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.

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