mp3tunes.com sounded like a good idea when I first heard of it. I found out about it a while ago, in a round-a-bout manner. I discovered a music streaming application, that could be widgetized on a blog, and they were promoting mp3tunes as a place to store your mp3′s so that you could stream them from there.
So, I signed up for the free account. It came with one GB of storage for free. If you wanted more, you paid. Fair enough. I was only interested in free. I wasn’t sure I would even use the service. A few days later, I received an email from them that my account had been automatically upgraded to an unlimited storage account, still completely free.
Cool! There were still plenty of hooks to upsell you, mostly in terms of currently restricted features that would be unlocked if you paid, but I had no interest.
They have an installable application called LockerSync. It was in beta when I first signed up. It was awful in terms of performance, but if you kept restarting it after it died, and had tons of patience, eventually, it worked. This application keeps your local music files in sync with your music on their site. This is the primary use case I was interested in. An emergency backup for my mp3 files.
The software was so horrible, that even though I was on a blisteringly fast connection (including 5Mbps upstream), it took nearly a week to sync 18GB of files. Like I said above, eventually, it synced.
A few months later, the LockerSync software came out of beta, and it got more stable. It still wasn’t really fast, but I presume that they were throttling it on their side, to avoid large bandwidth bills. Again, fair enough.
I never accessed my files on their site, and never ended up streaming anything (other than testing on rare occasion that indeed the files were uploaded correctly).
After a few more months, I started getting errors on certain files. The software alerted me that the files were too large and I needed to upgrade to a paid account to complete the sync. The amazing thing is that every one of these files were synced months earlier, correctly. So, somehow, files were disappearing on the site.
An additional annoyance is that the LockerSync software autostarts with my login, and it takes forever to initialize, making the boot process pound the disk and leave everything else to load sluggishly. I took the program out of the startup sequence, because I don’t update my library daily anyway. Now I was just launching the program whenever I added music. Still, I was getting these error message on the large files.
Today, I launched the program to sync some new music. I received an error message claiming that my locker was full, and that I needed to upgrade to a paid account in order to continue. My full account had 2GB in it. So, they tossed 18-20GB of music that I had previously synced. Wow, I had the opportunity to pay people that operate a service like that, and hope that I could resync everything, and that they wouldn’t change the terms yet again.
Like I would trust them not to triple the price in a month, after tossing my files, just because that’s what suited them that day.
Folks, don’t start services, tell people that certain parts are free, and then change your mind. OK, you can do that, but wouldn’t it have been nice for them to send me an email telling me that I had 30 days, or whatever, before they were going to toss my files?
I’m glad they never saw a dime of my money, and for sure, any service that they ever offer in the future won’t have me as a customer either.