Friday, February 16, 2007


Bandwagon logo

Full disclosure: Bandwagon is offering free accounts for 1 year to bloggers that write about their service and provide a link to their site -- details here.

Bandwagon is a service that competes with MP3Tunes, but focuses on trying to do more core features really well as opposed to offering some of the advanced features of MP3Tunes.  Both services provide for unlimited storage of iTunes tracks, but there are some pretty major differences:

  • Cost:

    • MP3Tunes -- unlimited storage for free with restrictions and advertising; $39 per year for unlimited storage with full features and no advertising.

    • Bandwagon -- unlimited storage for $70 per year.

  • Platform:

    • MP3Tunes -- Windows, Mac, and Linux clients.

    • Bandwagon -- Mac client only.

  • What's backed up?

    • MP3Tunes -- free plan backs up all non-DRM music; premium plan backs up all music.

    • Bandwagon -- backs up all music, play count, lyrics, album art, ratings, preferences, etc.

  • Back-up process:

    • MP3Tunes -- software-driven with Oboe Sync; user must define sync frequency.

    • Bandwagon -- softwar-drive with Bandwagon software; sync is event-driven (i.e., Bandwagon will automatically begin syncing withn new music is purchased, ripped, etc.)

  • Streaming your stored music:

    • MP3Tunes -- the premium and free accounts allow you to stream your stored music via a browser on any computer; the premium account also allows you to sream your music on a browser on any web-capable device (i.e., phone, PDA, etc.)

    • Bandwagon -- this is not a feature.

  • User experience:

    • MP3Tunes -- application is similar across platforms.  In comparison to the Bandwagon application, the MP3Tunes application is not nearly as straight forward and might even be a little intimidating to non-technical users.  Check out the Oboe Sync screenshots (scroll down the page a little), which happen to be for the Mac platform, making comparison with Bandwagon pretty easy.

    • Bandwagon -- the application is very Mac-specific, holding with the ease-of-use that I expect from Mac applications; this is likely the result of being very focused on the core philosophy of creating a very simple iTunes back-up solution only for the Mac.  Check out screenshots of Bandwagon.

I'm sure there are other things to compare, but everything above is probably enough to make an informed decision, especially because I've never used any of the Bandwagon software and therefore cannot comment on Bandwagon vs. MP3Tunes, which I have and do use.  Perhaps once I have a chance to use Bandwagon I will post a more detailed comparison.

These seem like the key questions to ask yourself if you are trying to choose between the 2 services:

  1. Do I use OS X exclusively?  If the answer to this is "no," then choose MP3Tunes or some other general back-up solution.

  2. Do I use iTunes?  If you're not using iTunes for your music, MP3Tunes does allow back up of your music from other application and also through a web interface; also, you might want to consider a standard online back-up service that backs up everything on your computer.

  3. Is cost an issue for me?  MP3Tunes works out to around $3.50 per month while Bandwagon is about $5.50 per month.

  4. Do I need the ability to stream my stored music?  If not, then Bandwagon might be a better choice.

  5. Do I want to back up all of my iTunes data, not just the music?  Bandwagon does this, MP3Tunes does not.

  6. Do I care about software complexity and ease of use?  Bandwagon seems damn easy to use vs. MP3Tunes, which is slightly more complex.

Link -- Bandwagon (this will be the main page when they launch on 2/22/07)

Link -- Bandwagon blog (if you want to read about things prior to 2/22/07)

Link -- MP3Tunes 

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