Robert Cringely writes an interesting column on the announcement by MP3tunes.com of Oboe, a service that – for $39.95 a year – will let you upload all of your music and stream it to any machine you’re logged into.
What’s particularly interesting to me is that all this sounds very familiar: back in 2000, MP3.com was hauled into court by the record companies after launching my.mp3.com, a service that let you stream your music collection to any machine you were logged into. The difference was that my.mp3.com didn’t actually let you upload audio files. Instead, you "proved" that you owned a CD by inserting it into your CD drive, and after that you could stream a copy that MP3.com had pre-ripped itself. It was a brilliant service, and, had the record companies have been smart, it could have led to a lot more music sales than it lost. But in 2000, the record companies were very much NOT smart about music.
It’s no surprise that MP3Tunes.com is headed up by Michael Robertson, one of the founders of MP3.com itself. Cringely believes that the business model to support Oboe isn’t there – you don’t have to stream much before you use up $40-worth of bandwidth per year – but it’s an interesting service. Personally, I’d pay over the money just to have a backup of my 50GB of music.