Digital Music Streaming Startup tunesBag Releases Desktop Application

I’ve been tracking the progress of Vienna, Austria-based music startup tunesBag for a while now. It’s essentially a social music player that can best be compared to the likes of Lala, imeem and in the sense that it allows you to upload your entire MP3 collection, stream it from anywhere over the Internet and share it with your friends. It’s completely free and claims to be perfectly legal under Austrian law, which I’m not sure will be enough of a shield against sue-happy music labels should it become popular.

TunesBag doesn’t bring anything truly innovative to the table, but it’s always nice to know there are alternatives available, and tunesBag is a strong contender that too often remains under the radar, even if you need an invite code to get in for now.

Today, the company is hoping to change that with the release of an Adobe AIR-powered application (hence available for Windows, Mac and Linux) that brings some of its goodness to the desktop. You’ll still need an invitation code to access the service for now, but hopefully they will open up to the masses soon. We’re trying to get the company to release a number of invite codes for our readers. Update: TunesBag came through with 500 invites. Sign up here or use the code TECHCRUNCH.

The app currently only lets you play tunes from your uploaded music library as well as custom or public playlists from your desktop, and is pretty basic in that sense – it doesn’t even have a volume control option. You can buy music tracks directly from within the tool (through Amazon or iTunes) and share them with your friends on other social networks like Facebook etc., but that’s currently pretty much all there is to it. Most likely, there will be additional features in the future, hopefully mimicking the way the web application currently works (including recommendations, native upload of iTunes and Winamp library, and so on).

For now, check out the web service first and install the desktop application if you like the way it works, and let us know how it goes for both.