[qi:031] WeBot, a San Francisco-based digital media startup that was founded by alumni of Shoutcast and AOL Music, has come up with a nifty little solution that allows you to stream MP3 files and your digital photos over the Internet.
We recently met with WeBot CEO David Gottesman and CTO Chris Amen. They gave us a demo of the service, which is currently in limited beta. (If you use registration code “GigaOM” it will get you ahead of the queue.) And, and least in demo mode, it looked pretty darned good.
Less than a year old, and thus far angel-funded, WeBot has build a desktop software that, once installed, turns your computer into a server, allowing you to share and access your music and photos.
You can install the software on any number of computers and it doesn’t matter if they are running Windows (XP, Vista), Mac OS X, or Linux.
You go to the WeBot web site, register, and using a pretty simple interface, link all your computers running the software to your account. From there, all of your music and photos are available via the browser. It is a fairly simple and easy process; you just need to remember two things:
1. What folders you want to share (or stream).
2. The software at present supports only JPEG (for photos) and MP3 (for music), though more formats will be supported in coming months.
It is a clever product that helps aggregate the digital clutter some of us have spread across our various computers. Their iPhone application, in particular, is pretty awesome. It seems like you are actually using the “iPod” part of the iPhone, even though streams are coming via the browser.
The music and photos are streamed over both EDGE and WiFi, though WiFi is clearly superior. This application might be even more useful with the pending launch of iPod Touch, the WiFi-based iPod device.
Let me know what you think of this service. I will get around to playing with it over the weekend, and update the post if I have any further thoughts.
24 thoughts on “WeBot Helps You Stream Your Music, Photos To Your iPhone”
Thanks for the post. It is always good to talk to you and we value your feedback. We have a very active beta group helping us work through bugs, provide feature input, etc. on http://forums.webot.com.
I wanted to remind GigaOM readers that we are in private beta and are still working through performance tweaks, bugs and such. We’ve already had some GigaOM readers sign-up and are looking forward to their feedback.
As this is a private beta, there are a limited number of seats available. If we fill our private beta list, we may need to close registration temporarily until the public beta opens.
Well ! That is a great solution for a $600, ohh sorry, I mean, a $400 phone ! 🙂
Nice product UI there Chris. I joined the beta, though I dont own a iPhone, but if the app lets me share my collection over any browser (on PC or on PocketPC or on Nokia), its good.
Hoping to give it a run over the weekend.
How is this different from
I mean trying to be innovative is something and trying to just come up with one more is another… Well I guess we have a need and this might just suit someone better than than the others.
actually try and then see how it works. unlike soonr it is focusing not on all your files and access to those files, but instead it is simpler media file sharing/streaming. i think soonr has a bigger (and different) value proposition.
Would WeBot also work for the new iPod Touch?
The webot service will work with the new iPod Touch! It has the same Safari web browser as the iphone.
So basically, they’re building a mac version of orb.com?
Thanks Om I had already tried a dry run of WeBot using your invite code before I commented.
It will be obviously difficult to do a apple for apple comparison with Soonr. But what about Avvenu and in many ways Nutsie?
Again Avvenu does not have a mobile access point yet, but Nutsie works from the mobile too. Also Nutsie does not need the songs to be uploaded either (though I wonder how much more difficult that can get for them to include). Similarly I wonder how long would Avvenu take to include mobile access to their version of resource remote access.
I think the future is not about just song or document sharing, its got to be more than that for things to be useful.
Soonr is a more likely candidate to move ahead as it seems to have the right combination of things (except songs!).
WeBot is way too innocent right now 🙂
It will have to reach a much higher level of maturity to really stand out in this crowded world.
What do you think?
I agree, this seems very similar to what Orb Networks has been doing for a long time — for all types of multimedia files, video included.
That said, I would be interested to review the full Beta version, once it’s available.
I’ve actually been an Orb user for quite some time and I really like the simplicity and edginess of Webot. I also like their minimalistic approach to consolidating my cluttered media collection.
I have yet to jump on the iphone train but when I do, it’s good to know I do not have to worry about the limitations of 4 or 8 gigs of space.
I love coupling my iPhone with my Webot gives me virtually unlimited access to all my music and images. I have 5 pc’s and mac’s with a WeBot bot installed and well over 250gbs of music, anytime anywhere; earchable and browsable. The edge network is a little unreliable, but when i can tap into a wifi net it’s golden.
The private beta period is over at this point. No special code or permission to jump in and play with the app is necessary. There’s now also downloading of photos in full resolution, a full screen slide show (faux screensaver), auto detection of audio and photo files with photo collections and sharing with your friends looming just around the corner.
I gotta say, this little app is dope. Keep the good work WeBots!
Wouldn’t that suck if this were a front for the RIAA to collect information from everyone who has illegal music?
Of course it would suck but fortunately that’s a few steps south of tin hat theory. If you’re looking for something to be paranoid about, you ought to be more worried about a MegaloMart corporation like Google peering at your every movement on the web than a start up media company.
WeBot is way too innocent right now 🙂
It will have to reach a much higher level of maturity to really stand out in this crowded world.<<<<
added photo sharing yesterday (12.6.07). music sharing and a more expanded social platform for public and private(filtered) sharing is just around the corner. iTunes library integration is almost complete (you iTunes music library is now automatically discovered and indexed0.