Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Download problems continue

Here is a round up of messages from Mediamax on download problems.

Some files are unobtainable. They are working on it, but no idea of when files missing for over a month will be obtainable. This was a reply I received from the new improved support email service (seems like you will get a reply now within a day or so).

---Mediamax support 30 July

The fix is ongoing and in progress, but I don't have an ETA on it's completion. I'm sorry I don't have a better answer for you than that.


I have tried to upload the missing files as I am fortunate to still have copies. Mine are mp3 files. They do not appear. This is what Mediamax support had to say.

---Mediamax support 28 July

There's an issue with some bit for bit copies, that compunds this issue, a new upload of an existing file won't work unless you change the content of the file itself. Just changing the file name won't work, you need to edit something like the metadata to change the checksum of the file. A new upload should then result in a working file.

We are very sorry about this and are working to resolve it but please try the above workaround in the meantime.

I responded that changing an mp3 file is not a particularly easy workaround and my preferred approach is to use another service.

Now, some people are unable to download because their download limit has been reached and not re-credited at the start of the next period. This is the response from Mediamax:

---Mediamax blog 30 July 2007

Download Credits

Some users with accounts renewing the last four days of this month may not have automatically received their regular allotment of downloads. If you are one of the users affected please email us at support@mediamax.com. In your subject line please type "Download Credits". We'll have your download credits posted within 24 hours of receiving your email.

We are working on a solution to prevent this from happening next month. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Thanks for your patience and your business!

The MediaMax Customer Support Team


Finally, work is underway for an FTP system to upload and download files. There is a suggestion that Mediamax may actually get this working before subjecting us to it. This is the Mediamax blog 28 July.

----Mediamax blog 28 July 2007

FTP Update

We've gotten inquiries from users about the return of FTP uploads. We have a new version that will allow the management of both uploads and downloads. (The previous version only allowed for the management of uploads.) This added functionality was a request from many of our users. We're currently performing quality assurance testing on the new version to ensure full functionality. We'll post here when it becomes available for use.


So still not much joy for customers.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Communication established with Mediamax

As mentioned previously Mr. John Hood, Director of Customer Support at Mediamax, left a comment on this blog, after which I formally welcomed him.

I'm pleased to say John has responded to some of the specific questions raised here and has offered to drop by to leave additional information.

If you have left a comment raising a particular issue, keep an eye on it as you may find an answer. I'll flag up anything in a new posting that I think is of general interest.

Here is John's comment left here:



As we've stated on the blog we're working on restoring access to files. We do not have an ETA for completion but will post on both of our blogs and here when it's done.

We're posting all refund requests in the order received. Due to an unusually high volume of email there will be a delay in responding but we will get to every email. Thanks for your patience.

We don't allow comments on the blog because we don't the manpower to manage it and respond. We're a small start up of less than a dozen people. We feel that it's more important that all of us work at restoring service instead of pulling one of us off that work to manage the blog. Having said that, I'll try to check on here when I can to respond to your posts.


John Hood

Streamload is dead - it's just Mediamax now

There is a new Mediamax blog, hosted here on blogger! I wonder if we inspired them?

And the latest entry says Streamload is dead. It is just Mediamax now. Those who have been telling us of the good old days before Streamload was taken over, may wish to mark its passing.

As usual, you can't comment on the Mediamax blog, so I'll include their latest posting here so you can comment.

----Mediamax blog 27 July 2007 - Quote:

Email limits, Streamload.com, and the blog

A one improvement and a couple of changes and for today:

Mediamax.com application improvement:

- Email limits. With our shiny new database servers (again, very sorry about the problems encountered getting us here) we have significantly more processing capacity to handle large message volume.

We'd prefer not to share exact limitations because spammers may be able to use that against us, but the limits are about 10 times greater than before and we don't think you should hit them under any normal use.

And BIG changes to the web site for the marketing folks, but it doesn't have any material impact on you:

- No more "Streamload", "Streamload.com", or "powered by Streamload". We're consolidating brands and just going with "MediaMax". In fact, our new company name is "MediaMax, Inc.", and our service and website is now just "MediaMax". Simple, eh?

- We're also using new blog software. Actually we're not actually running software at all anymore but using a hosted blog at Blogspot (that's where you are right now). Links to old postings on the old blog will continue to work for some time, but life is much simpler for us here not having to maintain blog software and it's good to have one less thing to worry about.


Welcome Mr. John Hood from Mediamax

I would like to formally welcome Mr. John Hood, Director of Customer Support at Mediamax to this blog. I have been alerting Mediamax to its existance since setting it up, so nice for someone to drop by.

This is Mr. Hood's reply to comments on an earlier entry about the lack of response to emails:

Nothing could be further from the truth. We are most definitely listening (and reading...)
We were swamped with emails which slowed down response times as I said in my post. We've got a better ERM system now and are up to the challenge. Please shoot us an email.

John Hood
Director of Customer Support

I'd like to invite Mr. Hood to respond to some of the other key concerns people have been raising here. Specifically:

1. When can we expect files that no longer stream or download to be accessible again?

2. As there appear to have been breakdowns in service periodically since Mediamax took over Streamload, how can we have any confidence that there won't be more? Some users have lost access to files for the past month. This is not a minor issue.

3. What compensation will be offered to users? How about extending the billing period by twice the down time? Two months extension owed so far. Those off us who have had to go to extra expense and trouble to put services like podcasts back on air would perhaps see this as getting off lightly.

4. When will refunds be made to people who have been billed after closing their accounts?

Feel free to leave answers in a comment or I can give you posting rights if you contact me.

Alternatively why not answer these questions on the Mediamax blog and allow people to comment there?

Friday, July 27, 2007

Mediamax admit some files still not available

I've had an automated reply from the new Mediamax customer support system, written about last time.

At least it acknowledges the problem of files not being accessible. Perhaps they should put that on the blog. They are described as 'temporarily unavailable'. I guess we could say a month is 'temporary', if it doesn't drag on into two months....

Here is what the email says:


Thank you for contacting the MediaMax Customer Support Team! There is no need to reply to this message. Your email will be answered as quickly and efficiently as possible by one of our trained support staff. Due to abnormally high email volume it may take longer than normal for you to receive a reply. For the latest site update please read and subscribe to our blog at blog.mediamax.com.

We are working around the clock to correct the situation with temporarily unavailable files. We will post updates on the blog as issues are resolved.

Your e-mail has generated Ticket ID******. Please use the ticket number when referring to this issue in the future.

Be sure to add support@mediamax.com to your contact list or accepted sender list to ensure proper delivery of MediaMax e-mails.

Thank you for contacting MediaMax! We look forward to serving you.


MediaMax Customer Support

Mediamax is listening - but has lost our emails

This is hilarious. Today on the Mediamax blog it tells us they are listening.... but seem to have lost all the emails we have sent!

Let's take up the offer and send another.

As usual you can't comment on the Mediamax blog, so leave comments here.

This is their latest posting:


We’re Listening!

We understand your frustration with the slow response time from MediaMax Customer Support. Due to higher volume than normal our turn around has slowed considerably. We have addressed this situation by switching to another Email Response Management system that will enable us to improve response time. If you have sent an email recently and haven’t heard from us please shoot us another one. We’ll answer every single query as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Thanks for your support and your business!


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

More good things are coming our way....

Here is the latest posting on the Streamload blog. See:

Again comments are disabled there, so leave them here:


Hello Uploaders and Downloaders!

Update on the update: Uploading continues to work much better - and you have all demonstrated that with your voracious appetite to consume MediaMax disk space. No problem, we love your files, and thanks for uploading.

However, with the new upload processing system, during peak loads we do get a little behind in processing your files. Right now, for example, there is no backup in the upload queue and files that are uploaded will appear nearly instantaneously in your account (files that are 500 MB or more may take 60+ seconds though). However, during peak loads (e.g. today around 2 PM Pacific Time) we could not process the uploads fast enough. We’re working on adding capacity, but during those times it may take as long as an hour for your upload to appear in your account. Sorry about that, and we’ll get things snappy again as soon as possible.

Speaking of snappy, welcome to the speedy new MediaMax database and user interface. You’ll notice the Photo, Video, and Music tabs are gone. They were not working well and quite frankly were not popular with you guys. All your photo, video, and music files that were under these “tabs” are still in your account, just now only under ‘File Manager’ as they always were. Very few users used these tabs, but they significantly increased the load on the database. You’ll notice that MediaMax is now much faster to use.

Thanks again for using MediaMax and reading this blog, and more good things are coming our way…

- Team MediaMax


For me uploading is working, but as previously written, I'm shifting to another system, because some of my mp3 streams still do not work and uploading on Mediamax doesn't solve the problem (same files play if uploaded on the competition). I've had no response from Mediamax to any of my emails over the past weeks, other than the automated ones.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Who is better than Mediamax?

The Mediamax / Streamload system was great when it worked, but it has fallen over. Though uploads are now working again for me, some of my old mp3 files no longer stream or download. As I wrote last time, even uploading the file again does not solve the problem - it seem the contents of the file have to be changed for the old, inaccessible file to be replaced.

So I've been trying some alternatives. Last time I wrote about esnips and omnidrive, which don't quite cover all I want to do with mp3 files.

Now I am trying Box.net. See:

This has a widget for embedding a player in a web-page. You can create a public direct link to the file. I've pasted that into my browser and it streams into the Quicktime plugin (which omnidrive doesn't support). It also works with the iTunes player.

Oh, and the file I tested this with is the one I have been uploading to Mediamax which won't play from that sytem. Of course, Mediamax haven't responded to me on this problem.

The only issue I have with Box.net is that, unlike with Mediamax, the track data with the mp3 file isn't displaying on the players and the file name is not the one you give it, but one the system creates. So it's not obvious what is playing.

From the posts on this blog it seems that even if Mediamax sorts out this round of problems, it is likely a whole host more will arise without warning. Looking through their blog you see a whole host of postings about other upgrades which have made the system fall to pieces.

There are some other options. Any other suggestions?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Are your mp3 streams not working?

My older mp3 stream on Mediamax have not been working since this move to the new system last month. They are still not working today.

However, since a few hours ago I have been able upload files and they appear soon after, if not immediately. Hurrah.

So I though I would try to sort out my dead mp3 files. The bad news is, the ones on the server seem unusable. Worse news is, that uploading the original file doesn't solve it. But I have found what seems to work. If you don't have a back up of your file though, you may be lost. And if you were using Mediamax to back up files then I feel for you! From the comments left here, it is looking like people have lost some important stuff. Let us hope Mediamax will recover it.

Okay, the mp3 problem. My files are still there in the 'hosted' folder. But when I try to access them through the Mediamax control panel it just sits there forever, waiting for the server. If I try to access them via the link on my blog it's as if there is nothing to download.

I still had a copy of some of the files in my 'filemanager' so replaced the 'hosted' file with that. Made no difference. Tried downloading the file and got an error message. So it looks like it's been corrupted.

I uploaded the file again and copied it into 'hosted'. Wouldn't play. Deleted the originals, uploaded again. Still wouldn't play. Plays fine on my computer.

Then I remembered seeing (in the blog I think) that if you upload a duplicate file, this is recognised and so instead of taking up space a link to the existing file is made. The tip I read said you have to make a change to the file if you want a separate file - not the name, but the contents.

So I cut a bit of silence from the file and uploaded again. Now it works. Almighty pain to have to modify each file, but as they are podcasts I can do that. If it was music, would be difficult, I imagine. I can't find the blog about this at present, but have found this one, which implies the same thing:

...in addition to an industry-leading 250 GB of unique storage, we will also not count duplicate files stored on our servers against that 250 GB storage limit. So, if many Streamload customers are storing the same Britney Spears MP3s that you are storing (come on, admit it!) those MP3s won’t count against your storage quota.

And, I guess, if the file gets corrupted, it's corrupted for everybody.

Perhaps the deleted files will really be deleted during system cleanup and it will be possible to upload a file without having to change its contents. As it is, it's a pretty awful work around.

Streamload blog 21 July - not true for me!

This was posted on the Streamload blog yesterday:

---quote begins

Hi everyone,

Thanks for your patience through our major migration to a new datacenter. The worst of it is behind us. Processing of uploaded files “caught up” late last night for all your files that you uploaded over the last couple days and new uploads should now be in your account. Please note: there is still some bottlenecks in the new system when processing uploaded files, especially large files, so it may take up to a minute for your file to appear in your account after it’s uploaded. Just refresh your browser or click on ‘File Manager’ again to see your recently uploaded files.

We do still have an outstanding problem with downloading some files and thumbnails. When you attempt to download these files, an “ooops and error occurred” message will appear. We are working to resolve this problem as soon as possible.

-Team MediaMax


As usual comments are disabled on the Streamload blog. So leave yours here and email support@streamload.com

I've just checked my account and files I've uploaded over the past three weeks have still not appeared. A couple of days ago, one file did appear. I didn't get too excited and post the news here, but tried uploading another. That one has still not appeared.

People have left many comments on this blog saying the same thing about files not appearing. So have they now, as Mediamax claims?

And my old hosted mp3 files that wouldn't stream? Still not working.

I've been investigating some other systems and not come up with a definitive solution yet. If you are wanting to embed an mp3 file in a webpage you could try:


This give you a choice of widgets - just copy and paste the code to your page and you get a groovy player. You can't link direct to the file though, if you want to use your own player or stream it into iTunes.

A host which does allow you to stream into other players is:


This is streaming into iTunes okay - I put the file link in my .xml file. However, it doesn't work with a browser Quicktime plugin. Their support came back quickly to say it on works with the Windows Media Player.

The combination of the two means I'm no longer reliant on Mediamax (hurrah), but I need a better solution. Suggestions welcome.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Mediamax says it's fixed, but it's not

On the Streamload blog for 11 July it says: "We’ve corrected most of the issues that resulted from the transition." And it claims they will be fixing the problem of uploads taking "many hours" to appear. There was downtime last weekend to resolve this problem.

Well, I still have the same problems. No new uploads have appeared for almost two weeks. Older streams still do not operate.

Look through the comments on this blog and you find similar experiences. For example, Davo wrote:

This is unbelievable, still down after their again promised fine tuning.

Unable to upload as files transfer but are never there in the file manager.

Even files sent 2 weeks ago are not there.
What a debacle this is. I am so glad I hadn't become a paying member yet!

I try emailing support@streamload.com and all I get back is an auto message saying they are aware of the big list of problems, which the blog tells us have been fixed!

So it is time to jump ship.

My 2 July podcast has still not appeared in the Filemanager, so I can't move it to hosting and I've not even bothered doing the two since then. Miss your podcasts and you lose your listeners.

So I'm going to try out some other services and will report back.

Other people report problems with Mediamax continuing to bill them after they have cancelled a service, so if you are going to cancel, then tell your credit card company to make no more payments.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

48 hours to clear the backlog of uploads - they say

Finally a response from Streamload. Let's see what happens in the next 48 hours.

--- Email from Streamload:
11/07/2007 12:52

Thank you for your mail. I am sorry to hear of the issues you are having.

Due to the recent maintenance downtime we have been receiving higher than normal upload traffic. This has caused a backlog in processing of files onto accounts. To speed up the processing of the backlog we have brough online extra upload server. We expect to have cleared this upload backlog within 48 hours.

Please subscribe to our blog at blog.streamload.com for service information and maintenance updates.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

And this is what it says on the blog today.


We’ve corrected most of the issues that resulted from the transition. The last hurdle is to improve upload speeds. Tonight we will begin utilization of a new SAN that will push us towards that goal. There will be no downtime involved. We realize that many users are experiencing upload processing of many hours. Rest assured that your uploads are on their way. We apologize for the delays.

This coming Saturday, July 14 we will further enhance the user experience by reconfiguring our processing servers and installing a new load balancer. This will require downtime from 5AM until 8AM. Again, we are sorry for the inconvenience of the last few days but please realize that the end result will be a much improved user experience.

Thanks for your continued patience, support and business!>


Well, they say people have been waiting for uploads for many hours. My experience is I have now been waiting 7 days for my podcast upload to appear - many hours indeed. Tried uploading it again most days since then to see if it would go through the system.

It has still not appeared. None of them. And my older streams are still not working.

Let's see what happens in the next 48 hours.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Some Mediamax streams still down and upload problems

Mediamax/Streamload streams went off air on 25 June with a major maintenance programme of work. According to the Streamload blog, the new server was on line on 1 July.

However, there are still problems, as acknowledged on a Streamload blog on 2 July. That's included below. The comments are deactivated on the Streamload blog, so leave comments here.

We don't want to distract the techies from solving the problems, but they have also asked people to sent in reports to support@streamload.com

I've had most of the problems described in the 2 July Streamload blog. What is causing me particular problems still is that older streams are still not working - very frustrating as I needed them for a meeting in Second Life at the beginning of the week.

I also use Mediamax for hosting a free podcast I do, which is on iTunes. The file I uploaded for the 2 July episode has still not appeared in my directory to be able to move it to the 'hosted' folder. Same thing happened with the previous podcast, though that appeared a day or two later.

My listeners have been sending me complaints and I'm not sure how long I can go on waiting for Mediamax to sort this out. I don't really want to move to another host though - my experience so far has not been so bad.

This is from the Streamload blog, showing the type of problems they are already aware of:


The transfer of our IT/DB operations to an outside vendor in Chicago is complete. Of course, when a move this large occurs there are going to be a few random issues to iron out. The known issues are listed below. We are working around the clock in San Diego and Chicago to correct the situation. We will post updates as issues are resolved. Please direct any questions or concerns to support@streamload.com.

1. When trying to log into your account you might receive one of the following errors:

HTTP 400 bad request

Bad Request (Invalid Hostname)

2. When clicking on “go to account” from welcome page you may get the following error:

Page Not FoundOops! Something went wrong… Please refresh your browser window.

3. You may get a “red x” for some of the greyed buttons (download, tag, etc)

4. When clicking between tabs you may get an HTTP 400 bad request error.

5. On log-in you may need to refresh the page a few times to get to your account.

6. Uploads are processing slower than usual.

7. Some uploads time out midway through the process.

8. Some files may be temporarily unavailable.