Last time I described tunesafe.com, a beautiful, smooth, elegant service with just one drawback: if the company behind it went bankrupt or changed its strategy, your service would end. With backups, this matters: you don’t want your backup data’s survival to depend on someone else’s financial stability.
So let’s take a different approach. Open an Amazon S3 account of your own. Amazon make this easy. They let anyone do it. They don’t charge you for opening the account and, month by month, they charge your credit card with just the cost of what you have used: data storage, and upload and download.
There will still be a program called Tunesafe on your PC, but this time it will be rather cleverer. It will maintain a duplicate copy of your iTunes music library directly on Amazon’s S3 space without needing a tunesafe.com server to help it. It will communicate directly with S3 for all its data storage and retrieval. If our tunesafe.com business disappears tomorrow, your Tunesafe program will carry on working just the same. Your contract is with Amazon: as long as you pay your bills, Amazon S3 will store your data.
There is just one snag left. We have arranged for you to pay for your data storage yourself – that’s no problem – but who pays us for the Tunesafe program that you’re using, and how? If the thing doesn’t get paid for somehow, then it won’t get written and you won’t be able to use it.
Next time, I’ll go into the ways in which the writer of Tunesafe might be able to make money out of it. This will include a suggested modification to the current S3 service that could lead to an explosion of new businesses built on S3.