Spiral Frog: Free, Legal Music Downloads

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This Week on Rev2 (TWOR) - Ending 25th August 2007

Yesterday I finally accepted my invite to join SpiralFrog, the upcoming music download service backed by major and independent record labels. SpiralFrog offers advertising supported music and music video downloads, and is currently in private beta.

The interface of SpiralFrog is all web based. Initially, the service requires a small download which updates Windows Media Player and installs a small piece of software which runs in the taskbar to allow for downloading. The page is divided into genres, artists, new releases, top downloads, and videos. As you browse the site looking for songs to download, a small box called the download manager stays on every page, showing you the songs selected and waiting in queue for download. Each song must be downloaded individually, and takes a little less than a minute.

Music downloaded to your computer resides in a folder of your choice or the My Music folder by default. I play the music with Winamp, but any music player works. Amazingly, as you play the songs, no ads are shown. The advertising is web based, so you see ads as you browse for new songs. To keep your music collection active each user must visit the page at least once a month.

All of the music on your computer can be transferred to compatible portable devices. Each song is protected with DRM technology, which disables the music until you visit the site to re-validate each month. As users browse for new music, SpiralFrog is able to serve more advertisements, and the revenue is mostly given directly to the Record Labels. No credit card is required, but users must visit from the United States. SpiralFrog boasts a collection of over 700,000 tracks, including many of today’s most popular artists. The top list features artists like Gwen Stefani, Rihanna, The All-American Rejects, and Nelly Furtado.

I found while writing this post that “SpiralFrog” is a very hard name to type, so it is a great thing that the developers of SpiralFrog bought the domain name SprialFrog as well.

More commentary: TechCrunch, MarketingVox, and Mashable.