unable to actually upload any files whatsoever. Giving up.

UPDATE: I received an email from Michael Robertson…Oboe is trying to determine the error. I want this service so much, I am going to continue to try.