Music services geared toward untethered listening are enjoying increasing popularity thanks to the fact that cell phones are replacing standalone MP3 players for many people. MP3tunes is one of many solutions that has cropped up as a solution for on-the-go listening. The company offers a music cloud service that lets you upload up to 2GB of music for free and access it from any Internet-connected computer as well as a variety of handheld devices.
The first step to using MP3tunes is to download the teeny, tiny LockerSync uploader tool, which lets the service analyze your library and add it to the cloud. MP3tunes accepts both audio and video files in a variety of formats including MP3, AAC, WMA, OGG, FLV, MP4, and M4A. It also recognizes iTunes playlists, which is a nice feature. Unsurprisingly, DRM-protected tracks are not supported.
Once your music is in the cloud, there are a variety of ways to access it. The first is via the Web player at MP3tunes.com. Here, you'll find a well-organized interface with a visually pleasing playback box that displays album art. It's easy to browse tracks by album, artist, or playlist. Several in-home and portable hardware devices are also compatible with the service, including the iPhone, Android phones, Roku boxes, and even through your TV if you have TiVo.
MP3tunes performed admirably during our testing. There were no notable hiccups with playback, and audio quality is about on par with any other streaming audio service. That is, it won't be audiophile-approved (especially since lossless formats aren't supported), but music sounds pleasant enough for the mainstream listener.
As noted, you can store up to 2GB of media in your locker at no charge. If you need more space, MP3tunes offers 50GB of storage for a monthly fee of $4.99.