The founder of Dropbox, Drew Houston, told Technology Review in February that he’s trying to build “the Internet’s file system”. News that the company has bought Audiogalaxy, a company whose software would stream your music collection over Internet to another computer or phone, suggests Dropbox may also being trying to be the Internet’s music player.
Houston has long talked about intending to do more than simply move people’s files from one place to another, saying to us:
Even though today people may think of Dropbox as a magic folder on their desktop, what we’re really excited about is the opportunity to make all this other stuff you use better. We envision little Dropbox icons everywhere…[a]ny app or device should be able to plug into Dropbox and have access to all your stuff, because that’s where it resides.
Should Dropbox decide to offer music streaming it will be competing with similar services from Amazon and Google, both of which allow people to upload their collections for later playback.
If Dropbox does that, a side benefit could be that many more people bumping up against the two gigabyte storage limit of a free account, due to the relative heft of music files. That could help the company convince more people to start paying for the service.
When designing an embedded system choosing which tools to use often comes down to building a custom solution or buying off-the-shelf tools.