Coming mSpot service will combine Net radio, cloud storage, and on-demand services for music

Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - 1:05pm

Just last week (here) we wrote about Audiogalaxy, a name from the past with a new music locker/Net radio hybrid service.

Today comes news out of SXSW that mSpot has developed a 3-in-1 combo of Net radio, cloud music storage, and on-demand (a la Spotify) service. Codenamed "Aria," it's currently in a "proof of concept" phase.

MSpot CEO Daren Tsui told "This is about combining three different experiences and getting something much bigger than the sum of the parts, because the music can build on itself... Let’s say I’m listening to a Lady Gaga song from my locker... there’s a little lightbulb icon which means discovery and recommendation. You click on that, and it takes the song that you’re currently listening to and it will recommend other artists from the ten-million-song catalog. Another category will recommend various internet radio stations."

We first heard of mSpot back in 2005, when it was among the first (if not the first) to launch a mobile-focused Internet radio service (see our coverage here and here). Last year the company launched an Android app that recommends streaming radio stations based on music the user owns (see RAIN here).

Read's coverage here.

Audiogalaxy returns with P2P Internet radio/music locker service

Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - 12:15pm

The newly-relaunched is designed as a "hybrid" of two popular online music models: (1) an online "locker" to store and remotely stream users' private music collections, and (2) customizable, algorithm-based "music discovery" streams -- in other words, personalizable Internet radio.

But more than this particular combination, what's interesting is the delivery structure. The music isn't even streamed by Audiogalaxy in the conventional sense -- what the user hears is actually streaming directly from user to user, without ever being saved on the company’s servers: peer-to-peer streaming. Logically, this arrangement greatly reduces Audiogalaxy's bandwidth bill while quickly growing their library of available music. 

"Our service offers music fans a tunable music experience - play your own tracks anywhere without uploading, copying, or syncing, or lean back and start discovering music you don't own via Mixes," Michael Merhej, the company's founder, said in the launch announcement. The company calls the music discovery streams "Mixes;" they're playlists of recommended songs pulling not from a library Audiogalaxy had to build itself, but from all of Audiogalaxy's users' collections.

Because of the peer-to-peer architecture, the locker service doesn't require users to actually upload their music files. Instead, up to 200-thousand songs on your computer are simply scanned and made available for instant streaming.

(While this is reminiscent of iTunes Match or the "Beam-It" feature (here), its fundamental difference is that Audiogalaxy isn't serving the file back to the user.) 

The streams are ad-free and cost nothing for desktop listening. Mobile streams are $4/month.

Janko Roettgers, in GigaOM, wrote, "I had a chance to play with both the Web as well as the mobile version of the service Monday, and I liked what I saw. Pandora tends to gear towards the mainstream when listening to niche channel stations, but Audiogalaxy served up tons of music I hadn’t heard before. The local stations are also a nice touch. However, the Android app seemed a bit too cluttered to be useful, with too many options to access information about playlists and stations."

See more, including an introductory video, here. Read Roettgers reporting here.

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