For people who have extensive media libraries on their desktop or stored in the cloud, finding a way to easily stream music and other files across any device can be difficult. New York City-based AudioBox is trying to make it easier with the launch of its new AudioBox cloud-based media platform, which integrates with third-party cloud storage services like Dropbox, Skydrive, Google Drive, and Box. Since launching in 2011, the company has seen its user base grow to 15,000 and has been collecting feedback for the second version of its music storage and streaming tool, which launched in private beta earlier in the summer.
“The user can synchronize their data from different services and enable them on a single cloud on Audiobox for streaming on every supported platform,” CEO Claudio Poli said in an interview about the platform. “For example the user can just synchronize their data from Skydrive and make the data available on their TV, in-car system, iPod, or our own cloud player.”
The new platform is based on the company’s new proprietary technology it calls Unified Library, which creates a bridge across the multiple cloud-storage services out there, allowing users to access and stream their media files through its HTML5 browser-based web player. It also provides its own cloud storage services called AudioBox Cloud. It also includes more typical music player features like the ability to create smart playlists, share activity through a variety of social networks, and allowing users to access playlists offline.
For users who would prefer not to upload their media collection to the cloud, it offers an AudioBox Desktop service that is available for PC, Mac, or Linux. The private media locker lets users download the app and link folders that are connected to the AudioBox platform, letting users access their library on any mobile device or desktop without actually uploading files to the cloud.
“It’s basically what we would call a server, I run the application at home and go to work and connect to the cloud web player and begin streaming files from my desktop all on the same interface. We did this technology without requiring any setup so the user is not required to open up their routers or modems and expose them to potentially dangerous services on the internet,” Poli added.
The SaaS startup has a variety of pricing levels, with the Desktop application being free, and the cloud storage service priced on a pay-as-you-grow model starting at $0.99 a month for up to 5 GB, up to $19.99 per month for 200 GB. For its third-party integration services, syncing is free for YouTube and SoundCloud, with a $0.99 per month fee for users to sync their Google Drive, Box, DropBox, or SkyDrive accounts.
Competition is stiff in a space bombarded with innumerable streaming services, cloud storage services, and companies looking to reinvent how users discover, engage, and share music. With streaming services like Stereomood that lets users discover indie music according to mood to pinterest-style music social networks like Wavo, consumers have an endless array of options available if they don’t want to actually download music. For people who want to own rather than stream their music collection, iTunes is the obvious choice, with storage available via cloud-based storage tools.
The company is seeing the majority of its traction from the U.S., Italy, and Japan, and is working on mobile apps for all the major platforms in the works and will be looking to roll them out in the coming weeks. They also launched an API to encourage developers to build apps for their platform. AudioBox is designed for people who have their music collections stored across different services, or for people who want to be able to access their music collection from any device. With music streaming services like Spotify increasingly gaining popularity, the need for an extensive music collection might become obsolete, but if it can continue to integrate with third-party services, AudioBox could become a music lover’s central hub.