Maestro wants to enable you listen to your music collection wherever you go — no iPod required.
The two year old Atlanta-based company, which had earlier tried and failed to bring a hardware music player to market, has developed a portal that lets you stream music straight from your computer to your friends, as long as your computer stays on.
This poses huge copyright questions, and the company wasn’t able to address how it is handling them. This is particularly relevant, since Maestro is developing an application for Facebook, a company in the midst of grappling with major copyright questions as it is.
Maestro’s founder and president, Clarkson Logan, for his part, says he’s in talks with “leading digital licensing companies” and does not expect copyright to be a big deal.
Maestro is different from “media locker” companies like Oboe and MediaMaster, which require you to upload your music to have access to it online. It is similar to Orb, but Maestro emphasizes networking with friends and makes it easy to access their music, as well. (Orb focuses on delivering your personal media to you, and allows you to stream photos, music, and video.) Maestro has an embeddable widget that gives you access to your friends’ collections from their MySpace pages.
The computer-based sharing isn’t even Maestro’s primary focus. It’s currently building applications for BREW and Java-based mobile devices that will allow you to listen to you and your friends’ music from your phone. This music networking feature is, however, Maestro’s key differentiator.
Clarkson says he is exploring new business models. He mentioned mobile advertising and premium services, but did not elaborate.
Maestro is currently in private beta, but you can apply for an account.
The company is trying to raise around $5 million.