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.


JD said...

I have submitted a new case sept 7 to recall again the update facility, that regularly updates fail without notice. So far only got the automated ticket and no answer. Heard also other who have to upload file by file 4 -5 times before files might appear in the filemanager.
So not true that support gets no queries and also not true they provide a decent answer in a couple of days.

WillTRiker said...

Oh, they get queries all right ... even if it was only from me. I've send about 18 to them in august and 5 in the last 8 days. None of them got answered.

As someone that does a lot of uploading I can attest to the fact that uploading yet again is extremely frustrating considering what makes it through the processing system and ends up in your file manager. Atm, 1 out of 2 file requires to be uploaded twice before it gets through which ofcourse is totally unacceptable (hence 5 emails in the last 8 days).

Martin, if you swing by again could you tell me how you go about validating your files? I'd love to do that for my own archive which is similar in the number of files it contains. It seems that, for once, MediaMax is not all talk, but actually is putting things back. I have my doubts at the final outcome though ... wouldn't be surprised to see them not even making the 2% mark. Time will tell.

As for the newsvine incident ... I couldn't care less how MediaMax and Nirvanix are related and as such I regard the new blog somewhat more as a place to rant (no offence intended). I'm a MediaMax user and I want MediaMax to work, if Nirvanix proves to be a failure then that's someone else's problem. Having said that ... it's very weak of MediaMax first to convince/force Newsvine in making the author to allow comments and then not acting on it. For those who deal with MediaMax another slap in the face. Ofcourse also incredibly weak of Newsvine ... I wonder if were to pick an article at random there and do some legal saber rattling if I could manage to accomplish the same?

JD said...

I posted on digg to promote
the articles of Tom, see
maybe everybody can help to promote this a little bit?

JD said...

Maybe good to point out again
I hope publicity will force mm to come out of the dark and explain what is happening, why it takes so long and maybe to put more effort in to solve all the issues.

Tom Bassett said...

Thanks for the comments and links, everyone. I have provided a link from my site back here so people can read all the great articles you've posted.

willtriker, the new site might seem like just a place to rant, but it is actually part of a plan. I want to publish enough articles on the topic, even very short ones, that my site comes up very high in a search for MediaMax/Nirvanix/Streamload.

That way people searching for information about those topics can find my site, read the truth (and get linked over here to read this site too!) instead of just MM corporate spin.

I am going to make them regret losing all my files. I am going to make them regret bullying Newsvine into CENSORING my articles.

JD said...


You are probably as much frustrated,irritated and more as many others. Don't make it obvious that you want some revenge, make it clear you want publicity to warn others, to put the pressure on mediamax for opening up and solving everything. I think this might be more effective because they keep quiet at the moment and my guess is they fear any (bad)publicity. The more noise we make the better

John Hood said...

First of all, MediaMax and Nirvanix are indeed two different companies. I think Tom Bassett's research on our corporate records proves that. Different CEO's, different investors. Different Boards of Directors. Both companies were spun off from Streamload. That's the ONLY thing we have in common.
Second, MediaMax had absolutely, positively nothing to do with taking down the Newsvine article. I think that could be confirmed, Tom Bassett, by consulting with Newsvine.
Why would we take it down? There are negative comments about MediaMax all over the net. Taking down this one article wouldn't help anything. We have been completely transparent about our recent issues and have nothing to hide. And, for the record, I thought the disfigured frog was funny.
WillTRiker, I will answer your emails as soon as I log off here.

JD said...

John great that you posted again.
Can you please explain why it still happens uploads have to be done sometimes 4-5 times in order to appear, what you are planning to do about this?
What's the status of the ftp product?

BTW thnx for changing my account. Unfortunately it was quite easy to find files that are missing. Any news on that part? Any possibilities to speed that up?

More what about the problems of heavy users where files disappearing randomly?

You see still so many questions !

Luzo Orbit said...

Hi John Hood,

Good to see your comments. We do acknowledge when there is progress, as with this post showing that files are coming back.

Questions I still have are:

1. Why is that you ask people to report problems (presumably to help you track how we are getting on with the service), but when we report file uploads failing we get replies that suggest this is the first that has ever been heard of it and the suggestion we have done something wrong? Uploading still fails frequently. Please tell customer service agents to stop insulting our intelligence.

2. Still no response to rolling on billing dates to cover the time the service has not been as advertised.

Beau said...

JOHN HOOD how about giving as some info on how this recovery program works. I'd like to know if all types are files can be recovered. I've lost a lot of pdf's and would like to know if I'm likely to see them again.

Tom Bassett said...

First of all, MediaMax and Nirvanix are indeed two different companies. I think Tom Bassett's research on our corporate records proves that. Different CEO's, different investors. Different Boards of Directors.

My research proves that you started as one company (this is corroborated by an email I received today from Steve Iverson), but then you broke into two. The second company (Nirvanix) brought over some of the same management team that were in charge while they were screwing up MediaMax.

And that you even stayed physically close to each other after the "split" - about 200 feet away according to Google Maps. So, if you're 2 different companies, it is in the same way that Foot Locker is different from Lady Foot Locker. IE - not really that different.

Per my investigation of just publicly available documents:

* Patrick Harr is CEO of Nirvanix. He was formerly CEO of MediaMax.

* Greg Bohdan is the CFO of Nirvanix. He was formerly CFO of MediaMax. He was also formerly CFO and is currently on the Board of Directors of the "San Diego Venture Group", which FUNDED MediaMax.
* Geoff Tudor was Senior Vice President of Products and Engineering at Streamload. He is now COO & VP of Engineering at Nirvanix.
* Adrian Herrera was the Director of Business Development at Streamload. He is now the Director of Business Development at Nirvanix.

And those are just the ones I could find with a cursory Google search.

Second, MediaMax had absolutely, positively nothing to do with taking down the Newsvine article. I think that could be confirmed, Tom Bassett, by consulting with Newsvine.

Newsvine refuses to say ANYTHING other than they were commented by the subject of the article who complained about it and DEMANDED the right to reply (which they never did do!) Newsvine won't tell me any details about who complained.

We have been completely transparent about our recent issues and have nothing to hide.

That's just a joke, right there. That's not even close to being accurate.

John Hood said...

jd- Engineering is looking into that as we speak. We think it has something to do with certain servers going offline for maintenance. But I'll get back to you once I have something firm.

We're focusing first on MMXL which is much more in demand than FTP. That should be released in within days, but we'll delay it a bit so you all can test it bfore release.

There's no way to speed up the process any faster that it's going right now. We hired a data recovery firm to take care of this. We're confident that they're going as fast as possible since we're paying a flat rate for the project, not by the hour.

I really don't have anything more to add about files missing for heavy users. It's a known issue that we're trying to correct.

luzo orbit-

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.

beau- We're recovering every type of file.

John Hood said...

tom bassett- Steve Iverson replied to you on another 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.
I think we've been very transparent. Steve wrote a long letter about our issues, responded to techcrunch, and has reached out to you personally. I have come on here and answered any and all questions and will continue to do so. Additionally, if any of you would like to have a conference call with Steve and myself or be called individually please let me know.

larryd said...

Long-time lurker looking for clarity here as I think you guys are contradicting yourselfs.

In one of your articles you say that MediaMax went downhill in summer '06 (kicking off a "year of hell", which I totally agree with), in a different article you say that Harr was responsible for MM's screw-ups and in another place one of you says he sarted in early '07 and lasted only a couple of months.

So either Harr started there earlier than '07, the problems started later than summer '06, or the two are unrelated and someone brough Harr in to try and fix Iverson's mess. (It seems like the latter, because of the annoucment on the streamload site that someone linked to at one point)

Which is it? because I'm not sure who I should be angry at anymore. To me, it looks like Iverson was running the show when Streamload merged with MediaMax last August, and he's the one to be angry at. I remember the old version of streamload, it had some minor problems, but all in all it was great. Did we ever get an answer as to why the moved from SL to MM in the first place?

willtriker, I'm with you, I don't care about any new company, I just want my MM/SL files back.

WillTRiker said...

"I really don't have anything more to add about files missing for heavy users. It's a known issue that we're trying to correct."

I could look it up, but I think you once said there IS a fix only it's bundled in a couple of other fixes of one didn't make it though QA and as a result the fix got delayed/stalled/cancelled. At the time you suggested your techs could look if they could extract this particular fix out of the bundle and do that as a stand alone.

I really, really, REALLY, could use that fix ... like tommorow .... take a look into my account and look at the saved attachement folder and there you will see a MOAB folder. Just count how many file are in there (a 5 digit number) ... that's how much I need to move to the file manager but can't.

I'll be awaiting your email to get a headstart on MM XL and putting that through the wringer to see if it holds up. A lot of people though would prefer FTP to upload and allthough your own FTP project isn't finished yet could you at least not unlock the FTP server again?

Read in the other post that you only have 10% of recovering to go ... that would make you meet your own time table, but I have my doubts if all that was lost is recovered by then to be honest.

And having the files recoverd is one thing ... being able to work with them in the file manager is another. Like I said, I need a fix for that badly.

I got a mountain of feature requests, but I'll keep that ready when you finally managed to get the core business right.

JD said...


That uploading is very killing to work with. Is this ftp project any different then opening an ftp server?
When not is that maybe a quick fix?
You can even decide to limit the
access to some users.
About rolling on the billing date. Can you also put my account back to regular users and roll forward the billing date say until 1th of november? (accnt joewiththebanjo)

About this heavy user problems not being to add anything. This is really frustrating for the forums. It is long time error already. Anything more known about this, what is your expectation about when it is solved?

I don't want to keep you awake for talking about ur problems concerning your offer but it is interesting for more people. We all want everything working asap so if you post about the status, progress expectations even when it is not good we will appreciate this

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