Dropbox has acquired personal music streaming service Audiogalaxy. No details on the deal have been revealed, but the Audiogalaxy service is shutting down and the team will likely join Dropbox to work on new features.
Audiogalaxy enables people to stream their personal music collection from their computers to a browser or any mobile device.
It isn't a cloud service by the strictest definition (if there is such a thing) since the music is streamed from your computer to the remote locations. What this means is that you need to keep your computer running to access your music.
Audiogalaxy has a long history, as a company, as a service and as a team. However, the latest version of the product is shutting down by the end of the year.
The app itself will continue to work, so people will be able to stream music, but Mixes, which were stored by Audiogalaxy, won't be available after December 31, 2012.
The app was free, but the cloud service which supported the Mixes feature was paid. The site is no longer accepting new signups either.
Given the nature of Audiogalaxy, it's easy to speculate on why Dropbox may be interested. In the past year and a half, several big companies have launched music cloud services, Google, Amazon, Apple.
None of them is very popular, maybe because none of them is very good, but they offer huge amounts of storage for free or very little money.
Dropbox must be feeling the threat. Dropbox is a great service, but what it's trading is essentially a commodity, cloud storage space.
This is why there are countless Dropbox
clones competitors out there with more launching all the time, including big names like Google or Microsoft.
What has kept Dropbox in the lead has been the quality of the apps and the service itself. But it needs to add more features to the basic service to both encourage people to store more stuff online, and therefore need more Dropbox space, and do more with Dropbox itself, therefore tieing users to the service.
That's the idea behind the photo sync feature Dropbox introduced earlier this year. On the one hand, photos eat up more storage space, possibly pushing people to start paying for more space.
On the other, Dropbox makes it easy to get your photos out of your camera or out of your phone and put them online without any effort from you.
It's easy how the same thing could be built for music, it takes up even more space than photos and having the ability to listen to music directly from the Dropbox app means users won't need to sign up for another cloud service, like Google Music, for it.
That said, there's no guarantee that the Audiogalaxy team will be working on anything related to music at Dropbox, their expertise is with peer-to-peer and cloud storage services, a natural fit for Dropbox no matter what they'll focus on.