CyberNotes
Time Saving Tuesday




MP3TunesThe thought of being able to backup and access your music no matter where you are is surely an appetizing thought. Just look at Flickr…people needed a way to backup and access their precious photos from anywhere and Flickr catered to those people. MP3Tunes is almost equivalent to the Flickr of Music.

I found this service after posting the article on MyBloop. Some of the commenters on that article said that they were going to upload their music so that they could listen to it while at work, but I figured there had to be a better solution available.LaLa was okay, and a cool idea, but the uploader didn’t always work for me as it was supposed to.

–Introduction–

MP3Tunes is a site that gives both free and paid users unlimited storage (read the free vs. paid section below for details) for their music. Once the music has been uploaded to the service the user is able to listen to their songs anywhere that they have access to a Web browser. The only place that you need to install an application is on the computer(s) that you want to sync your music catalog with.

When you signup for the service it creates a “Locker” for you which is where all of your music is stored. Once you have your music uploaded, this is where you’ll be able to organize and play it.

–Managing Music–

MP3Tunes shines when it comes to providing all kinds of options for putting your music on their site. Their main utility is a synchronization application that scans a folder on your computer for music and uploads it to MP3Tunes. You can designate which folder(s) it grabs the music from and it will go to work synchronizing your music.

MP3Tunes MP3Tunes MP3Tunes MP3Tunes

And don’t forget that this is a synchronization program, not just an uploader. That means you can also download your music onto your computer(s) if you feel the need to do so. I think that is awesome because what if your hard drive crashed and you lost all of your music? If you had it on MP3Tunes you would get it all back in no time:

MP3Tunes

Oh, and did I mention that the synchronization utility works on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux!

–Music Playback–

Being able to play your music no matter where your at is the biggest reason that I love MP3Tunes. Once you have your music uploaded, you can quickly access it via their website. You don’t need any software installed to do this which is especially great for anyone that is frequently on multiple computers.

MP3Tunes

There’s even a mini-player that you can open in a popup window:

MP3Tunes

If you take a look at the preferences you can actually adjust the bitrate at which the songs are streamed to your computer as well. By default, MP3Tunes will automatically manage the bitrate based upon your connection speed, but some of you might be confident that your Internet service can handle the original bitrate that the song was encoded in. That means that you will be listening to it at the same quality as you would be on your computer.

–Playlists–

Yep, MP3Tunes does playlists! It will synchronize the playlists on your computer along with the songs. If that’s not enough for you there is always the option to create your own playlists after the songs have been uploaded. Simply hover your mouse over the “Play” button next to a song and choose which playlist you want to add it to:

MP3Tunes

–Download Individual Songs–

This is a pretty cool feature, and something I didn’t notice initially. The menu that pops up when you hover your mouse over the play button also has a “Download Track” option:

MP3Tunes

That means you could setup a “shared” account with your friends where you all upload your music to the service using a username and password that you all agree upon. Then you can download each others songs! :)

–Plugins for iTunes and WinAmp–

Some of you probably have your own dedicated media players for home, so why not take advantage of them? There are plugins available for both iTunes and WinAmp that let you listen to songs from your MP3Tunes account:

MP3Tunes MP3Tunes

–Free Accounts vs. Paid Accounts–

Okay, so this is the section where I present both some good and bad news. The bad news is that right now not all free accounts will get unlimited storage right away. They have a limited number of free accounts that they give away each day with the unlimited storage, but everyone is guaranteed to receive at least 1GB. When I signed up, I didn’t get one of the unlimited accounts but they said then when my account was upgraded to an unlimited one, they would email me to let me know. They say that the wait for the unlimited storage is “short,” but who knows what they mean by that.

If you desperately need the unlimited storage, you could always signup for the premium account which includes everything the free account has plus:

  • Guaranteed unlimited music storage and listening
  • Store music files up to 50MB each (free account is 10MB)
  • Back up your DRM tracks (iTunes)
  • Unrestricted album art viewing
  • Full access to customer support
  • Ad-free (although I didn’t really see ads on my free account)

I would say to just hold-out for the unlimited storage in the free account, unless you have a lot of iTunes music that has a DRM on it.

–Conclusion–

MP3Tunes is an amazing service once you get going with it, and the convenience is surely a great thing. I’ve just begun using MP3Tunes, and it is proving to be very worthwhile. If you haven’t already tried it, I recommend giving it a go. If you have tried it, let us know what you think!

MP3Tunes Homepage