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// Tales from software development

We're sorry, but MediaMax and The Linkup are now closed.

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If you used MediaMax or The Linkup then you probably already know that the company is no longer operating.

I started using StreamLoad about four years ago. I was working on a project where I was the only developer and the source code was on my laptop but not backed up anywhere. For my own peace of mind, as well as my client’s, I used StreamLoad to store daily backups of my work. At the time, the preferred way of doing this was to use the StreamLoad Uploader and Downloader tools. These were Windows applications that communicated with the StreamLoad website to, as you might guess, upload and download files.

Once that project was complete I never really used StreamLoad again and instead used local backup devices like external disk drives. But once in a while I’d visit the StreamLoad web site and login and check that my files were still there. 

StreamLoad became MediaMax and focused on hosting media files that could be linked to from your own web site. The StreamLoad tools still seemed to work and web site itself improved with a vaguely Windows Explorer like interface for managing your uploaded files. Then MediaMax became The Linkup.

I haven’t visited the StreamLoad web site for quite a while but I was still a bit shocked when I tried it last night and got an almost completely blank page but with these words in the centre of it:

 

 

 

 

We’re sorry, but MediaMax and The Linkup are now closed.

 

 

 

Apparently, The Linkup announced on July 10, 2008 that they would be ending the service on August 8, giving users less than a month to grab their files.

I doubt that I’ve lost anything that I didn’t have a copy of elsewhere but there must be a lot of people out there who have. If you run a quick search on the words ‘mediamax legal action’, you’ll get around 7,500 hits. Clearly, there are some very unhappy ex-MediaMax customers out there. I say ‘customers’ but that’s actually the problem – most of MediaMax’s users weren’t money-paying customers. Some were but the majority were users like me who made use of the storage facilities as a backup. StreamLoad’s original business model was based on the idea that you’d pay to download files if you needed more than 10mb at a time. So, they were never going to make money unless lots of their users kept losing files and needed to download the backups they’d uploaded.

The old adage that ‘if it seems to be too good to be true then it probably is’ holds true here but perhaps we should be more circumspect about other online data storage services too. There really isn’t any guarantee that any of these services won’t lose your data or go out of business in the long term. So, by all means go ahead and use online backup services but I, for one, won’t be relying on them totally…

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Written by Sea Monkey

October 21, 2008 at 7:00 pm

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