Robertson's MP3tunes

By Jon Newton 2/4/05

Once upon a time Mike Robertson founded an online music service called And it was great. Indie musicians could show-case and, ultimately, sell their creations online to millions of listeners.

One of its main draws was that people could register, talk among themselves about who they liked and who they didn’t like, in the process boosting their favourite tunes into the hit list.

The Olympus m:robe MR-500i Digital Music/Video Player is available on Amazon

But it got silly. Really silly. The ‘boosting’ process turned into a mockery and the site quickly became a shadow of its former self.

Vivendi walked in to turn it into a shadow of a shadow and finally, along came CNET, the wraith’s current owner.

Robertson, in the meanwhile, left the world of music for the world of Linux, starting up Lindows which, under pressure from Bill and the Boyz, eventually became Linspire.

But Mikey’s returning to his roots, it would appear.

“After a three-year hiatus from the digital music business, I'm announcing that I'm back with a new company called MP3tunes,” he writes in his blog.

He says he’ll be, “demoing a couple of music-related products from MP3tunes that carry on many of the principles that encompassed my experience with” at the Desktop Summit and, “I'll be demoing a new product called MP3beamer, which I'm very excited about.”

MP3beamer, eh? Does this mean the arrival, finally, of an mp3 download service with reasonable pricing.

Not from the look of it.

“At launch, MP3tunes will offer a few hundred thousand tracks from independent labels and artists at a cost of US$0.88 per track or $8.88 per album,” the IDG News Service quotes Robertson as saying.

Ninety cents a download and nine bucks for an album?

And, “MP3tunes has yet to approach the major record labels,” adds IDG.

At least indie artists will be getting a look-in and MP3tunes tracks will arrive without DRM


Jon Newton is the editor of and is a regular contributer to MP3 Newswire. Jon's site is devoted to the politics of digital music and his insights as well as those of his co-writers can be read there. We urge you to explore it.

The U2 iPod is available on Amazon

Other MP3 stories:
Sony PSP Music Service
Movie Industry Sues File Traders Again
The Digital Media Winners of 2004
The Digital Media Losers of 2004

Back to