Sunday, September 30, 2007

Mediamax had extreme problems in September 2007

Let's see if we can help Mediamax.

JD posted a comment on the last entry:

---Quote begins
I got a response from John Hood about this automatic reply they are sending nowadays which basically says why tell bad news and scare people away and there is nothing to report anymore.
Thanks for writing. It's kind of a lose/lose situation isn't it? If we send out updates we get ripped, if we don't send out updates we get ripped. This is all the latest news. That's what we're trying to communicate to customers.

I can't think of any company that refers people to an outside blog. We won't be doing that
---quote ends

The Mediamax strategy at present seems to be as follows:

1. It states on the site right now: "MediaMax, powered by Streamload, gives you a private and secure place to upload, store, access, and share your personal videos, photos, movies, music, and files" - with no indication that the system is no longer secure and that many users have been unable to access a significant proportion of files for months.

2. The contact details page lists loads of media articles praising Mediamax, but none of the postings on the internet about the problems with the system.

3. There is no 'current status' link to enable a check on how the system is.

4. There are contact details for support, who we know are variable in the information they give out, and there is a link to the official blog, which hasn't been updated since reporting the 401 error problem on 19 September.

Now, John Hood points out in the quote above: "If we send out updates we get ripped, if we don't send out updates we get ripped."

So what do we want Mediamax to do? I know the short answer is: Fix the system!! But they tell us they are working on it. I'm thinking specifically here how do we want communication about system status (see the quick link to 'wish lists' if you want to post about other things).

I can see that having some sort of more frequently updated status report on the Mediamax site is a problem for the company. They don't want new visitors to their site, who have perhaps read some of the glowing media reports, to know how the system has fallen over. But it is dishonest to the point of false advertising not to give clear status information while promising security and access.

So I'd like to see something like a daily updated report giving information such as:

1. File availability as a percentage.

2. Upload success rate.

3. Average time for an uploaded file to appear in the Filemanager.

4. Current problem list.

These could even be automatically updated, but I don't really want to divert the engineers from other work.

John provides this information to us if we shout enough, so why not add it to a status report every day? It would surely take less time in the long run. As an interim step the official blog could even be used.

Having clear status information may even help Mediamax should it be accused of misrepresenting the reliability of its service.

It wouldn't be an innovation. Sites like have clear links on their first page to system status information.

What do the rest of you think?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Errors in September 2007

Since 19 September the official Mediamax blog has been reporting :

We are currently experiencing technical issues with our site. When attempting to access the site users may get a 401 error saying that they "are not authorized to view this page". Our IT team is working on correcting the situation. We will post here when it is resolved.

A week later and nothing has yet been posted to say it has been resolved.

Other known problems are files failing to upload, though you get no warning of this. They just do not appear.

Many files are inaccessible. Mediamax say they are working on it. See the quick link to the latest file availability audit on the right.

People being billed incorrectly. If you want to add your name to the list of those who want billing frozen until problems are resolved and dates rolled on by months already lost, then see the quick link on the right.

There are issues with the bulk uploader not working.

I'll do an entry each month where we can report and track progress. Follow the quick links in the side panel to the latest entry and the 'entries by subject' links for past entries.

We can also try a monthly poll. So the current one is what do you think of the Mediamax service in September. You can vote now. I'll run for this a week into October so we can register how the month has gone and then start a poll for October.

People also have wish lists of improvements (top is getting the current system working!!). Follow the quick link to the latest postings on wish lists.

Wish lists

You'll see some new links on the right hand panel. One is for wish lists. That will link to the latest entry on this topic. Add your comments to it and I'll update from time to time. Relevant entries will be tagged so you can look back over past entries too by following the link from 'entries by subject'.

Here are some of the lists left as comments on recent entries:

Martin's Wishlist of MediaMax features:

Here are my suggestions. What do others think?

1. Files able to be uploaded quickly and reliably. My own preference is for FTP as I can throttle upload rates and restart interrupted uploads, however if these options were included in a MediaMax product more like the much missed slick and efficient Streamload uploader, I'd happily use that instead. MediaMax XL is worthless in its current incarnation (and also the new version by preliminary reports). It is huge, slow and manages to set new benchmark highs for unreliability. The browser upload option still fails 20%-30% of my uploads and I don't dare upload multiple files because no files get uploaded unless they all complete. There is no resume option. If an upload fails at 95% you just start again from scratch.

2. 100% file availability and retention guaranteed. It is just not acceptable that large numbers of files vanish and the only option is to reload them.

3. Easy 'rehabilitation' of lost files. For the huge number of files that have already been lost, these files should be able to be 'rehabilitated' by uploading them again. Surely it cannot be so hard for MediaMax to work out that a file being uploaded with the same MD5 checksum as an existing directory entry corresponds to a dead link and actually store the file. If I can identify dead links from here then MediaMax certainly can too. It is ludicrous that the only way to rehabilitate a dead link file is to modify its checksum and upload it again as a completely different file. Streamload did not have this limitation and neither should MediaMax.

4. Fix the 'random directory relocation' bug that seems to plague users with large collections. This bug has destroyed the last two sets of files I have sent out.

5. Davcin's MediaMaxExplorer be made the preferred interface to access MediaMax. Offer Davcin sensible money for his product, get the few remaining limitations sorted out and forget about the browser interface which is frustratingly slow, a waste of time and never shows enough of a filename to be useful.

6. Restore sensible reporting of usage. Streamload had primitive but useful reporting of file downloads. MediaMax only tells you the total amount downloaded and expects you to believe the number.

7. Respond to support emails. I know you are receiving an uncommonly large number of support emails at present, but there are few things that irritate an already irate customer more than being ignored. Regular customer communication through official and unofficial blogs and even individual emails containing honest status reports rather than spin, even if the news is bad, goes a long way towards keeping customers on side. I would much prefer to know 'There has been a server failure hence 25% of recently uploaded files have been lost. Please reload them.' rather than just finding that 25% of my recent uploads have vanished and not knowing why.

That's my wishlist. Any additions?

WillTRiker said...

Additions you ask? How much time do you have? A long time ago (checks date on thread, yep september 29, 2006) I made the last addition to a thread about this subject on my homeboard and after that I didn't bother really with it as finally getting rid of bugs was AND STILL IS more important then introducing new features / re-introducing features we had in V4. Since you asked however I'll add my short (yeah right) wish list ... first however some small comments on a couple your own list (some stuff I get to in my own list).

1) Files able to be uploaded quickly and reliably.

I'd like to add that it shouldn't matter the method of uploading one chooses as I've learned from experience that experience per method differs from person to person. One should be able to upload a file without any problems and it should show up nearly immediately after the upload is completed. So no more errors and no more none-processing.

4) Fix the 'random directory relocation' bug that seems to plague users with large collections. This bug has destroyed the last two sets of files I have sent out.

Troubles with sending? That's a new one. Anyway, I want to work in my file manager again dammit ... I've been waiting for a fix for this since octobre 2006! It's also not just relocation ... if only that were true. I can personally attest this bug makes stuff dissapear totally ... and I mean totally ... you won't even find it back in your trash can.

5) Davcin's MediaMaxExplorer be made the preferred interface to access MediaMax.

While Davcin's product is worth of every bit of praise it gets and I would like MediaMax to start at least sponsoring it I wouldn't want it to be the preferred interface.

Davcin's Explorer, at least at this moment, is to dependent on MediaMaxs internal workings which in my eyes only increases the risk of the system not working. Also Davcin's explorer is, atm at least, a standalone application that has to be installed and especially for people that want access to their MM account outside their home it's not a given that they can install an application on the PC they happen to sit behind.

7. Respond to support emails.

or if you can't respond to everyone (with the same problem) individually then post on the Blog that you have been made aware of a
certain problem ... and don't wait with posting until a week after the problem has surfaced.

Now for my own list:

1) Recognition of identical files and grouping them together.

The only thing MediaMax reckognises atm is if files have the exact same name. Especially if you have to rename files like we often have to with files being written in different titles depending on the uploaders preference the current system is completly worthless. At the moment, in principle we could have a folder with 10 files with the only difference being the added -1 behind it while in reality none of the files would be a duplicate. On the other hand we could have 10 files with 10 different names which in reality could be 10 duplicate files. Like I said, utterly useless. This was a V4 feature btw and we want it back.

2) More file information (especially MD5 AND CRC values)

Especially for older files in our archives the MD5 / CRC value was the only thing we had to rely on checking them against a 3thd party
database. Also it's vital, especially in light of the upload problems, to be able to check these values against their original counterparts on our HDs. The MD5 value WAS a part of V4, the CRC value was not.

For video files and pictures it should be almost be a given to see Height and Width being mentioned as a standard in the file manager.
This was also a V4 feature.

3) Visibility file/folder names

Some of the names I'm forced to use (as it's no more then the official title of things) are so long that you can't read the full name (including extension) of a file/folder as MediaMax auto cuts them off. I'd like to opportunity back to decided for myself if I want file/folder names to be cut off or not. Again, a missing feature from V4.

4) Abilitiy to resize navigation panel

An other aspect of long folder names is that at times in order to see where we are going in the File Manager we have now have to scroll horizontically which is way to awkward. In V4 we could resize the
navigation panel to our own desired width and we would very much getting this feature back. Yup, another V4 feature.

5) File count (number and total MB)

There used to be in V4 al line at the bottom of the screen stating how many files where were in the folder you were looking at and what the total amount of MB these files was. A small thing, but especially if you work in a group a very quick way of checking folders against eachother (not totally error proof, but still very handy).

6) Creating a folder when moving/copying

In V4 you could select files, browse around in your file manger to the desired location and if need be, make a new folder where you could put in what you had selected. Now you first have to browse to that place in the file manager, make the folder, go back and select what you want moved / copied and then place in the newly created folder. The V4 way makes a lot more sense.

7) Be able to tell what is moved/copied

In V4 when you moved / copied something there was a small screen that would tell you what you were moving /copying (if you didn't select to much at once). Nothing big really, but it's just that little bit of extra security that what we are moving / copying is actually what we intend to move / copy.

8) See the last 5 folders that you moved/copied to

Another small V4 thing, but appreciated especially by large archive holders like me as it acted as a shortcut to folders and acted as a little extra feed back to verify that your previous action went to the intended destination.

9) Going to target folder after move/copy

We'd like to see the option back that you could select that made you 'follow' your move / copy action to the target folder.

10) No auto expanding of folders

When you move / copy stuff and click on a target folder and that folder happens to have subfolders MediaMax allways reads the target folder and expands it to show the subfolders. Meaningless and extra strain on the system, if we wanted to go deeper in the folder structure we'd use the + sign, that's what it's there for.

11) After sending put us back in the file manager in stead of Mail.

When you have send (or tried to send) something MediaMax puts you into the Mail area of your account. For people that send to more then 1 person in succession this is highly annoying, because we now loose time loading the mail area and then the file manger .... granted, you can click on the file manager button as soon as the Mail area starts loading, but it will still re-load the file manager again which is an excercise in futility as nothing changed in there.

So basically, after a send put us back in the file manager without reloading it ... basically putting us back in the folder we last accessed. The same sort of applies if you, after a send, choose for "Send another mail", choosing that option we also want to be put back in the file manager in the last accessed folder without a reload.

12) Inbox view to files only

People are missing the ability to set the view of the inbox to files only. If you have 10 emails in MediaMax you have to enter each of those 10 individually and save them to Saved Attachements folder and then delete the emails. Some people found it much easier to just see the files in the inbox and be able to copy all of them in one go to the file manager .... no matter how many emails had been used to deliver them. After that they could switch back to viewing emails and delete them all in one go.

13) Go back button ... doesn't go back in Mail area

Some kind of bug makes it that if you use the go back button of your browser you'll find yourself either in the file manager of in the composer screen of a new emails instead of one step back from where your previously were. That is eh ... wrong.

14) A working Search Function

An actual working Search function would be novelty and while we're at it some extra features like the search to include the Mail Area and the ability to limit the search to part(s) of your file manager would be greatly appreciated as well.

15) Hosted files not so user friendly

Since MediaMax it seems that if you host files people that want to download them can no longer select files and thus making a bulk download, but have to click every file to receive a download. Not very user friendly if you have a couple of dozen of files to download from a host.

Also the window for hosted stuff is WAY to small. You can only see 3 items for goodness sake.

16) Missing "Copy URL to Clipboard"

MediaMax only supports either GetRight or MediaMax XL for bulk
downloads. A lot of people however have their own preferred download manager. While you can use the generic URL that's being produced (at least in Flash Get you can) we're missing the option "Copy URL to clipboard" that V4 had.

17) Download Information is seriously lacking

The Download info that is currently provided is woefully inadequate. We want our detailed reports back so we can see on a day by day, byte by byte basis exactly what was downloaded and by whom (Ip logging) and also again being able to see how much bandwith was used from Hosting files just like we had in V4.

18) Mass deleting

We have mass editing (my heartfelt thanks for that), but we could use a mass deleting funtion for the Mail Area and especially Trash can as well.

My Trashcan currently boosts a rather impressive (even if I do say so myself) 13489 files and folders in there. If I were to lighten my account by kicking that off I would need to go through 135 screens to be able to delete that ... not to mention the time it would take for MediaMax to actually to delete these 100 entries page by page. My Trash in the mail in comparison 'only' has 2044 items in it. Mass delete button PLEASE!

19) Results per page up to 1000

At the moment the current maximum is 100 entries per page. We'd like it back to 500 and if possible 1000 as some of our folders are so big that 100 entries just don't cut it.

20) Uploads go in 1 place

Ah, back in the V4 days. When you uploaded a file, no matter if you ventured into the abyss of web-uploading, were lucky to have an FTP account or used the good old SL uploader ... your files would appear in your inbox. Since MediaMax your choice of upload app determines where your files are going to end up and can up in My Uploads, Uploaded files or just the root of the File Manager. Could we get our upload please in one place?

21) Global file recognition

I'm pretty sure MediaMax still lists the MD5 values of files somewhere like they used to and I'd like to see them use this again to re-enable global file recognition. For the people not being familair with this term .... in the old days (even before the end of V4 if memory serves) if someone completed uploading File A (MD5 value 00101) and another person started uploading the EXACT same file after that then that person would have the file uploaded in about 5 seconds. In essence, nothing was uploaded, but Streamload would recognise from the MD5 value that the file being uploaded was already on Streamload and would create a link to the original file and put that in the inbox of the 2nd uploader. It was THE way to get files back that were on Streamload, but where the database link leading to it was messed up. Also it prevented people wasting their (and MMs) bandwith uploading thing twice.

22) Webinterface speed improvements

Imho, the speed by with actions are executed ... wether it be moving, deleting or renaming ... leaves still to be desired. It's not uncommon to see MediaMax busy for 30 seconds or more to perform such actions and the more files/folders selected the more time it takes. It could be me, but the copy function seems the only one up to speed.

23) Build-in link validator

While in essence we're paying MM to keep our file safe and intact, a 100% guarantee I think can't be expected. I would be nice though if there was a way that we could make a report about (part of) our file manger that shows what file links are dead. I'd like to restate that in principle the list that would be generated is supposed to be SHORT and should have close to nill entries.

Sorry for the length this took, but Martin asked and I like to be thorough ... besides, there is an off chance John or even Steven sees this and realise that even if they finally manage to get the bugs exterminated there is still much work to be done.

If you guys want to excuse me, I need to cool of my fingers.

Ultimately, for me, a fully working, reliable and trustworthy service would be the best possible recompense, and I would happily write off the last year if that was forth-coming.

Since the migration to MediaMax, I have kept a list of various functionalities that have been lost since the days of Streamload, and brilliantly, Willtriker has saved me quite a lot of typing, since his list contains everything that is on my list! Willtriker's entire list is spot on, but my personal wish list are numbers 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 14, 19, 20 and 23 (is this a Chinese takeaway!?)

Since the majority of my use of MediaMax is by way of a backup (I am almost constantly uploading) I would like to add my voice to the calls for the re-instatement of FTP, or at the very least a faster running MediaMax XL (I am still hoping to receive a link to the trial version from John). That is my personal number one priority. I used to be able to leave the uploads running for days on end without having to continually check the source PC, except to add more files, and long for this to return!

I'd be keen for an update on the progress, not only of the file restoration, but also on things like the upload speeds and getting back the FTP server etc.....

We're getting so close, I can almost taste it.....
Add you comments and wishes to this entry.

File availability audit 23 September 2007

The following message was sent to Mediamax and posted as a comment on an earlier blog entry by Martin Hood. I thought it would be useful to have here. I'll add a permanent link at the side so we can update progress on this entry and start tagging entries by theme:

An Open Letter to MediaMax
(accompanying the graph for MediaMax Files Audit #4 2007.09.23)

MediaMax File recovery progress graph
(included below).


I first posted this graph 5 weeks ago to show that you WERE recovering he missing files. It was my intention that it would provide encouragement to those who doubted that the recovery was happening and would support your assertions that things were getting better. Regrettably the end result seems far removed from my hopeful optimism of 5 weeks ago.

Even the most casual look at the graph will show that it contains very disappointing news. By your own predictions, your file restoration process should be pretty much complete by now. Certainly no spectacular changes to the number of restored files would be expected at this late stage.

There was a temporary reversal in the week leading up to 16 September, when the number of missing files from those uploaded between April and July 2007 jumped from close to zero up to 30% - 40% missing. John Hood indirectly explained this in one of his blog postings by mentioning that some servers had been taken off line as part of the recovery process during this week. That also probably explained why about one third of recent uploads became inaccessible during that week. Most (but not all) of these files are now accessible again.

In the past 7 days a few minor gains have been made. The slivers of orange on the graph are the only improvements apart from the large area of orange between May and July 2007 which is just clawing back gains that were undone by the offline servers during the previous week.

Regrettably the broad summary result is very gloomy indeed.

Upload time period lost /total = %lost
2007 Jan - June 418 /3503 = 12%
2006 Jul - Dec 1009/4856 = 23%
2006 Jan - Jun 1592/4195 = 38%
2005 Jan - Dec 2242/7753 = 29%
Pre 2005 5012/7872 = 64%

Fortunately the restoration process has done a better job for more recently uploaded files with some months almost completely restored, although 12% average loss rate can hardly be called 'a complete recovery' by even the most liberal interpretation of the term.

Unfortunately the loss rate gets progressively worse the further back we go with some spectacular peaks. What did happen at Streamload in November 2005 that has caused the loss rate to remain at a whopping 91%?

Anyone who has files uploaded prior to 2005 is looking at a devastating 40% - 75% (average 64%) loss rate for these files. This is completely unforgivable for a file storage 'service' that still claims 'Store your files SECURELY on the web'. Anything above a 0% loss rate is NOT secure. 75% loss rate is patently INSECURE.

I CAN get over losing 9656 out of 27472 files (35%) that were stored on MediaMax given that local copies still exist, but I certainly cannot even consider uploading them all again. Some people who trusted you when you said their uploaded files were 'secure' have learnt a very hard lesson when they did not keep local copies.

Time and time again during the botched migration from Streamload to MediaMax in August 2006 your spin was 'Your files are safe and secure'. I know this because I kept a copy of the free-for-all Streamload blog from 22 August to 2 October 2006 and indeed the old blog pages are still on-line at (archives). I cannot confirm that the files were in fact 'safe and secure' 12 months ago immediately after the migration from Streamload to MediaMax, but they certainly are not 'safe and secure' now.

You have been much less forthcoming with comments during this latest debacle and unsurprisingly, neither of the words 'safe' or 'secure' has been used anywhere in the recent MediaMax blog.

On behalf of all MediaMax users I ask the following questions:

1. Will you yet recover a substantial portion of the files that still show as missing (or indeed any of them) or are they lost irrecoverably?

2. Will you work with your user community to develop an efficient mechanism to identify lost files and provide a way of rehabilitating these files without having to upload modified copies?

3. What assurance can you give that files uploaded in the future will in fact be 'safe and secure' given that your track record to date has been woeful?

Martin Hood

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Do you want your Mediamax account rolled on to make up for the down time?

In response to my question about rolling on billing dates, John Hood of Mediamax responded on this blog with a comment that he would do so, if I send my account name.

That is very welcome.

But it raises another question. Are there any Mediamax users who do not deserve to have their accounts rolled on (or a refund if they prefer it)?

My experience is that this service has not been performing since June. I used to have regular meetings in Second Life using hosted mediastreams. I haven't had any since June because streams I wanted to use had disappeared. Now momentum has been lost and I don't know when there will be any point trying again. I also lost podcasts until I found another server to host them.

My view is that if Mediamax wants to make amends to customers, it should roll on billing dates by the number of months lost from June. The clock is still ticking, of course, as the service is still not properly usable. Indeed, new problems arise. The official Mediamax blog reported a 401 page timeout problem 4 days ago and still no update to say it is fixed.

It seems to me, the simplest thing is for Mediamax to freeze its billing process and when they do have things working, add on the lost months already deducted before they start the billing process again. I appreciate that creates cashflow problems, but, hey, isn't that a good reason to get things fixed and to ensure outages of 3 months or more do not occur again?

I would like to suggest anyone who wants their account rolled on in this way add their user name in a comment here. If you do not want to make this public, contact Mediamax at

I'll post a quick link to this page in the side bar so we can find it again. If you think you deserve more than the months lost since June, please say so.

By the same token, if there are any Mediamax customers out there who have been unaffected by the problems of the past months and want to publicly acknowledge receiving good service as advertised, then please also leave a comment. It would be interesting to know if there are any.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Mediamax 401 error

This is the latest post on the official Mediamax blog:

Current site issues

We are currently experiencing technical issues with our site. When attempting to access the site users may get a 401 error saying that they "are not authorized to view this page". Our IT team is working on correcting the situation. We will post here when it is resolved.

I'll aim to add a new post with the update as soon as there is news from Mediamax. As you can't comment on the Mediamax blog, feel free to leave comments here.

There have been some specific responses to comments from John Hood of Mediamax so please do look back over past posts.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Updates from Mediamax - comments from John and Steve

There have been several comments posted here from John Hood of Mediamax and even CEO, Steve Iverson. More on those in a moment, with news on having account billing rolled on.

First, below is the latest posting on the official Mediamax blog. Comments are not possible there, so leave them here:

---Quote begins
A few updates about what's up at MediaMax.


We're about 80% of the way through our data recovery project. We'll make an announcement here when the project is complete. Many thanks to all the users who have written to us acknowledging the return of their files.


We've added more staff in order to better serve our users. This week we increased our customer support staff by 40% and hired a Director of Engineering.


We're close to releasing the latest beta version of our XL application. We'll announce it here just before it is launched.

As always, thanks for your business and support!
---quote ends

The above covers many of the points made by John Hood in recent comments here. Regarding the newsvine article and history and connections between Streamload/Mediamax and Nirvanix, the response is:

---From John Hood response on earlier post
Bottom line here is that most of the Streamload senior management (and the bulk of the staff for that matter) went to Nirvanix. Steve and I moved across the street to start MediaMax. It's close to both of our homes. Simple as that.

Again, MediaMax and Nirvanix were spun off from Streamload. All of the people that you have mentioned were senior managers at Streamload and now hold the same positions at Nirvanix. None of them has EVER worked at MediaMax, Inc., which started business on July 1.
---extract ends

Regarding the removal of the Newsvine article, Mediamax CEO Steve Iverson replied here:
> re: the NewsVine article

Note: MediaMax did not request that article or comments to be taken down - that is patently wrong. I can only assume someone from Nirvanix requested that but I have not confirmed with them yet. I know for certain that John Hood and I did not contact NewsVine in regards to that article.
---extract ends

I asked through a comment about why customer service agents had responded to reports of problems with uploading files as if it was the first they had heard of it and the possibility of having account billing rolled on.

John replied on the post as follows:
1. I read that exchange and agree that it was annoying and patronizing. I have spoken to all of the reps about this.
2. I'm more than willing to roll your billing dates. Just let me know your username.
---extract ends

I was thinking it should be an across the board roll on for all customers, not just those who asked for it. Are there customers who have been unaffected? Anyway, I'll post something shortly so we can perhaps make a group request for this.

I think the above covers most things. There are still discussions going on in the comments about the possibility of switching on ftp access pending Mediamax's own utility for ftp uploading being available and for making a fix available sooner rather than later for bulk processing of files in the filemanager. I'll flag up any news on those if and when it appears.

And if Martin Hood - a Mediamax customer - can explain how he does his bulk file accessibility audits as reported on the last post, several people are interested.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Mediamax article censored - and how file restoration is progressing

In the last posting here I linked to an article posted on newsvine. The author reported that he had been forced by newsvine to enable comments on the article as Mediamax wanted a right to reply. This is ironic as Mediamax does not allow people to comment on the postings on its own blog.

All the same, the author enabled comments and many began to appear, supporting his report of lousy service from Mediamax.

As you can see from the last post, the link is now dead. Newsvine removed the post anyway. Why? Good question. One thing we do know is that Mediamax did not exercise its right to reply - perhaps fearing that people would point out any errors it may contain.

You can read the original article and others on Mediamax/Nirvanix (a Mediamax spin-off company) at:

And you - and Mediamax - are able to comment on that site.

Mediamax is not only able to comment on the Mediamaxusers blog - many of us are appealing for it to do so!!

We want some feedback. Emails from customer services are often useless - as past postings and comments here show. There has been no post on the official blog for over a week.

So this blog is the place to come for updates that actually have some bearing with reality.

Thanks to Martin Hood for his comments on the progress with missing files returning. This is his most recent:

---quote begins
It's true, the files ARE coming back!

Let me state at the outset that I am no apologist for MediaMax. I am a long term subscriber with a collection of some 30,000 audio files stored on MediaMax and like everyone else was horrified to find that almost all of these files became inaccessible on 15 June. Dismissal was very light retribution for the former employee who was responsible for this debacle!

The 30,000 files have been uploaded regularly since July 2003 and should provide a representative sample over time of the restoration of files by MediaMax.

I have performed a 100% audit of the availability of all these files on August 18 and again around August 31 and there was a marked improvement at the second sampling with the overall inacessible rate down to (only!) 45% from more than 80% a fortnight ago.

The availability improvement varies greatly with the date that the files were uploaded and this graph shows how well the file restoration is proceding for the files uploaded during the past four years.

There is still a long way to go before all files are restored and my own estimates of how long this will take are are 6-8 weeks and are consistent with those quoted by John Hood of MediaMax (no relation).

I am encouraged by the results of this research but will reserve judgement about the effectiveness of MediaMax's file recovery until the end when I see what the residual loss rate is. Even a modest 2% final loss rate will be totally unacceptable for me as this will be 600 files that need to be reloaded and 15Gb of bandwidth. With the current frustratingly unreliable uploading options, that is a huge amount of work.
---quote ends

Wow! That graph is pretty frightening. The area under it is the black hole of missing files. There seems to be no connection between date of upload and return of files. And there is an awfully long way to go.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Mediamax demands right to reply

Mediamax has apparently bullied an author on Newsvine to allowing comments on an article there about the problems with the company and its associated companies. It wants to be able to set the record straight.

As the author notes, it is ironic that Mediamax succeeds in bullying Newsvine into forcing the author to allow comments (with the threat of deleting the article), but disables comments on its own blog which is full of misleading posts about problems being solved when they patently have not.

I became aware of this through a comment left on this blog.

So watch out for the Mediamax response on Newsvine - as comments are enabled there you will have the chance to comments on its accuracy. Click here.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Mediamax on data recovery and re-uploading

There is an new entry on the mediamax blog, which I'll give below.

But first my useless response from customer support about files not uploading. If John Hood is reading, can you please tell your staff not to be so patronising. We all now the system is totally unreliable.

This is the reply:

---From Mediamax customer support
Thank you for your email. I am sorry to hear of the issue uploading your file. I have just uploaded a file to my account and it uploaded in minutes. The way the files are uploaded changed a little. When the files upload they do not upload to the upload folder they upload to the file manger folder. Please check all the pages of your file manager. I have found changing the file page to 100 makes it easier to find the new file. I am sorry for any inconvenience please let us know if the issue persists. Thank you for your time.

MediaMax Support
---end of message from customer support

And now the new entry on the Mediamax blog. As usual, leave comments here, because Mediamax doesn't allow them on its blog:


We're pleased to announce that the data recovery project is running ahead of schedule. Most files have been restored to most user accounts. We've still got a ways to go and expect the entire project to be completed in 3-5 weeks.


In order to re-upload inaccessible files you need to change more than the file name. You need to edit the metadata to change the checksum of the file. A new upload should then result in a working file.

Here's a tip from one of our users on how to do that:

Tag&Rename (a music files tag editor that easily handles all popular
digital audio formats.)

To batch change enough tags to enable the "Checksum" to appear changed to
the mediamax servers

They do a 30 day unlimited trial here