Dropbox acquires music streaming company Audiogalaxy - a new music streaming service? Probably not

Posted on 13/12/12

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Dropbox acquires music streaming company Audiogalaxy

The popular file-sharing service Dropbox has acquired the personal music streaming service Audiogalaxy. New signups for Audiogalaxy have been disabled although existing users can still use the service with the exception of 'Mixes' that will be halted until the end of December.

Audiogalaxy (which had a limited personnel of just 3 people) is actually an audio placeshifting service which enables a Flash-enabled web browser, individual's smartphone or other device to search and play MP3 and AAC files stored on that person's separate, internet-connected computer, with the help of special software installed on both devices.

From 1998 to 2002, Audiogalaxy was a file sharing system that indexed MP3 files. From mid-2002 to mid-2010, Audiogalaxy was a promotional website for the Rhapsody music subscription service.

The acquisition could mean that Dropbox wants to provide its users new ways to interact with their files from wherever they are. But perhaps it's actually more complicated than that and Dropbox is after becoming a new cloud music service as well.

Let's not forget that 'cloud music services' is the buzzword today, look at iTunes Music Match streaming offering via iCloud, Amazon's Cloud Drive and MP3 services, Google Drive (although it's becoming each day clearer that Google Music is far from being the success story they expected it to be), Microsoft's Skydrive platform etc. And in a not so long past the late Steve Jobs actuallyy wanted to buy Dropbox. Dropbox did not want any of it and thus Apple started it's iCloud. Perhaps they want to strike back with a music service to push to their 100 million users? Perhaps.

But perhaps not. All these 'new music service' messages that swarm the net could be a bit too much wishful thinking too. Let's not forget that Audiogalaxy relied on Rhapsody for its music offering since 2010. And it's Rhapsody that holds all the music licenses, not Audiogalaxy. It would mean that Dropbox can start the long ride of music license negotiations with the majors, needed to make the service viable.

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