Audio Box – My Music, Anywhere, Anytime

Audio Box lets you upload music to the cloud and hear it anywhere

My music collection means a lot to me, but I often end up working in different PCs at multiple locations and don’t always have access to what I like to hear. I know there are options like going to YouTube or other such sites and looking up your favourite artistes, but very offer the option of uploading your own songs and playlists.

Last week, I chanced upon a new website called Audio Box (www.audiobox.fm), one of the few that really deliver what they say. A few minutes later, I had opened my free account and started uploading mp3 files from my collection. The upload speeds were good and I was getting a full 512 kbps on my home broadband of the same bandwidth. Though the files uploaded pretty fast, I could only upload a particular batch at one time — once a batch is selected, new files can only be added after the batch is fully uploaded.

I also loved the iTunes-like interface that the player offered, and the fact that I could build my playlists, edit tags and favourite specific or multiple tracks online. Now, I could listen to my songs wherever I was without installing any software.

Though the free plan offers you a storage space of just 1GB on the cloud, you can upgrade it from anywhere between 11 GB to 151 GB by paying a monthly fee of $3.99 and $ 24.99 at either end. The costlier accounts also add API / Third Party integration, which will allow more applications around your music, mobile support and support for formats other than MP3. However, I don’t want to use Audio Box as a permanent backup for my media files or a storage dump.

Paid account holders will soon get iPhone, iPod and iPad integration as well as full integration for Android phones. Last.FM and Twitter integration will let users Twitter directly from the site. But Audio Box is not a social media application and you can’t use it to share media with your friends, unless you want to share your password with them. You also cannot download music tracks you have uploaded to Audio Box, which from my point of view is a neat feature as it will stop people from pirating music. An upcoming feature called ‘Featured in the library’ will showcase artistes and songs so that you can buy their music or listen to it for free.

For audiobox.fm to work without interruption you should have at least a 512 kbps broadband connection. Since you will be uploading and streaming the content, make sure your data plan allows you unlimited and or a high volume of downloads, otherwise you will end up paying a lot of money to your service provider.

I would, however, love to see a feature where Audio Box automatically pulls the cover art for the songs which don’t have them as well as the option to select streaming quality, in case the connection is slow.
For now, I will be closely watching and using Audio Box, waiting to see what new features they come up with

The above review appeared in the Indian Express, Sunday April 18, 2010