Come out to Myplay.com

Love may be the international language, but music's giving it a run for the money. So says Doug Camplejohn, a former Apple product manager who now heads up Myplay.com, an online music storage service that launched last week.

According to a statement put out by Myplay, MP3 overtook "sex" as the most searched word on the Internet several months ago.

"It's a little frightening," says Camplejohn, Myplay's CEO. "I don't even like to think about the social ramifications of that."

A bona fide Web application, Myplay is a free service that lets you, a member, collect and store music in an online "locker" on the site. The space is ample: 250MB per locker.

You can upload your CDs to the site and listen to them from any Web-accessible computer, perhaps at work or on the road. Your locker is secured by password, in order to satisfy copyright protections. Camplejohn equates the service to making a single tape of your favourite album. And, like a mixed tape, you can choose the play order of the songs in your locker.

The service will also transfer audio files from another Internet site to your locker, saving the hassle of first downloading the music, converting it to the appropriate format, and then uploading the file to a server. Enter the address where your audio file exists, and Myplay will fetch it for you. In addition, promotional songs are offered already digitised and ready to add to your area.

You can store music by album, genre, and track. A database provides additional information about artists, including discographies and liner notes.

"This is about music, not about file storage," Camplejohn says. "We're trying to make digital music as easy to use as AOL made Internet access or Apple made using computers."

Like Amazon.com, the service will attempt to track your likes and dislikes. Through mailing lists, the service updates you when an artist you like makes the news. A Myplay user who likes Alanis Morissette, for example, would be notified of upcoming releases, tour dates, and TV appearances.

A quick tryout of the program revealed a privacy-friendly and hassle-free registration process, although some files produced error messages when played. Camplejohn says the service is in beta for another month or more, but is accepting new members now.

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Paul Heltzel

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