On June 26 I blogged that I was checking out the MP3tunes locker service, and that it felt like there was something worthwhile there.
What I liked was being able to access the music files I keep on my home PC from work, as well as having a backup. I could hack together my own solution to enable this, but it would be a fair amount of hassle and potential expense to come up with enough disk space.
The down side became apparent pretty quickly, though — disk allocation is all or nothing.
MP3tunes had a 1GB cap on the size of my locker unless I bought their premium services. I wasn’t going to pay, and 1GB is too small a portion of my personal cache to be useful. I fiddled around with what little music that was, but it just made no sense. I do maintain a 4GB subset of the total for listening on my portable, but I’m not going to do that for an even smaller 1 gig subset that I don’t care about much in the first place.
So I didn’t come back to MP3tunes after the first couple days.
The most recent development is that I got this email:
Congratulations! Your 1 GB Oboe music locker has been upgraded to UNLIMITED STORAGE.
Yes, we said unlimited storage for all of your music – FREE! (no catch, no credit card, completely free)
That’s clearly the right thing for me, so I’m now going to go back and upload the rest of my cache.
The deal with whether you get unlimited storage or not is a little whacky. At sign-up time you are in a lottery to see whether you will get unlimited or limited storage:
And now I have learned that after you accept a limited size locker you automatically get upgraded to unlimited, meaning that there is no size limit as long as you can wait and are willing to put up with initial inconvenience.
I don’t think they care about the disk space, I think that they care about price discrimination. If they can get somebody to be a premium customer, that’s clearly more profitable than an ad-supported customer, so they put on the screws. But the underlying product is almost exactly the same thing.
What I read from this is that the business is not so great at selling ads at this point. They’re probably generating little or no profit on the ad-supported business. Otherwise they would remove all limits on locker size. This would maximize the number of users and make their business model more scalable.