American Madness

Intelligent Criticism in the Service of a Better Nation




Free Music… for some

Posted by Matt Cipriano | No Comments

By now you must be familiar with services like iTunes or one of its many competitors trying to suck you dry of your hard earned cash.

Well, now there is a new player in the game: Spiral Frog. Similar in some aspects to iTunes it allows you to download music and videos over the internet from singers and groups you have actually heard of. A bit smaller then the iTunes library with only 800,000 songs available (meaning you won’t be able to find everything you are looking for) there still remains a nice selection, even of new music, such as Amy Winehouse.

So, we’ve covered the similarities to iTunes, now some differences- first (and this is the big one) it is absolutely and totally free! Yup, no credit card needed, no money asked for, kind of nice. Oh, also you don’t need any special software to start downloading, it is not exclusive to any software (though you do need an internet plug-in to make sure it all works). All kind of nice, there is, however, a catch: This service (like too many other services available on the internet today) is only for folks with PCs. Got a Mac? Well, you’re out of luck. In fact Spiral Frog strikes out against Apple- Won’t work on a Mac, can’t use the music in iTunes and, last, but not least, the songs won’t play on an iPod.

I am used to finding out a certain program or site won’t run properly on a Mac, I am still waiting for Netflix to rectify this issue. That is fine by me. Not playing in iTunes or on an iPod- That just seems silly. The iPod is the number 1 most common digital audio player (DAP), yes, even folks who hate Macs use iPods, the Microsoft Zune and the Creative Zen (both originally dubbed “iPod Killers”) don’t even come close to matching the iPods numbers. Tough who knows, maybe that is how they got permission to use the music without charging- 90% of the population using DAPs will not be able to use the music on the go, so, no harm done.

I would say it all seems like a silly business move, but since they aren’t charging for their service- no harm done I guess. Oh, and you can count me out when it comes to using the site. Not only do I use my iPod, but I load it up with music from iTunes which I copied from CDs onto my Mac. So, I guess I am the type of person Spiral Frog is shunning.

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