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AudioSAFE, New online backup concept
spoon
post Jul 20 2011, 21:32
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AudioSafe is a refreshing new online backup concept: backup for free, only pay to restore should the need ever arise.

No size limits, backup TB's of audio: mp3, m4a, WMA, FLAC, Apple Lossless, lossy, lossless - we will take it all! (see audiosafe.com for restrictions)

Safe guard your music collection.
Still not believing us? one more time: backup as much audio as you have, with no monthly subscriptions, all to an unlimited locker.

For full details (currently at the beta-testing stage) visit www.audiosafe.com


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Brand
post Jul 20 2011, 21:39
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Well now, this looks interesting.

A couple of questions, off the bat:
Do you have an estimate of how much will you charge for downloading?
Is a dedicated program required for uploading or will it be possible to do it with the browser? (I'm a bit of a minimalist and don't like installing new programs.)


edit: I'm assuming you're involved, spoon, even though you didn't specify this. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

This post has been edited by Brand: Jul 20 2011, 21:44
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spoon
post Jul 20 2011, 21:56
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I am happy to answer your questions, I have no current costings for the restore - the actual beta test should give me a better idea of what that can be.

A dedicated program is required for the upload.

I am involved - through a new venture 'Cloud Audio'.


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Andavari
post Jul 21 2011, 00:27
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Only pay to restore, but pay what amount as the site doesn't outwardly disclose that? Is it going to be like some ransom cost, etc., where just buying an external USB hard disk would be more cost effective.


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dgauze
post Jul 21 2011, 04:37
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QUOTE (Andavari @ Jul 20 2011, 15:27) *
Only pay to restore, but pay what amount as the site doesn't outwardly disclose that? Is it going to be like some ransom cost, etc., where just buying an external USB hard disk would be more cost effective.


+1

Also, if someone other than the owner ends up gaining possession of uploaded files, I assume the owner could be held responsible for violating copyright laws. Sounds like more trouble than it's worth. I'm not a fan of online backup solutions in general, as they don't offer any advantages over off-site backups on external hard drives.
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Robertina
post Jul 21 2011, 05:22
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spoon, so you meant AudioSAFE when some months ago you announced

QUOTE
something major (audio related), which might benefit 100,000's if not millions of people
?

[I do just ponder on the huge potential you seem to ascribe to your Cloud Service then.]
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Soviet Commissar
post Jul 21 2011, 06:12
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A definite +1 to Andavari on this one. I find it more than sufficient to have two backups - one on an external harddrive, and one in Windows 7's automatic backup files. Technically you could also consider the iPod 160 GB a backup as well.

It could be suggested that, yes, a fire/explosion/flood/axe murderer could knock all three of these out of commission in one fell swoop; but frankly, I keep my computer (a laptop) and at least one of the externals packed away and ready to go at any given time I'm not using it, and honestly, should one of the above events occur, I'd have much more to worry about than my music collection. Yes, it took years to assemble, and yes, it was expensive, but I think in the highly unlikely event something DOES happen to somehow clear the source and all two/three backups, it'd be one of the lesser concerns at the time. /donerambling
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Brand
post Jul 21 2011, 06:51
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I agree that backing up to your own HDDs is a wise thing to do.

But what's wrong with an _additional_ "just in case" copy online to give you some extra peace of mind?
Of course, we've yet to see the price for downloading, which will determine its real value, but since uploading is free for even a huge amount of files (something I haven't seen anywhere else) it's IMO an interesting project.


QUOTE (dgauze @ Jul 21 2011, 05:37) *
Also, if someone other than the owner ends up gaining possession of uploaded files, I assume the owner could be held responsible for violating copyright laws. Sounds like more trouble than it's worth.

The EULA should probably have you covered on this (unless you share your account with other people - something you won't be inclined to do, since it's not free to download the files).

This post has been edited by Brand: Jul 21 2011, 06:53
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Andavari
post Jul 21 2011, 07:19
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In my opinion the "only pay to restore" concept is just silly as all hell, who on Earth has a "business practice" like that, it is basically ransom to get your stuff back!

In my opinion it would be better to just charge upfront a known monthly fee or yearly fee where someone knows exactly the cost and can download their files to "restore" at any time. But then again it's also one of those good luck business opportunities since someone can use free file hosting sites to achieve the same, etc., if they wanted to go with an online backup system - I personally never would.


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spoon
post Jul 21 2011, 07:58
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QUOTE (Robertina @ Jul 21 2011, 05:22) *
spoon, so you meant AudioSAFE when some months ago you announced

QUOTE
something major (audio related), which might benefit 100,000's if not millions of people
?

[I do just ponder on the huge potential you seem to ascribe to your Cloud Service then.]


Yes this is the one smile.gif


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spoon
post Jul 21 2011, 08:00
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QUOTE (dgauze @ Jul 21 2011, 04:37) *
QUOTE (Andavari @ Jul 20 2011, 15:27) *
Only pay to restore, but pay what amount as the site doesn't outwardly disclose that? Is it going to be like some ransom cost, etc., where just buying an external USB hard disk would be more cost effective.


+1

Also, if someone other than the owner ends up gaining possession of uploaded files, I assume the owner could be held responsible for violating copyright laws. Sounds like more trouble than it's worth. I'm not a fan of online backup solutions in general, as they don't offer any advantages over off-site backups on external hard drives.


All costs will be clear and open upon launch. There is no ransoming of files, it is also not in the interest of any backup system to allow others to access files they did not originally process - AudioSAFE will accept any files, some of these might be personal unlike audio.


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spoon
post Jul 21 2011, 08:06
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QUOTE (Andavari @ Jul 21 2011, 07:19) *
In my opinion the "only pay to restore" concept is just silly as all hell, who on Earth has a "business practice" like that, it is basically ransom to get your stuff back!

In my opinion it would be better to just charge upfront a known monthly fee or yearly fee where someone knows exactly the cost and can download their files to "restore" at any time. But then again it's also one of those good luck business opportunities since someone can use free file hosting sites to achieve the same, etc., if they wanted to go with an online backup system - I personally never would.


You are aware that the big operators tend to charge a restore fee? (if over a certain amount they normally mail out a HDD), even if they advertise 'backup all you like for $10 a month'.

If you were to pay those $10 a month for 1.5 years and it is around $180 - AudioSAFE will be much cheaper than that for a restore of an average music collection.

This post has been edited by spoon: Jul 21 2011, 08:07


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Garf
post Jul 21 2011, 08:20
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QUOTE (Soviet Commissar @ Jul 21 2011, 07:12) *
It could be suggested that, yes, a fire/explosion/flood/axe murderer could knock all three of these out of commission in one fell swoop


You forgot one of the most obvious and unfortunately quite likely ones: a simple home burglary, where your PC, iPod and HD are quite likely to be one of the few things missing that you do have to worry about smile.gif

Backups ain't real backups until they are offsite.
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Garf
post Jul 21 2011, 08:32
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QUOTE (Andavari @ Jul 21 2011, 08:19) *
In my opinion the "only pay to restore" concept is just silly as all hell, who on Earth has a "business practice" like that, it is basically ransom to get your stuff back!


The concept makes perfect sense to me. If you don't end up needing the service, you don't pay anything! So you can use it for free and IF you end up wanting to use it, you can STILL always decide afterwards at any given time if it's worth the money.

This means that you don't actually have to care much how the price of restoring evolves. It's a pure no gain-no pain proposition.

The idea looks very sound to me. What may not be so sound is that it goes against the pricing structure of what most people are used to, and hence will provoke (IMHO completely irrational) reactions like yours.

QUOTE
In my opinion it would be better to just charge upfront a known monthly fee or yearly fee where someone knows exactly the cost and can download their files to "restore" at any time.


If you don't end up needing it, your proposal is always more expensive. If you do end up needing it, it depends on the pricing and how long you use the service before you experience a total loss event.

QUOTE
But then again it's also one of those good luck business opportunities since someone can use free file hosting sites to achieve the same, etc., if they wanted to go with an online backup system - I personally never would.


I don't know any free file hosting site where I can upload 40G of data and that guarantees it stays up. Gmail accounts, maybe?
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Garf
post Jul 21 2011, 08:37
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QUOTE (spoon @ Jul 21 2011, 08:58) *
QUOTE (Robertina @ Jul 21 2011, 05:22) *
spoon, so you meant AudioSAFE when some months ago you announced

QUOTE
something major (audio related), which might benefit 100,000's if not millions of people
?

[I do just ponder on the huge potential you seem to ascribe to your Cloud Service then.]


Yes this is the one smile.gif


Good luck with it. Two questions:

1) Google is now offering a similar service in beta in the US, but with audio players and streaming to Android devices and what-else. Are you aware of that?

2) How do you prevent sharing of accounts? People aren't that likely to let others download from their accounts, but for groups of friends it may still happen. Worse, if people get malware infested they could unwillingly do that. If that happens, won't you get lawyers at your door quickly?
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_mē_
post Jul 21 2011, 08:43
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Very interesting, though 500 MB limit on non-audio data seems wrong...a single bonus DVD is several GB. I think that a rule like 'at most 10% of your stuff' would be much better. Personally, I have 303 GB of music and 22 GB of other things.
Also, how about music videos? wink.gif
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_mē_
post Jul 21 2011, 08:50
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@ Garf:
Google doesn't let you get your data back. It's only streaming and AFAIK what you get is not a lossless copy of what you put.

As to sharing accounts, it can be done with everything from other backup services to spotify and others. It's nonsense to charge a service provider for such capabilities, but yeah, there are threats from copyright holders from time to time.
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GeSomeone
post Jul 21 2011, 09:00
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QUOTE (Garf @ Jul 21 2011, 09:37) *
2) How do you prevent sharing of accounts? People aren't that likely to let others download from their accounts, but for groups of friends it may still happen.

Wouldn't the fact that one has to pay to download be prohibitive?


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Garf
post Jul 21 2011, 09:02
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QUOTE (_mē_ @ Jul 21 2011, 09:50) *
@ Garf:
Google doesn't let you get your data back. It's only streaming and AFAIK what you get is not a lossless copy of what you put.


Ah, good to know. I'm not in the US, so I don't have first-hand experience with Google's service.
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Garf
post Jul 21 2011, 09:03
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QUOTE (GeSomeone @ Jul 21 2011, 10:00) *
QUOTE (Garf @ Jul 21 2011, 09:37) *
2) How do you prevent sharing of accounts? People aren't that likely to let others download from their accounts, but for groups of friends it may still happen.

Wouldn't the fact that one has to pay to download be prohibitive?


That's why I said "groups of friends". It depends on the price, but if it is low enough, it may be an easy way to give a buddy access to my stuff. Hypothetically speaking, of course.
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Garf
post Jul 21 2011, 09:08
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QUOTE (Garf @ Jul 21 2011, 10:02) *
QUOTE (_mē_ @ Jul 21 2011, 09:50) *
@ Garf:
Google doesn't let you get your data back. It's only streaming and AFAIK what you get is not a lossless copy of what you put.


Ah, good to know. I'm not in the US, so I don't have first-hand experience with Google's service.


The dream service would hence be that spoon's thing allows you to stream from your collection. But I guess that would be impossible for him cost-wise without fees.
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probedb
post Jul 21 2011, 09:18
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It's a nice idea but I'll stick to my 2 physical hard drive backups....one off site in a fire proof filing cabinet smile.gif
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spoon
post Jul 21 2011, 09:34
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QUOTE (Garf @ Jul 21 2011, 08:37) *
Good luck with it. Two questions:

1) Google is now offering a similar service in beta in the US, but with audio players and streaming to Android devices and what-else. Are you aware of that?

2) How do you prevent sharing of accounts? People aren't that likely to let others download from their accounts, but for groups of friends it may still happen. Worse, if people get malware infested they could unwillingly do that. If that happens, won't you get lawyers at your door quickly?


I think Google will have limits and / or yearly fees (when they leave beta), this area is moving fast between google and amazon. We are billing this purely for backup, streaming would be a different model.

The fact that people would pay to restore would hinder sharing of accounts, those who want to pirate would have an aversion to paying. In this regard we are no different than any locker system, Microsoft, Amazon they are all open to abuses, ours perhaps less so than the latter (as with these if you have a free 5GB - 25GB locker there is no download limits AFAIK).


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Garf
post Jul 21 2011, 09:40
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QUOTE (spoon @ Jul 21 2011, 10:34) *
I think Google will have limits and / or yearly fees (when they leave beta), this area is moving fast between google and amazon. We are billing this purely for backup, streaming would be a different model.


I would presume that they also automatically recommend stuff and make money on those sales. But Google didn't manage to get a record deal, so you're probably right.
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googlebot
post Jul 21 2011, 13:00
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IMHO the business model is severely flawed. Storage and downstream bandwidth cause real costs for the operator. A very artificial business model funnels all these costs to upstream users. The most under-utilized resource in this service - upstream capacity - is getting charged most. A good business model has a pricing structure that motivates customers in a way that implicitly optimizes resource usage (and cost). This one doesn't, it's rather the opposite. To me it looks like a business model trying to look different from the rest at any price.

I think, spoon might have written a clever deduplication software. So he expects his costs to stay below average (not that other storage providers wouldn't be using this too). IMHO a good business model, if you have a good deduplication product would be letting users leverage exactly that: pay less the better your data can be deduplicated. For example, pay close to zero storage costs for accurately ripped, lossless tracks of popular albums. A specialist deduplication system could decode and encode the audio content to a common lossless format and then just save one file plus (individual) metadata as delta. Retrieving the files would mean reencoding to the user-chosen lossless format. Costs for users would increase for users of rare, lossy formats and special taste, but not to punish them but because the actual storage costs for their content would actually be higher. BTW, the same strategies could be applied to lossy formats (MP3, AAC) etc.: one could deduplicate the raw audio content streams and save delta files for metadata and offset. Same here: the more a user has followed best practices for encoding and ripping, the lower his average storage costs would be.

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