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Tuesday, September 18, 2007
AOL to Test Pictures, Video, Music Site

Time Warner's AOL will test a free service that lets users consolidate on one Web site their personal photos, videos and music that are now scattered across multiple computers and Web sites.

The new site, Bluestring, combines elements of video- sharing sites such as Google's YouTube, online picture sites such as Yahoo's Flickr service and music sites with AOL's online storage division Xdrive.

AOL said its service differs from others as it lets users consolidate and store their vast archives of personal media spread across the Internet.

Users will be granted about 5 gigabytes of memory. Depending on file size, that would be enough storage to hold about 1,600 songs, or up to 10,000 photos, or about 600 videos.

While still in testing stages, Bluestring lets users grab photos, videos and music from other sites by clicking a link to the other third-party services. During the test, users will be able to connect to their Flickr accounts.

AOL plans to let users connect to more services, possibly including YouTube, down the line, said AOL Senior Vice President David Liu.

An account, available for free, will not be required to view a Bluestring user's photo slide show or video. But editing will require registration for an account.

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