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Sideload 101

You're probably familiar with the term downloading (moving files from the net to your local computer). And maybe you've heard of the inverse - uploading (moving files from your computer to net storage). Chances are you haven't heard of sideloading. This is where you move files from the net directly to online storage without the pit stop at your local computer. Sideloading will become commonplace as people grow accustomed to personal lockers and security, ubiquity and versatility of online storage.

I first heard "sideload" while CEO of MP3.com. One of our partners was iDrive, an online storage company founded by Jeff Bonforte who would go on to become President of SIPphone and now head of Yahoo's messaging group. MP3.com added links to each song file labeled "sideload" which would move a free promotional song into an iDrive locker. It was a smashing success with hundreds of millions of tracks sideloaded but alas, the concept vanished with the disintegration of the original MP3.com.


The rapid growth of broadband makes sideloading even more practical today, so I decided it was time to revive the concept. I recently purchased sideload.com for $1,300. At sideload.com, we've created a huge index of high quality music files from all over the net. Integrated into the website is a MP3 player so you can click the play icon and immediately stream the song. If you like it, then just click the icon and the track will be sideloaded directly into your MP3tunes locker. It's free and quick to setup a locker at MP3tunes. It's a fantastic way to discover music and store it permanently in your private music space so you always have it and can play it from anywhere.

Sideload.com launches with more than 15,000 tracks from about 5,000 artists in all genres. The tracks are collected from MP3tunes Oboe locker users who use the sideload plugins with Firefox or Internet Explorer. This clever browser plugin adds a icon next to any music files encountered while you're browsing. Clicking the link loads that track to your Oboe locker and it also submits the link to be added to the sideload.com list. As more people use the sideload plugin, the index at sideload.com naturally grows.

The sideload hall of fame lists nicknames of people that have helped build the site. If you would like to help build the sideload site or just want the fastest way to load up your own locker from music on the net, simply install the sideload plug-in from here and then browse and sideload tracks on the net. Within an hour, any song you sideload should be listed at sideload.com for others to experience.

There's an enormous amount of great music on the net, but it's sprinkled all over on artist sites, label sites and online music distributors, making it hard to find. Sideload.com brings the music together into one index where you can quickly find and stream tracks. The tunes you like you can sideload into your locker with a single mouse click, or simply download it. There are flashier music websites, but none easier for finding tracks to load to your locker.

Here are some great tracks to listen to then add to your locker to get your personal music collection started. [Note: All the songs listed below are available for free in their entirety to stream online or add to your locker.]
uhp Dragonfly
by Universal Hall Pass
Experience the electronic infused rock from the voice of Melissa R. Kaplan. Then go buy the entire CD and sideload the entire album of MP3s to your locker here.
7
Destiny
by Zero 7
One of my all-time favorites from the British electronic sensation. If you like this, buy Simple Things where every tune is a stellar work.

Violated
by Depeche Mode

Sideload this entire album of mashups and remixes of some of Depeche Mode's greatest hits for your listening and possibly dancing pleasure. (Yes, all these tracks are free.)

Dirt Floor
by Chris Whitley

This recently passed blues man was one of America's best. Add this soulful (aren't they all) song to your locker then go buy Big Sky Country.
elliot Needle in the Hay
by Elliott Smith
You might have heard this eclectic folk song on television and movie soundtracks including The Royal Tenenbaums.

Was $1,300 for sideload.com a bargain or a ripoff? Do you think sideloading will take off as users build their online lockers? How many tracks have you sideloaded to your locker? Let me know in the forum.

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