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Introducing MP3beamer! (Get a $399 unit for free if you're first to identify one of 3 songs!)

I can never find my music - it's maddening. My house, office, and car are littered with empty jewel cases. Those jewel cases that actually do have CDs often contain the wrong one. It's no better on my computer because I have several computers (desktop, laptop, home, work) that always seem to have partial catalogs. What I need is a safe, dry spot for ALL my music: MP3 files, my CDs and all my handcrafted playlists. But I also want to be able to listen to my music from anywhere on any device.

Take a closer look at the MP3beamer

Given my frustration, I set about finding a better way to manage and use my music library. Leaning on the experience from my days, and with the help of some smart guys at Linspire, I designed MP3beamer - a music appliance that we're making available today. It's designed to not only keep track of all my music, but also make sure that I can play it anywhere in the world: my house, work, from a PDA/phone as I move about or even at 30,000 feet on a cross-country plane trip in a middle seat.

Think of an MP3beamer as a DMR - Digital Music Recorder. Many people know what a TiVo or DVR (Digital Video Recorder) is - in fact about 7% of US homes
have one today. MP3beamer is the music equivalent of a DVR. It's designed to store all your music so you can play it back when and how you desire. But unlike TiVo, MP3beamer connects to much more than just your home entertainment center. You can listen to music in a wide variety of places - You want your music on your portable device when you're out for a jog, on your laptop when stuck in an airplane, accessible from every room of your house (no wires please!), your work and home computers, or even on that smart phone or PDA. MP3beamer makes all this possible today!

Let me explain how I got my music into my MP3beamer. I collected CDs from

View a demo on MP3tunes
drawers, trunks, cabinets and shelves and inserted them into the MP3beamer machine. It's easier than popping toast into a toaster because you don't have to touch anything - it's all automatic and it only takes about 3-4 minutes per CD. (I do have a confession to make - I actually paid one of my kids $0.20 per CD to insert CDs.) Next, I downloaded some of the tracks I purchased from my music locker on MP3tunes, a new MP3 music store launched two weeks ago. Finally, I had some MP3 files that I copied over the net to MP3beamer and then imported. Together it was about 1800 tracks.

Now I'm able to listen to my personal music in brilliant stereo quality from just about any device with speakers or a headphone jack. Over the last couple of weeks, I have discovered a lot of my old favorites and found some new faves from MP3tunes and I've been able to play all the music from:

View a demo of MP3beamer on portable devices

- iTunes on Microsoft Windows XP computer
- Lsongs on Linspire laptop/desktop
- My home stereo
- TV in my entertainment center
- iPod
- MP3 player I use when jogging
- PDA phone when moving about San Diego

You're probably wondering how it all works. There are several software components
that make up MP3beamer. Of course it runs the Linspire operating system - Linux is ideal for a music applicance because it's low cost, durable, and immune to viruses that plague Microsoft Windows computers. Then there's the MP3beamer software, which is the brains because it communicates using various protocols (this is fancy name for computer languages) so you can use

View a demo of MP3Beamer on home devices
your music on iTunes, home stereos via media receivers, Java devices and over the internet. MP3beamer includes Lsongs, which is the software used to auto-rip your CD collection. It also includes MP3beamer Sync - a small utility used to mirror songs from MP3beamer to iTunes so you can access your music without an Internet connection. You'll find screenshots, videos, and lots more information on the MP3beamer web site describing it in much greater detail.

There are two ways to get your own MP3beamer machine and be the first person on your block with a DMR. First, you can buy a powerful PC with the latest Linspire software ready to go for $399 from This sleek computer is 1/3rd the size of a normal computer, but loaded with power and an 80gb hard disk which should hold about 1400 CDs. (MP3beamer by defaults rips CDs at 192kbps which creates a larger file but has great audio clarity.) Buyers will CNR latest MP3beamer software after receiving the unit and be ready to go! If you already have a computer, you can purchase MP3beamer software for $69.95 and it includes all the software to install Linspire and then add MP3beamer.

We're also having a challenge for music fans to win a free $399 MP3Beamer machine.** I will send an MP3beamer to the first person to identify any of the following mystery songs from MP3tunes:

1 - Electronic: Try to identify this MR fave
2 - Rock:
This song was recommended by our support department

3 - Country: Find out who this beautiful voice belongs to

You will find these three songs on MP3tunes. If you think you know the identity of the artist and track title, please send an email to The first person to identify both the artist and the track title for any of the songs will receive an MP3beamer machine.** Anyone can listen to free sound clips of all the songs on MP3tunes, so you can do a little hunting to find the song. However, since there are more than 300,000 songs on MP3tunes, each day I'll share on the forum a clue to help you find the right song, until someone correctly identifies it. I've already posted the first clue. We'll also make a post in the forum when someone correctly identifies each of the songs. Happy listening!

-- Michael

** One MP3beamer per household. Sorry, band members of the mystery song are not eligible!
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