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Review of SpiralFrog's free music service

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 14 Dec 2007 7:04 User comments (19)

Review of SpiralFrog's free music service Perhaps the most interesting development this year in online music has been the emergence of SpiralFrog. If you live in Canada or the U.S. SpiralFrog offers ad-supported music downloads from a large (and growing) number of major label artists. I recently spoke with the company's Vice President of Marketing and PR about where they are now and where they're going. If you've been thinking about trying SpiralFrog out and would like some help making up your mind, or even if you're just curious to see how well it works, read our detailed review just added to the Guides section. In addition to a typical product review I've added my impressions of the company and where they're going.

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19 user comments

114.12.2007 9:02

I am surprised this has not caught on, free but ad supported stuff is pretty much how TV makes a living.

214.12.2007 11:18

I just wanted to say it tried it and it is a good service.

314.12.2007 12:16

Originally posted by ZippyDSM:
I am surprised this has not caught on, free but ad supported stuff is pretty much how TV makes a living.

QFET.

Well it's a good legit service IMHO.

414.12.2007 13:08

That was a very informative review, it's a pretty cool concept. I haven't DL music in a long time for various reasons but i might just give this a try.

514.12.2007 13:17

Where are the ads? I've been a member since they launched. They make me renew my membership every 30 days. I have to answer a quick survey, but that's it. I don't see any ads.

614.12.2007 13:27

I'm curious, what are the ads? Are they embedded in the music (at the begining or end of a song) or are they shown on the screen?

Is the music yours to keep? or is it like Napster? Can it be burned to disc or put on a DAP?

714.12.2007 16:21

Usenet has them beat..by about 20 yrs.

814.12.2007 17:02

Originally posted by windsong:
Usenet has them beat..by about 20 yrs.
I didn't know Usenet was a legit, piracy-free, artist and industry supported download service :)
Usenet is very nice, though. No queue lines like IRC, fast connections.

914.12.2007 22:22

Great idea, but really dumb name.

1014.12.2007 22:31

Originally posted by limelight:
Great idea, but really dumb name.

like google products....froogle...says it all WTF is wrong with them?

1115.12.2007 0:23

Iam like Rosedog, is it DRM free can you keep it and burn it to a disc?

1215.12.2007 0:38

Quote:
Iam like Rosedog, is it DRM free can you keep it and burn it to a disc?

Did you read the article, or just the summary? Of course it uses DRM, how else could they license it? It's essentially 'rented' music so no, you can't copy it. As to their Catalog, I'm far from the '13 to 17 year old' demographic mentioned in the review and I've found lots of stuff to listen to...I'll keep going back for more.

1315.12.2007 3:23
duckNrun
Inactive

I can see the amount of effort it appears to take to download a playlist could be considered cumbersome at the least. To have to go back and physically begin the next download could quickly become old. However I understand their desire to keep people looking at the ads since that is how they are supplying the music for free. This 'hassle' could be slightly alleviated by the ability to save a download queue so that if I get sidetracked or just tired of clicking I could come back later and resume where I left off. Nice to see that they may be addressing this issue in the near future. The double/triple (whatever lol) downloads to spread the tracks out to my other devices definately sucks. I presume this is more related to their business model and abilities being restricted by the payment requirements to the studios than anything else though.

All in all it's basically a subscription based model where the monthly fee is paid with my time as opposed to my money. I have stood behind the concept of subscription based models for the quite some time now. Subscriptions allow someone to build a collection at low cost (free re: spiralfrog), sample music they otherwise wouldn't have tried if they had to pay for it, and still allows someone to go out and by the tracks/albums they like if they decide they 'must' own something instead of what people like to term as renting it.

Of course this also doesn't touch upon the 'Fair Use 4 Windows Media' potential to strip the DRM out of the 'rentals'-- however low bitrate songs are not something I would be interested in 'owning' and so for my own tastes see this as a way to sample music legally/ethically, as opposed to the P2P route, before I decide to buy.

@ Vurbal: Good review. It answered pretty much all of the questions I had going into it. Thanks for the review and the info! I also fully agree that if the industry thinks they are going to fund and build a new business model soley on the backs of their customers via h/w and s/w devs they really haven't learned anything these past couple of years.

--cheers!

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 15 Dec 2007 @ 3:24

1415.12.2007 4:03

I rather listen to Jango...Jango.com if ya'll dont know!

1515.12.2007 11:33

i just went to the jango site.bloody awesome.maybe its just me but i dont see myself going to a site to download songs i cant save to a cd when there are so many radio stations and sites like jango to go to.

1615.12.2007 12:44

I guess I'll give this service a shot for a bit. I listen to the majority of my music on my iPod though, so it won't be particularly useful...

1715.12.2007 13:29

Wow. 45 minutes later I finally get the first track I downloaded off spiralfrog to play. I open iTunes because I really don't want to listen to the song I just downloaded and I get the error message, "Components of iTunes missing, please reinstalling."

...This comes after having to install windows media player for stupid Spiral Frog.

Oh, and Spiral Frog has crashed Firefox 7 times already.


Thumbs down.

1815.12.2007 16:47
WierdName
Inactive

Originally posted by rosedog:
I'm curious, what are the ads? Are they embedded in the music (at the begining or end of a song) or are they shown on the screen?

Is the music yours to keep? or is it like Napster? Can it be burned to disc or put on a DAP?
If you are using adblock for Firefox or some other form of program that blocks ads, you won't see them. As for the DRM... *pulls you over to corner* Yes, they have DRM but you can always use FairUse4WM to removed said DRM so you can put the tracks on a portable player, CD, etc.

1924.12.2007 1:24

Originally posted by ZippyDSM:
I am surprised this has not caught on, free but ad supported stuff is pretty much how TV makes a living.
Totally agree with you there mate.

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