Monday, September 17, 2007

New Free Music Download Site Launches

This morning my youngest kids wanted to know when I would load Halloween music into the CD player. In particular they wanted selections from The Nightmare Before Christmas and even had a specific request for “Vampires, Mummies and the Holy Ghost” from Jimmy Buffett's Fruitcakes CD.

I thought this might be a good test run for the free music download site launching today, Spiral Frog. My thought was to: Go through the set up to see if it was easy or intrusive, search for Jimmy to see what they might have listed, Go for a more obscure tune like Vampires and then see what hoops I would have to jump through to get it downloaded and played.

Man, that was easy. Easy set up, the usually request for email and authentication that you are indeed, not a bot. There were some age, sex and address questions, but nothing too intrusive. In fact they used soothing phrases like, “don’t worry, in moments you will be downloading songs for free”. Jimmy was there and very well represented. I did the install of the spiral frog software, which I believe keeps you from copying and burning the songs. Then, in moments…

I was never, ever frightened, by the murderer on our block.
He nurtured orchids and raised hamsters; the neigh-bor-hood is still in sho-ock!

La la la la, la la la la La la….
La la la la, la la la la La la….

Vampires, Mummies and the…


Enough of that, you can download it yourself for free if you want.



I was able to download three songs from two different albums, and in each case I expected a pop up to ask me to take a few moments to complete a survey, but it never happened.

Spiral Frog has arranged to pay record companies a cut of its advertising revenue and expects to lure music fans who might otherwise utilize online file-swapping networks to share and download music for free.

They make you re-register once a month and use the demographic information they collect to target their advertisements at you. If they are smart, they will likely use your music selections as a filter as well.

Downloads cannot be burned to a CD so I won’t be able to stock the car with this for the kids, but they can be transferred to some digital music players (no iPod yet). Users are also not allowed to copy their downloads to more than two portable music players at one time.

3 comments:

noisms said...

The pace of change is incredible. Interesting to see the music industry finally stealing a march on illegal downloading.

A is A said...

Hey Andrew,
I haven't read your blog history yet, so I don't know if you're familiar with www.pandora.com, but it might peak your interest. Pandora doesn't have the same model as Spiral Frog, because it is not designed for downloads. It is technically Internet radio and I really enjoy it. Pandora allows you to create your own radio stations using any level of specificity you prefer. It can be as broad as a genre, or as narrow as a single band or two. As you listen more, each station learns more accurately what music you enjoy most.

Cheers,
Mike

Andrew Fry said...

I checked out Pandora and it is pretty cool. I will play with it a while and then post on the experience.