AudioBox.fm: Like iTunes in the Cloud

When we say the world is increasingly moving towards desktop-like applications in the cloud, AudioBox.fm is a perfect example proving just that. Although there are many great music web apps, none of them give you the capabilities and interface AudioBox.fm does.

The AudioBox.fm is consistently making improvements and enhancements, sure to make this one of the best web apps around, possibly even replacing iTunes for some. Let’s take a quick peek at what AudioBox.fm has to offer you.

Update: Added screencast preview of AudioBox.fm

Overview

Overview

Overview

AudioBox’s web app is an HTML5 powerhouse, feeling much like an actual desktop application. In fact, you’ll probably agree that it’s very similar in design to one very popular desktop music app — iTunes.

Cloud Web Player

Cloud Web Player

So far my experience with the app has been fantastic. It’s really fast, doesn’t require any software other than a modern browser and is available on the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Native support for Android is already on the way, to be released soon as well.

Pricing

Pricing is more than reasonable, with the $7.99 per month plan likely to be the most popular, offering 26 GB of storage. All plans, however, offer unlimited streaming — an absolute necessity for anyone who wants 24/7 access to their music library. A Free plan is also available to evaluate the app and upgrade when you’re ready.

Pricing

Pricing

Third Party Apps and an API

Unlike iTunes, AudioBox has integration with a few popular third-party apps; Last.fm, Twitter and YouTube. Integration with apps like these gives you additional features that are staples in many people’s daily digital diet; scrobbling, tweeting and enjoying YouTube videos matching music in your library from within AudioBox.fm.

YouTube

YouTube

AudioBox also provides API access in case you want to use some other third party app or even create your own. Because AudioBox is so new, apps using its API aren’t available yet but I would expect that to quickly change over the next year.

Other Features

The AudioBox team really tried to create a full-featured cloud-based player and for the most part, I’d say they’ve succeeded. Everything from custom playlists, filters, tags, sorting and other media library management to keyboard shortcuts, automatic suggestions and even social media integration is offered in the app. Of course you don’t really have the full power of a desktop app, but for most people AudioBox offers more than enough features.

They also have a marketplace in the works, so you’ll be able to purchase and play music immediately — no uploading or downloading required.

Final Thoughts

AudioBox.fm is a killer web app, taking advantage of today’s web technologies and showing off the power of HTML5 and other cloud technology. The pricing is reasonable, there is a full set of features including integration with currently popular apps and everything seems to work pretty flawlessly.

Unfortunately, however, one major drawback is that there doesn’t appear to be a way to download your music after you’ve uploaded it. That means that while AudioBox.fm is a fantastic means for cloud-based music library access and management, it’s not a place to permanently store your music.

From my experience with the app so far, I’d have to give AudioBox.fm somewhere between an 8-9 out of 10. With the great potential they have, I’ll go ahead an go with a 9/10. This is definitely an app worth checking out!

Screencast Preview

I’m very new to screencasts so bear with me as I work at getting better at them. Please let me know if the audio needs to be louder, if there’s quality issues, etc. Thanks!

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Summary

AudioBox.fm is a full-featured desktop-like HTML5 web app, available in any major modern browser for accessing, streaming, organizing and storing your media files.

9
  • http://www.corymathews.com CoryMathews

    Or you could just go to grooveshark.com and use it for free.

    No need to own the music to play, no need to sign up, they have a native iPhone, Android, blackberry and desktop version (for pro $3 month)

    • http://Web.AppStorm.net Jarel Remick

      There are a few reasons one might want to use AudioBox over Grooveshark. For example, Grooveshark is a resource hog due to flash and music quality isn’t guaranteed. In my opinion, both apps are fantastic but it just depends on what each person is looking for.

  • http://www.mikhailkozlov.com Mikhail

    So, if it is not cloud storage what is the point?
    There are dozens of sites and apps that will play music for you and you do not have to bother to load it in firsts place. I say iPhone/iPod Touch will do the same job especial since you need them to listen to your music any way. Why bother with extra $4/month.

    • http://Web.AppStorm.net Jarel Remick

      Well, I have yet to find a web app (aside from AudioBox) that allows you to put your own music collection in the cloud with a player as high quality as AudioBox’s.

      As I said in my previous comment, it really just depends on what you’re looking for. AudioBox has benefits other apps don’t and other apps have benefits AudioBox doesn’t, so it just depends. ;)

  • http://www.rakacreative.com Daniel Marino

    I would suggest lala.com… Music in the cloud for free.

    • http://bradmcnally.com Brad

      lala was purchased by apple back in december or so, and they recently announced that it will be shutting down at the end of may. I think we can assume that music in the cloud will be coming to itunes and iphone with the release of the 4.0 os. apple could make this app obsolete.

  • Claudio

    Screencast is pure awesome, thanks for doing it and for sharing!

    • http://Web.AppStorm.net Jarel Remick

      Thanks! I’m glad you liked it. :)

  • Sagar Jain

    Screencast thumbs up!! great post!

  • http://www.psonar.com Richard Urwin

    Psonar is another worth checking out.

    It’s a free cloud-based solution which is focused on allowing users to do more with music that they own, unlike streaming services where you effectively ‘rent’ the music as long as you continue to subscribe (and hope that the music doesn’t get pulled by the copyright owner.)

    With Psonar you can upload the music you own to the cloud, so it’s accessible everywhere, from any internet-connected device.

    You can also search and listen to 30 second clips of any other track uploaded to the cloud and buy that music if you like.

    Psonar also provides web-based iTunes-style management so that you can drag and drop tracks to any device that you can connect to a PC via USB. This enables you can have your music on your device when that’s best, but also in the cloud. This means it is great for backup: http://blog.psonar.com/2010/02/26/laptop-dead-music-safe/

    So – it’s perfect if you love your old MP3 player, want to keep your music on an inexpensive memory stick or for when you don’t have an internet connection and thus offers you the best of both worlds.

    Finally, by utilising the cloud, Psonar can do what the cloud is great for – discovery and social.

  • tdjukic

    I can’t even get the site to work – whenever I try to upload so much as a single song, I get a ‘disconnected’ error.

    I’ve already given up.

    • http://Web.AppStorm.net Jarel Remick

      That’s quite odd. I spent several hours yesterday uploading and fiddling with different features. It appears to be working normally right now as well. It may be a browser issue and you might consider contacting them via Twitter to see what they can do for you.

  • Naevo

    Nice screencast. Keep up the good work.

  • Alan

    Does it play podcasts ?

    • http://Web.AppStorm.net Jarel Remick

      If it’s in the appropriate audio format, it shouldn’t be a problem.

      • Alan

        But it doesn’t work for subscribing and playing them right? I would need to upload my podcasts and thats it? It wont let me know when there is a new episode available to listen. Thanks

      • http://Web.AppStorm.net Jarel Remick

        That is correct.

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