December 7, 2005 11:31 AM   Subscribe

"The fundamental goal of Oboe is to make all your music available to you on all devices." DVD Jon is onboard. Michael Robertson is behind the project. MP3Tunes has become an MP3Beamer.
posted by airguitar (27 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Is one of your links supposed to go to something called Oboe? If so, none do. You link to mp3tunes twice.
posted by dobbs at 11:36 AM on December 7, 2005

Oboe? The ill wind that no-one blows good?
posted by PurplePorpoise at 11:37 AM on December 7, 2005

How is this different from his locker-thingy of 5 years ago?
posted by mr.marx at 11:41 AM on December 7, 2005

mr.marx, read the article in the second link and it says quite specifically what the difference is.
posted by dobbs at 11:42 AM on December 7, 2005

MP3tunes I believe uses Oboe to do its love thang.

Oboes are beautiful instruments. Suck it, haters.

Would love to hear other mefites opinions on this software. Seems like a good idea in theory.
posted by selfnoise at 11:43 AM on December 7, 2005

mr.marx: he's basically trying it again in a different market environment (more consumers want their stuff anywhere, less record labels go into convulsions upon hearing that people want to hear music on devices other than CD players.)

I understand the point of being focused on one application/market segment, but I think that such a service best works adjunct to basic file storage, so I can get both my music and that word document I'm working on from any network attached device…
posted by Firas at 11:46 AM on December 7, 2005 [1 favorite]

Is DVD Jon in any danger of being prosecuted for violating the DMCA now that he's in the US?
posted by eustacescrubb at 11:54 AM on December 7, 2005

dobbs: ah thanks, I missed that one.

This time consumers are uploading their own music to our store

No thanks.
posted by mr.marx at 12:00 PM on December 7, 2005

I'm a pretty big fan of these days, what with it's auto-transcoding of internet videos, so I can easily show off something I downloaded at home, to someone at work, without having to install xvid everywhere I go. But the concept of a 100% backup of my 300+gb music collection, for only $40/year...well, I'm all over that.
posted by nomisxid at 12:03 PM on December 7, 2005

Damn, I got all excited about winning one of those Beamers via the last link and only after mailing in my entry did I notice that web entry is from February. Doh!

I like the idea of the locker simply for backing up but since that's the only aspect of it I think I would use, I don't think it's worth us$40/yr considering how cheap drives are these days.
posted by dobbs at 12:03 PM on December 7, 2005

eustacescrubb writes 'Is DVD Jon in any danger of being prosecuted for violating the DMCA now that he's in the US?'

Yeah, I really have no clue why Johansen would want to come here. There are more than a few corporations that would like his head on a pike at the L.A. city limits.
posted by mullingitover at 12:06 PM on December 7, 2005

posted by Firas at 12:09 PM on December 7, 2005 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I'm not sure how valuable the beaming part of it is. My employer doesn't allow high-bandwidth activities like listening to internet radio, and I imagine they're not alone. Beyond that, you could... listen to music at the internet cafe, I guess? But you'd have your computer there anyway?
posted by selfnoise at 12:11 PM on December 7, 2005

Yeah, I really have no clue why Johansen would want to come here.

Big bucks, basically. And Robertson wanted him because he's good (and passionate) at what he does and getting him gives whatever Robertson's doing some street cred.
posted by dobbs at 12:14 PM on December 7, 2005

"In Norway, you have the same laws (as in the United States) now. So it makes no difference if I'm doing my work here or there," he said.
posted by airguitar at 12:15 PM on December 7, 2005

You'll recall that at, Robertson offered a service that allowed people to listen to their music collections anywhere too, but this was thwarted in the courts by the Recording Industry Ass. of America.

posted by rxrfrx at 12:32 PM on December 7, 2005

Michael Robertson's business goals always sound like some kind of joke:

1) Offer consumers a neat, gadget-like service that's fun, easy, and even a little bit innovative, without being Earth-shakingly important.

2) Make some extremely wealthy and powerful people and organizations very angry in the process.

3) Get sued by approximately 97% of the US population all at once.

4) Profit!

Somehow, he's actually made it to 4 a few times. In a very big way. More power to him and all that.
posted by Western Infidels at 12:35 PM on December 7, 2005

dobbs, if you know somewhere to get redundant 300gb of HD space for $40/yr, I'd love to hear about it...

Of course as someone who lives in both an earthquake and lahar zone, I'm all about the secure offsite backup storage, YMMV.
posted by nomisxid at 1:19 PM on December 7, 2005

In theory this is great, but damned if I want to bother uploading 300 gigs of music, even on a fat pipe that would take a while.

Beam-it was great (and far ahead of its time). Insert CD. CD scanned. Boom (ok, more like sfishishishs). Audio files in your account. Very little data transfer required. I beamed like 150 cds on dialup one evening and then had access to (some of) my music collection anywhere I went where broadband was available. sigh.

Robertson isn't afraid to be sued. I love that. He's all about disruptive technologies. More power to him, indeed.
posted by shoepal at 1:35 PM on December 7, 2005

here's guessing on the intended Oboe link.
posted by carsonb at 6:01 PM on December 7, 2005

I like how this time 'round Robertson avoids the technicality he got nailed for with the my.mp3 scheme by making the user do all of the digitizing/uploading. He just provides the space a la Gmail or Photobucket or what have you.

nomisxid: But the concept of a 100% backup of my 300+gb music collection, for only $40/year...well, I'm all over that.

I've never, ever been willing to pay for an online service before (Blogger doesn't count; they paid me back with a snazzy sweatshirt) but I'm signing up for this.

shoepal: In theory this is great, but damned if I want to bother uploading 300 gigs of music, even on a fat pipe that would take a while.

If I'd had the space on my hd, I would've been ripping CDs since February. With broadband I can upload in my sleep, and the project will move along as originally intended. Brilliant!
posted by carsonb at 6:10 PM on December 7, 2005

This is an interesting idea, but this scheme does not entirely avoid copyright problems. When you put a copy of your MP3s on a web server somewhere, you are indeed making a copy of those MP3s. This, in turn, violates copyright, unless this copying is a "fair use."

We know from Sony that time shifting can be a fair use, and it is clear that some space shifting can also be fair (such as copying your CD onto your computer and iPod), but I don't think this makes it obvious that unlimited space shifting is a fair use.

If it is unfair, Grokster shows that they would likely be held liable for this underlying infringement. In other words, the fact that the user makes the copy (Oboe), as opposed to the company itself (, does not prevent the company from being held liable for the underlying infringement.

Of course, if it is fair, then they (and we) are golden. But I can't say I'm too excited about the prospect of another major EFF defeat.
posted by huzzahhuzzah at 6:48 PM on December 7, 2005

if you happen to have your own linux server you may or may not know that you can do this for free with mpd and the web gui ampache. i'm a newbie and managed to set it up in a few hours... it's ... well... golden.
posted by eli_d at 8:24 PM on December 7, 2005

I've used the free version of it.

Uploading is painfully slow and it requires your tags to be in order or you have to fix them.

The interface is a bit unresponsive and not as intuitive as it should be. Took me awhile to figure out you could right click.

Direct webloading is a nice feature but doesn't always work with redirected links.

The oboe client really needs some work on the interface - it has a bare bones chapter 1 windows programming look to it. It need to minimizable, progress indication in the taskbar, bandwidth throttling & uploading on inactivity etc...

Overall I think it is a good beta project and might be really cool if they open it up a bit and provide some more User Interface polish.
posted by srboisvert at 2:43 AM on December 8, 2005

I still don'tm understand why everyone seems to think that carrying something with them is such a burden that it will eventually become obsolete.

I'd much rather be in charge of my own file security, be it documents or music. If it's in my hands, I know that I own it, and any damage or misfortune that befalls it is my own responsibility.

The big companies have screwed over far too many people for me to be happy letting them handle all of my stuff. What happens if you upload your entire collection and then go somewhere that has no net access (large, large parts of the world indeed)? What happens if all your music is there, and then they go under or get sued and take it all down? Do they send it back? I think not.

If people really want this sort of thing to exist, why not put the effort into first developing infrastructure? The US is woefully behind many other countries in terms of net access speed for the average customer.
posted by caution live frogs at 6:56 AM on December 8, 2005

There is no requirement you delete your music off your HD after you upload it to their locker.

I consider it a tool for convenience and secondary backup. If I were paying it would be more handy since i could update my mp3 player while at work if I didn't want to listen to the same music I loaded up at home or if I found something new on an mp3blog and didn't want to store it on a work computer.

What happens when your hard drive crashes, your iPod gets stolen or your house burns down?
posted by srboisvert at 8:40 AM on December 8, 2005

"What happens when your hard drive crashes, your iPod gets stolen or your house burns down?"

You P2P it all over again.
posted by Outlawyr at 11:02 AM on December 8, 2005

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