Apr 11, 2007

[Web] MediaMax


Today we're taking a look at the media-host site MediaMax (formerly Streamload to understand just why exactly I like this site.

Back in 2005 I was desperately looking for a place to dump my MP3's, admittedly for the sole purpose of pirating them over to the office. Of course there was email, but it was taking a lot of time and I also wanted to create backup copies of my music. I came across Streamload which seemed to have potential but while it promised a lot of storage space, free accounts couldn't download more than 100Mb per month. Ouch. I used the site for a while and eventually abandoned some time later.

I had heard about the rebranding of Streamload to Mediamax in recent months and decided to check it out once more after a long conversation with a friend of mine about backing up music and files online. It's a good thing I remembered this site.

The free account level of MediaMax now offers 25Gb of storage with a 1Gb download allotment per month - not bad at all when you think about it. The true purpose is to use this as a backup facility so you're not going to be re-downloading your files every time. You always have the option to stream your music as opposed to downloading it, treating your MediaMax account like a weird external hard drive.

As part of the rebranding, MediaMax is no longer just about music. It also features photo and video hosting services as well, which is pretty keen. There are media-specific file organizers that are "smart" enough to interpret your media such as identifying the album and artists for your music files if the information is available. Plus it has a lot of sharing options whether you want to allow people to download your music or by sending them the files directly.

The downside so far is the uploading tools - the HTML tool is sure to work but is slow and will time out over slow connections. The ActiveX uploaded in IE works a bit better but has similar speed issues and it's hard to track down where your uploaded files went since the system copies for your local file structure in MediaMax, making for a number of unnecessary folders. For Firefox there's a Javascript-based uploader that's highly buggy and I do not recommend it.

They also offer a beta product called MediaMax XL, which is supposed to help you manage uploads and downloads. In terms of uploads it's a lot faster than any of the previously mentioned options. You can designate where the files will be saved and you can pause and resume your uploads as needed. The only downside is that it has a tendency of "losing" your files, such that it shows as uploaded in the application but when you check your account the files will be missing. The Tech Support crew got back to me fairly quickly but have no immediate solutions apart from re-installing the program, with the disclaimer that it's still in beta. They also recommended I try their FTP uploading options which I have yet to get around to at the time of this entry.

So if you need a lot of online space to stow away your looming collection of music or in fact any multimedia files, then this is a good site for you, as long as you can deal with the upload issues. If you need more space, there are paid account levels that offer more storage and bigger download bandwidth.


  1. If you are interested in sharing videos and photos with friends and family, you may also want to try Quickeo: http://www.quickeo.com
    The service was designed to make it real simple for people to share rich multimedia content, with a focus on making the experience pleasant for the receiver as well. I am interested in feedback if you give it a try...

  2. Hi,

    Thanks for the heads-up. I'll sit down with Quickeo at the soonest opportunity and you'll probably see a review about the service here on the Guide.