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Unlimited Storage Free Music Lockers

MP3tunes is announcing free, unlimited storage music lockers for everyone. Oboe - our music locker technology - has been out for more than a year. We've refined the process and are ready to invite the world to come create an Oboe music locker. Sign-up now to realize the benefits of online storage. Here's a Q & A about Oboe Free, our new music locker with free unlimited storage.

Q: Why is the Oboe Free music locker a significant development?
A: This is the first time a free music locker with unlimited storage has been made available. Users sign-up with a valid email address and then load their Oboe Locker with their music using the free Oboe Sync software for Linux, Macintosh or Microsoft Windows. Once loaded, users stream their music from any browser or from a growing list of mobile devices - and can also sync to another computer. Oboe Sync will even add cover art for all your albums at the end of the sync process. We've also added our number one feature request of scheduling so a locker sync can happen in off-peak hours when your computer is normally idle.

Q: A free music locker - what's the catch? There must be a catch.
A: The Oboe Free offer is a free music locker with unlimited storage and unlimited bandwidth for streaming or syncing. This is not a trick where you can upload your music but then can't download it without paying. No credit card is required. There are some limitations, but most users won't bump into them. For example, individual files must be under 10mbs and digitally restricted files (DRM) will not be synced since they cannot be played back.

Q: Does MP3tunes have massive storage to support the wave of traffic that you get from new users signing up?
A: Our system allows us to deploy new servers every day. As we expand capacity we grant more Oboe Free lockers with unlimited storage. It's similar to how Google allocates gmail accounts as they add servers. The difference is we do not have invitations. All are welcome to sign-up and accounts are granted on a first-come-first-served basis. Everyone immediately gets a 1gb free locker so they can begin using it right away. As we deploy servers, our system automatically sends an email alerting a user that their account has been upgraded to unlimited storage, giving priority to anyone using their 1gb of storage.

Q: Didn't MP3tunes previously charge $40/year for an unlimited storage music locker?
A: Yes, and we still have a premium locker for $40/year with unlimited storage.

Q: Why would someone pay $40/year if they can get the same music locker for free?
A: The lockers are different. Oboe Free lockers are advertising supported meaning there will be graphical and audio advertisements embedded in the experience. So Oboe Free users should expect advertisements interspersed into their music experience. There are storage differences as well an Oboe Premium locker can store bigger files and DRM songs such as iTunes and Napster purchases. Oboe Premium locker purchasers also get priority access (no waiting for an invitation to an unlimited storage locker) and personal customer support.

Q: Why is MP3tunes offering free music lockers now?
A: Our goal is to store the entire world's music library and we can only achieve this if we have an advertising based locker in addition to our $40/year offer. In addition we have a system that can grow with demand by adding new servers each day. We've also worked diligently to streamline the Oboe syncing process. Only 0.24% of users have problems loading their Oboe Locker. That's a very small number given the wide variety of music files that users are now loading to lockers over different network connection speeds, operating systems, naming conventions, bitrates, and formats. This is another way of saying our technology is sturdy and ready to handle lots more users.

Q: How can MP3tunes afford to pay for the storage and bandwidth to provide free music lockers?
A: It's true that storage and bandwidth can be expensive today but my belief is that it won't be nearly as expensive in 2-5 years. When you're building a business you have to build for where the world will be, not necessarily for where it is today. What may be a big infrastructural investment today will parlay into a valuable business in a few years. By then we will house millions of music lockers where people will play their music on all net connected devices (computers, phones, PDAs, music appliances, TVs, etc).

Q: How can you be sure that storage and bandwidth costs will come down to make your business work?
A: When I started in the late 90s I did something revolutionary and unprecedented. I offered free web hosting with unlimited storage and bandwidth to any band that would give away a promotional song. At the time storage and bandwidth were expensive (much more so than today). Experts told me I'd go bankrupt, but I knew the prices would come down. There's no sector more competitive than the technology industry and my gamble paid off. Although there was substantial storage and network expense, I created the world's largest digital music site. Today the tradition of free band hosting is carried on by major community and media sites with MySpace being the most notable, but there are many others such as purevolume, SoundClick, and even YouTube which hosts music videos.

Q: If I sign up today for an Oboe Free music locker, when can I expect to be granted unlimited storage?
A: You will immediately get a 1gb locker which you can begin using instantly. From there it depends on the number of users in front of you and how late our system administrators work to deploy new servers. Remember priority is given to people that use a portion of their 1gb.

-- MR
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