Michael Robertson has done it again. Mr. Robertson founded MP3.com in the mid-90’s before selling it, and went on to found Linspire (I’ll give him credit for owning a Linux distribution, especially one built off Debian, but still…) as well as a VoIP company, and now he’s back in the music business with MP3tunes.com. He was in the news a few weeks ago for hiring DVD Jon, aka Jon Lech Johansen, who cracked the DVD encryption a few years back, as well as iTunes DRM.
What is MP3tunes.com? From their FAQ:
Q: What is the MP3tunes Locker?
A: The MP3tunes Locker gives you unlimited online storage to back-up your entire personal music collection, including your playlists. You can sync your music collection in your MP3tunes Locker with your computers, portable players and devices. You’re able to webload free tracks you find on the Internet directly into your MP3tunes Locker or sideload with one of our partners. You can play your music collection and playlists in iTunes and anywhere you have an Internet connection. The MP3tunes Oboe Software Suite is free and includes Oboe Sync, Oboe for iTunes and Oboe for Firefox.
The Basic MP3tunes Locker includes webloading, sideloading, MP3tunes Oboe Software Suite, and streaming inside iTunes on the Internet at a medium quality bit-rate (56k).
The Premium MP3tunes Locker is $39.95 per year and includes back-up with unlimited storage, syncing, webloading, sideloading, MP3tunes Oboe Software Suite, and streaming inside iTunes on the Internet at a high quality bit-rate (128k).
Do you remember when MP3.com got hosed by the RIAA? Basically, they had an idea that you inserted a music CD in to your PC. Their website said, hey look – you own that CD, thanks for verifying it. Now we’ll stream it to you wherever you are! Well, the RIAA went through the roof, and they took that feature out.
It looks like Mr. Robertson has brought that idea back, but in a much, much bigger way. This time you’re the one uploading your music – and while it may take forever to upload a large collection, you’ve proven that you’ve sent over your files. And now, you can “sideload” – buy music from another provider and have it synced.
Check the site out, and read the FAQ. While some of it will require using their syncing software to get the heavy lifting done, I do give MP3tunes.com credit for having Windows, Mac and Linux clients, multiple music format support, such as MP3, OGG and WMA, as well as a plugin for iTunes and Firefox ready to go at launch.
I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on this.