Megaupload has launched Megabox, a web-based, online music locker and player with an integrated music store. Megaupload is a controversial file-hosting service that has over 50 million daily users and accounts for 4 percent of global Internet traffic, according to the company.
Megabox will be familiar to anybody who has used Google Music, Amazon Cloud Drive, mSpot or any other online music locker on the market. Songs can be uploaded using Megakey, Megaupload's file-uploading application, to the user's online locker. The Megabox site contains no information on the space given to each account, however (it only encourages potential users to "upload your entire music library"). Megabox also has social elements. Users can search for and follow friends, and send messages to friends within the service.
Purchasing music at Megabox seems like an afterthought and not exactly seamless, but it's possible. Tracks can be purchased through Amazon MP3 or 7digital. Music-related information is provided by Sony-owned Gracenote.
The launch of Megabox comes just two weeks after Megaupload's star-studded promotional video became worldwide news. The video, which featured endorsements from the likes of Will.I.Am, Kanye West and Alicia Keys, resulted in Universal Music Group issuing a DMCA takedown notice to YouTube. Megaupload fought back with a lawsuit, and YouTube reinstated the video.
Megabox will face an uphill challenge. As the legal services of P2P company LimeWire and iMesh have proved, a free file-sharing service may attract the masses but legal stores and services are a different ballgame. LimeWire operated an MP3 download store until it shut down in late 2010. iMesh launched a legal P2P (or, rather, a service that mimics P2P) in 2005 after settling a lawsuit brought by record labels. If Megabox has any advantage it is the ability to tap into Megaupload's existing base of some 50 million users.