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Universal and SpiralFrog are dancing to a different tune...and it's not playing on an iPod  (Source: elsevier.nl)
Spiralfrog.com launched its free ad-supported download service today, and there's some interesting quirks

Spiralfrog.com launched today, providing music fans with a legal avenue to download some free music.  The only catch -- the music is supported by the site's advertising revenues, so your clicks keep those tracks downloading.

Chairman and founder of New York-based SpiralFrog Inc., Joe Mohen announced "We believe [SpiralFrog] will be a very powerful alternative to the pirate sites, with SpiralFrog you know what you're getting ... there's no threat of viruses, adware or spyware."

The site, which has been beta tested for months, currently carries about 800,000 tracks and 3,500 music videos available for free download.  You must sign up for a free account and provide demographic information in order to gain access to the media.  You must also use your account each month in order to keep it active, which is intended to prevent users from simply downloading and not returning to the site.

The site intends to have over 2 million tracks available within the next several months.

Most of the media on the site is from Vivendi SA's Universal Music Group, the largest record company in the world, and the only music label to currently have jumped at SpiralFrog's business plan.

In July DailyTech reported that Vivendi had jumped ship from Apple's iTunes service, declining to renew their contract, deciding to seek revenue from alternative sources.  Now it appears that one such alternative source is SpiralFrog.

An interesting detail has emerged.  Files from SpiralFrog are digitally protected and can be played on mp3 players, but cannot be burned to CDs.  There is another minor detail, though -- the files cannot be played on Apple's wildly popular iPod MP3 players -- nor the less popular Microsoft Zune. 

SpiralFrog's frequently asked questions section states, "Songs and video files that you download from SpiralFrog are not compatible with Apple’s range of iPods or Microsoft’s Zune."

The move to not allow its content to be played on iPod's appears to be a clear snub by the Universal Music Group, similar to NBC's recent move of its television content from iTunes to Amazon.com.  Apple has not commented on this development.

For many, though, SpiralFrog.com presents an intriguing new business model that may present a legal alternative to file sharing or spending large amounts of money on CDs or paid download services, such as iTunes.


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huh?
By phatboye on 9/17/2007 10:22:54 AM , Rating: 2
Is is spiralfrog or leapfrog or are they both the same?




RE: huh?
By darkpaw on 9/17/2007 10:27:11 AM , Rating: 3
I'd think the leapfrog reference might be an error. Leapfrog is a company that makes many loud, annoying children's toys.


RE: huh?
By JasonMick (blog) on 9/17/2007 10:28:28 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry, typo, its LeapFrog--thanks for pointing that out, its being fixed. The weblink first listed is correct.

I think LeapFrog is a line of childrens Edutainment products if I remember right...thats what happens when I have too many product names stuck in my head.


RE: huh?
By JasonMick (blog) on 9/17/2007 10:29:51 AM , Rating: 2
It is Spiralfrog . LeapFrog is a line of children's products, I mean


RE: huh?
By Mitch101 on 9/17/2007 11:16:12 AM , Rating: 3
LOL. I can see how you could easily be confused as Spiral frog doesn't make any sense as a name for a music vendor and you must have kids like me or are bombarded with those commercials.

Unfortunately all the good internet names are now taken. My bank ran into this problem and their website is http://www.ClownFart84523.com


RE: huh?
By RW on 9/17/2007 12:05:09 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
There is another minor detail, though -- the files cannot be played on Apple's wildly popular iPod MP3 players.

Take that Apple your iPod becoming useless


RE: huh?
By headbox on 9/17/2007 12:14:05 PM , Rating: 1
The reality is not the iPod becoming "useless," but competitors going out of business. Apple has sold over 3 Billion songs and 2 million movies now. No one even comes close. If major heavyweights like Microsoft and WalMart can't compete, yet another new contender like FutileFrog is going to die quickly.

Just because you hate Apple so you can fit in your geek club doesn't mean iPod + iTunes is a bad product. It became #1 because it's a great product.


RE: huh?
By Spivonious on 9/17/2007 12:59:02 PM , Rating: 4
It became number one because Apple marketed it to death. The devices are now called iPods instead of MP3 Players. Similar to how tissues are called Kleenex (or in the older generation, how vacuum cleaners are called Hoovers).


RE: huh?
By AraH on 9/17/2007 1:12:31 PM , Rating: 5
the ipod is number one because people are fashion whores


RE: huh?
By otter111 on 9/17/07, Rating: -1
RE: huh?
By AraH on 9/17/2007 2:40:42 PM , Rating: 4
so you don't deny what i said?

the first step is admission, this is a step in the right direction...


RE: huh?
By Oregonian2 on 9/17/2007 2:46:00 PM , Rating: 2
I won't go for brown turd ones (like the "Chocolate" colored things that companies seem to be making now, for no reason I can imagine). Including Zune's. Having things look good isn't a negative IMO. A brilliant smart woman isn't bad if she's also blond and voluptuous.


RE: huh?
By afkrotch on 9/17/2007 6:59:17 PM , Rating: 5
Well, if you want to compare the ipod to a woman, here's what she'd be.

She'd be a white racist women, who happens to look good, with average intelligence.

White = ipods are white
racist = only itunes
looks good = looks good
average intelligence = average file format support


RE: huh?
By Oregonian2 on 9/17/2007 8:51:07 PM , Rating: 2
I dunno. My iPod before it "disappeared" and my wife's iPod (both the 60Gb 5G version) are both black! I think the Blacks look a lot nicer and sexier than the white iPods. Just don't like the "Chocolate" versions. Would perhaps like a Cobalt Blue as well, but haven't seen one.

But in any case, you're still distorting my posting. The iPod's looking good still isn't, IMO, something to dislike the iPod for.


RE: huh?
By theapparition on 9/18/2007 7:29:48 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The iPod's looking good still isn't, IMO, something to dislike the iPod for.

Quite right. In fact, looking good is the only exemplary thing the iPod does. Everything else is mediocre at best.

In interest of disclosure, I have a 30GB 5th gen, 80GB 5.5gen and Zune. Zune is hands down much better in every aspect except looks.


RE: huh?
By rbuszka on 9/18/2007 6:01:24 PM , Rating: 2
The other thing the iPod does really well: sound very good. It has an impressive DAC and output stage, which is why Wilson Audio (maker of > $100,000 high-end loudspeakers) chose to use an iPod to demonstrate the fact that the loudspeaker is generally the weakest link in the audio chain, even weaker than supposedly 'average' sources like portable music players.

If the Zune was a PlaysForSure player, I'd buy one. For now, however, the Zune isn't an option since I use Napster's subscription service.


RE: huh?
By goku on 9/19/2007 3:10:14 PM , Rating: 2
I bet the idiot used a 128Kb/s Mp3 or AAC file to "demonstrate" this fact..


RE: huh?
By UNCjigga on 9/19/2007 3:35:21 PM , Rating: 2
Apparently you haven't heard of Apple's Lossless Audio Codec which has been around since iTunes 4.7

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Lossless


RE: huh?
By Oregonian2 on 9/21/2007 1:46:45 PM , Rating: 2
But maybe he won't use the iPod touch. It's audio quality is reported to be a step down from the 5.xG's.


RE: huh?
By DragonMaster0 on 9/23/2007 4:23:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
(maker of > $100,000 high-end loudspeakers)

...which very probably cost 1/10th of the price to manufacture if not less. It's the kind of company not to trust, they just used an iPod because it's the only thing they can use to impress audiophiles that believe in $50 plug wall plates and CD demagnetizers.

quote:
It has an impressive DAC and output stage
A low-power-usage Wolfson CODEC with an on-chip headphones driver amp with the signal passing through cheap electrolytic capacitors is impressive for you?

The only reason why it could be minimally better than motherboard audio is that it's powered from a battery rather than an SMPS power supply.

Also, Wolfson is no "high-end" company, Apex Digital uses their chips in $30 DVD players.


RE: huh?
By Wightout on 9/18/2007 1:48:03 PM , Rating: 2
White?

you cant get a nano in white...


RE: huh?
By audiomaniaca on 9/18/2007 6:46:05 PM , Rating: 1
"Plays well"?

What you mean? Do you mean that the crypod has better DA decoders or premium parts (gold earplugs, for example) that make it's output sound better than any other?

First of all, if you want to argue based on sound quality, mp3 players are definitely not the best subject.

Yes, ipods are ordinary mp3 players, like any other out there.


RE: huh?
By otter111 on 9/19/2007 8:46:31 AM , Rating: 2
Alright, if you want to be pedantic...

Yes, actually, the iPod's sound has been tweaked and improved on each new version. Its EQ, with dozens of settings, lets you tailor your sound to any sort of music or situation. Unlike the Zen or Zune, it can handle lossless, CD-quality files (as well as mp3s and AACs).

If you've got a 128kbps mp3 file, no, it's not going to sound any better on an iPod than a cheapo player. But an iPod playing a high-bitrate AIFF or Lossless file kicks a Zen playing lossy WMA files to the curb.

Besides that, it "plays well" because it's easy to use, intuitive, and has Apple's very clever "shuffle" built in -- which is far more than random; it keeps track of the kind of music you enjoy and tailors itself to your tastes as you use it.

So yes -- iPods "play well".


RE: huh?
By munky on 9/20/2007 4:07:33 PM , Rating: 2
I've personally compared my brother's ipod to my own mp3 player, and the ipod is inferior in many ways. First, if you crank up the bass, the ipod clips and distorts the sound. I also have more ways to customize my sound, like BBE enhancement, 3D surround and adjustable play speed; the ipod doesn't. In addition, I get features like a radio, mic recorder, and a line input jack to record from other audio sources. The ipod has none of these. And as of now, you have to use itunes with an ipod, whereas I can just copy files to my player without any additional software. As a piece of hardware, there's nothing outstanding about the ipod. The only reason it sells well is because of the marketing, and because the majority of the population is dumb enough fall for this marketing.


RE: huh?
By otter111 on 9/20/2007 4:33:40 PM , Rating: 2
Those are all good features, some of which I wish the iPod had -- what kind of mp3 player do you have?

The iPod does have a mic recorder and line in, though. They added that capability not too long ago.

I haven't had any distortion or clipping, but it might be a file issue -- AAC vs. mp3 or WMA. iPods can handle lossless files, which shouldn't have any audio issues at all.

The iPod is marketed a lot, but it's also a very easy-to-use and simple-to-understand mp3 player, unlike some of the others, so people find it friendly and welcoming. Plus realize that comparing iPod/iTunes on a PC vs. a Mac is a world of difference. They're MADE to work with Macs, and for Mac users, there's no better music player. Using it on a PC is a different experience altogether.


RE: huh?
By DragonMaster0 on 9/23/2007 4:28:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Unlike the Zen or Zune, it can handle lossless

Some Zen can handle FLAC and/or WMA-lossless


RE: huh?
By tmontana on 9/17/2007 1:46:41 PM , Rating: 2
Ah, isn't it wonderful how defensive these macophiles becomes when someone else expresses their opinion. It's the standard stat dumping that really amuses me 3 billion songs.....

It's not that people hate Apple, it's that it disciples... I mean customers treat Apple like it's an infallible god. When in reality it is just a business like Microsoft, or
Dell, or whoever. I neither like Apple nor do I worship pc's or game on pc's, but what does amuse me is Apple's marketing strategy of constantly nocking it's competitors. How many of those mac vs. pc commercials have you seen on tv since it became public that Apple is using Intels chips? To me my computer is just a tool for me to use to accomplish the tasks that I need to do. I think it is sad that people spend so much of their time researching data to prove how Apple or any other company is better than the other.

I think this service is great to give everyone another option. I think if Apple can make it difficult to play their music/videos on other mp3/video players, then why shouldn't someone else be able to do the same to the Ipod.


RE: huh?
By Oregonian2 on 9/17/2007 2:49:08 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
It's not that people hate Apple, it's that it disciples... I mean customers treat Apple like it's an infallible god. When in reality it is just a business like Microsoft, or


I agree that those folk (the Apple disciples) are a pain in the ***, but those who hate apple are exactly the same pain in the *** in the opposite direction, so it averages out, sort-of (you know, put one foot in freezing water, the other in boiling water, and on average one is doing great soaking one's feet).


RE: huh?
By Yortuk on 9/17/2007 6:44:07 PM , Rating: 2
"Became public"? It's not like it was a secret. The Intel changeover was pre-announced, months in advance, and even hyped as a huge improvement in performance. And that was, what, like two years ago? I think most of the mac vs. pc commercials have come out since then.

Anyway, I'm not here to defend Apple, I was just browsing to figure out what sort of drm this Spiralfrog uses, to see if it's worth my while. I don't really see how it can play on "mp3" players but not on an iPod, unless it doesn't really support mp3. I would love to have good (legal) alternatives to iTunes, though, so I'm curious what the facts are on this.


RE: huh?
By afkrotch on 9/17/2007 7:02:39 PM , Rating: 2
It won't play, cause Apple is forcing users to use iTunes to import their music over. It's possible that these DRM songs aren't going to be support through iTunes, thus, won't make it over to an iPod.


RE: huh?
By Yortuk on 9/17/2007 7:57:18 PM , Rating: 2
No, Apple doesn't force anyone to use iTunes. You do not need iTunes to use an iPod.


RE: huh?
By UNCjigga on 9/19/2007 3:41:41 PM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately the new iPods *do* force users to manage music through iTunes (as reported by DailyTech). I tried using WinAmp + plugins to put music on my iPod before, but then I realized I just like the way iTunes manages music better.


RE: huh?
By otter111 on 9/17/2007 10:09:55 PM , Rating: 2
iPods don't only use DRM'd songs. I buy my music for my iPod through eMusic... all plain vanilla mp3's with no DRM. You can play AIFF files, lossless files... whatever. You're not forced to use iTunes.


RE: huh?
By audiomaniaca on 9/18/2007 7:02:51 PM , Rating: 2
Please explain me that. The reason I don't use ipods is exactly the dammed software called itunes. How can you "install" mp3s in the ipod without using it's proprietary and unfriendly software?


RE: huh?
By otter111 on 9/19/2007 2:16:57 PM , Rating: 2
iTunes on a PC is a pretty dodgy piece of software, it's true. I don't know why it's so poor in its PC version. On Mac, it's damn near perfect. But...

If you're on Linux, use Amarok or Songbird.

On a PC, check out http://ipodmanagers.blogspot.com/ for reviews of options.


RE: huh?
By tmontana on 9/18/2007 2:16:08 AM , Rating: 2
When I said became public I meant to the "general public", not all the mac freaks who eat up everything little report the second that is spit out from Apple. This wasn't really until they started to "market" the change in it's new models. And by the way, they didn't start to ship until around the end of 2006, which is less than a year ago.


RE: huh?
By theapparition on 9/18/2007 7:33:48 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I was just browsing to figure out what sort of drm this Spiralfrog uses, to see if it's worth my while. I don't really see how it can play on "mp3" players but not on an iPod, unless it doesn't really support mp3.

The format won't be mp3, since it doesn't support drm. Most likely it would be in a format such as WMV, which iPods do not support, but most other devices do.


RE: huh?
By DragonMaster0 on 9/23/2007 4:37:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I was just browsing to figure out what sort of drm this Spiralfrog uses, to see if it's worth my while. I don't really see how it can play on "mp3" players but not on an iPod, unless it doesn't really support mp3. I would love to have good (legal) alternatives to iTunes, though, so I'm curious what the facts are on this.


I tested it, it's DRM'd WMA. The thing about 30-days in the article is, if you don't "renew" your account every 30 days, both your account and files license will expire. That's not a big deal though, it's just that every month, you answer a 10 questions survey about how you like the service.

So, it doesn't support every MP3 players out there, just WMA-DRM compatible ones. However, just like with FairPlay, there are ±legal solutions to remove DRM to allow file conversion.

The files are just 128-kbps WMAs though. Not too bad when compared to an MP3 at least.


RE: huh?
By Polynikes on 9/17/2007 3:47:05 PM , Rating: 2
I beg to differ. A music player with the kinds of restrictions iPods have, thanks to Apple's ridiculously crappy iTunes software, is not a quality product to me.


RE: huh?
By otter111 on 9/17/2007 6:12:04 PM , Rating: 3
I beg to differ in return. What kind of restrictions make iTunes and the iPod a poor product?

If you're looking for DRM-free music -- the iTunes Store has it.

If you want to use your own music -- go right ahead. iPods support high-quality AAC, plain-vanilla mp3s, and lossless files.

If you're on Windows, iTunes will easily convert all your WMA files to mp3, AAC, or whatever format you want.

What kind of restrictions does it have again?


RE: huh?
By Suomynona on 9/18/2007 5:26:17 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry, I didn't quite catch that. What was it you said about .ogg support again?


RE: huh?
By otter111 on 9/18/2007 7:36:59 AM , Rating: 2
iTunes doesn't support .ogg out of the box, but free vorbis plugins let it play .ogg. It's a very flexible piece of software.

iPod supports .ogg with the installation of RockBox.


RE: huh?
By Yortuk on 9/17/2007 6:56:20 PM , Rating: 2
What restrictions? iPods play unrestricted mp3's (mostly what I have from ripping my CD collection). You can also choose to play restricted songs purchased from iTunes, but that's not a limitation of the player. iTunes is in no way required to use an iPod, and you can get compatible songs from any service that sells normal mp3's (such as emusic.com).


RE: huh?
By theapparition on 9/18/2007 7:37:12 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
iTunes is in no way required to use an iPod

New models are iTunes only.
http://www.dailytech.com/Apple+Locks+New+iPods+to+...


RE: huh?
By otter111 on 9/17/2007 1:23:35 PM , Rating: 2
Since I can get all the music I want from iTunes, eMusic, the hundreds of CDs I own, or the local music store and put it all on my iPod... I'm not too sad about not being able to use the crappy DRM'd low-quality tracks from SpiralFrog. Not too useless!


RE: huh?
By tmontana on 9/17/2007 8:21:07 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder what I will do with all the money I save by legally downloading from spiralfrog for free and playing it on my Zen Vision, instead of wasting it on itunes or buying cd's. Maybe I'll invest in something instead of forking it over to Steve Jobs so that he can find new and exciting ways to overcharge people.

Oh and by the way all those who were taking shots at the Zen, I think it is just as easy to use as any Ipod and has some extra features that make me glad I went with Creative instead of Apple, like the video out connection, I have used this to play movies that I uploaded to my Zen and it is just as clear as a standard dvd playing an a standard size tv, not to mention the sd card slot and the larger screen.


RE: huh?
By Wightout on 9/18/2007 1:58:15 PM , Rating: 2
A lot, assuming they carry music that people listen to...


RE: huh?
By MatthewAC on 9/17/2007 12:06:08 PM , Rating: 5
Ok so let me get this straight, I have three options.
Pirate, which is illegal, possibly immoral and I don't pirate.

Buy the cds, for 10-15 bucks a peice, get lossless bitrate, problem is I'm broke at the moment.

Get free drmed tracks, low bitrates, but I get to sample as much music as I want? Hells yea.


Update
By JasonMick (blog) on 9/17/2007 11:29:00 AM , Rating: 2
Straight from the frog's mouth:
quote:
Q: Are files downloaded from SpiralFrog compatible with the iPod or Zune?

A: Songs and video files that you download from SpiralFrog are not compatible with Apple’s range of iPods or Microsoft’s Zune.


Apparently Zune is not compatible as well, but the move still looks like a snub to Apple, as they have a much larger marketshare.

Also in response to other questions:

The tracks are DRM'ed as the posts state. The tracks are of format .wma and play on mp3 players which support DRM level 10 or 11. You must update your version of Windows Media Player to 9.0 or up to play the tracks.

I know, the DRM is a bummer, but it is free and there are ways to get rid of DRM =D




RE: Update
By tmp8000 on 9/17/2007 11:36:08 AM , Rating: 1
Didn't Universal leave iTunes because they wanted to charge $5 per episode or some ridiculous price for videos? They must be getting a huge portion of the ad revenue to justify this. Also $5 per episode is ridiculous considering the average price of an episode when released on DVD is around $2 per episode, oddly the same price Apple is charging...


RE: Update
By Smurfer2 on 9/17/2007 1:05:03 PM , Rating: 2
Uh, the Zune is not compatible. Most stores on the internet with DRM use WMA encoded with "Playforsure" The Zune has a new type of DRM and can not play "Playforsure" files. Also, it isn't a snub at Apple, as the only store that sells DRMed files that will work on the Ipod is Apple. They will not share or sell their Fairplay DRM. The only choice then is DRMed WMAs as the Zune DRM is not lisensed currently.


RE: Update
By TomCorelis on 9/17/2007 2:51:57 PM , Rating: 4
Isn't it funny that "Plays For Sure" is a Microsoft initiative aimed to standardize DRM, yet, the Microsoft Zune won't play it?


RE: Update
By Etsp on 9/17/2007 6:07:07 PM , Rating: 3
Actually, I find it funny that my sony walkman can play it O_O;


RE: Update
By mxzrider2 on 9/23/2007 2:22:04 AM , Rating: 2
for the record, the zune is a good piece of equipment. and the reason its not a plays for sure device is because its a Toshiba gigabeat. stupid ms. should have created their own junk instead of paying someone to do it for them


No conspiracy here, move along
By Baumi on 9/17/2007 4:01:20 PM , Rating: 2
Of course it won't work on iPods. The music can't be burned to CDs, meaning it's using DRM. The only DRM working on iPods is Apple's own FairPlay which they're not licensing out to anyone. (According to their FAQ, they're using WMA DRM, which has never been compatible with iPods.) Basically, there's no legal and future-proof way to make their business model work with iPods without Apple's support, no matter how much they might want to do that. The same goes for the Zune which doesn't play WMA DRM either.




RE: No conspiracy here, move along
By HotdogIT on 9/17/2007 5:06:40 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The same goes for the Zune which doesn't play WMA DRM either.


It'll play WMAs that have DRM; just not THESE WMAs with THIS DRM.

Semantics, mostly :D


RE: No conspiracy here, move along
By Yortuk on 9/17/2007 7:07:14 PM , Rating: 2
Nonsense. They could ditch the DRM and go with mp3's instead. They would dominate the market. Maybe restrict the quality and sell upgrades to higher quality files.


RE: No conspiracy here, move along
By Awax on 9/18/2007 5:45:29 AM , Rating: 2
They won't : the point is to have you locked.

If you can download unrestricted music file (make it MP3, AAC, OGG, ...), once you have them downloaded, you won't go to their site anymore, except to retrieve new music.

The point here is to have files limited to a one month lifespan so you have to go to their site and browse their adds every other week to keep them playing.

This is just another subscription based PlayForSure music store, except the subscription is paid by advertisers.


MP3 or Windows DRMed WMA ?
By Awax on 9/17/2007 11:16:44 AM , Rating: 3
Are the files MP3 or WMA ?
For a tech site, you could at least get your facts correctly !

A MP3 file can not be protected and its use limited. Apple iPod are widely compatible with MP3 files.




RE: MP3 or Windows DRMed WMA ?
By JasonMick (blog) on 9/17/2007 11:59:58 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
get your facts correctly


I think you mean correct...

But anyways, the article is correct in stating that LeapFrog's files play on some mp3 players. The article does not specify the file format. For your information, the files are .wma format and are DRM 10 and 11 compatible.

Read my follow up comment for more info.


RE: MP3 or Windows DRMed WMA ?
By crenelle on 9/17/2007 2:24:02 PM , Rating: 2
MP3, aka MPEG audio Layer III, comes from MPEG1 and MPEG2 specifications. An MP3 audio stream usually shows up in a .mp3 container file. SpiralFrog doesn't use mp3.

They're using Microsoft's proprietary .wma container files with streams decompressed using Microsoft proprietary WMA codecs. Even if the music is free, they're still bound to a player that supports a particular version of Microsoft's proprietary DRM.


ads?
By omnicronx on 9/17/2007 10:23:36 AM , Rating: 5
What kind of ad's are we talking about here? A commercial on every song, or is it just going to be banner pay per click advertising everywhere on the site..




DRM
By The Boston Dangler on 9/17/07, Rating: 0
RE: DRM
By psypher on 9/17/2007 11:32:33 AM , Rating: 5
actually, they presented the only situation where i am ok with DRM... I don't have to pay for the file, so i don"t give a damn how they protect it.


I don't get it
By AlexWade on 9/17/2007 11:34:54 AM , Rating: 3
So you are wanting to start a new downloadable music service, so you shut out the most popular product by far. I don't get record execs. They make so many stupid moves and then blame piracy for their mismanagement. This service will fail, and to them it won't be because they shut out the majority of users, it will be piracy.

The only thing I can figure out is that Apple is forcing them to keep songs priced at a reasonable amount. In any other business, except movies, record labels would be long out of business because of the way they treat their customers.




RE: I don't get it
By Keeir on 9/17/2007 12:26:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The only thing I can figure out is that Apple is forcing them to keep songs priced at a reasonable amount.


That is what the most curious thing about this idea is... If its ad supported, that means there must be some ratio of downloads to click throughs (etc) to justify giving away an mp3 that would have sold of a certain amount on the Apple Store. Given my own habits, and those of whom I know, I might click on 1 of a thousand ads... I just have a hard time believing the ads revenues will be greater than the iTunes downloads. IE, revenue will actually fall rather than rise. Especially when ~80% or more of the market can't use the song portably.

I think it might have more to do with an attempt to force more purchases of CDs (since you can't download this music for most portable players or burn it to a CD).


As usual
By ET on 9/17/2007 12:39:42 PM , Rating: 2
Only available in North America. I'm so sick of this.




RE: As usual
By Kensei on 9/17/2007 3:21:05 PM , Rating: 2
As with most things in life, there are ways around this issue. I also live outside North America.

Kensei


They just don't get it
By viperpa on 9/17/2007 8:19:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
"with SpiralFrog you know what you're getting ... there's no threat of viruses, adware or spyware."


He is so sure about that. Waits till someone hacks into the site and refutes that claim.

The website will be a bust cause other people like myself wouldn't want to click through a whole bunch of ads just to get a free song. You will spend more time clicking on the ads than downloading the song. I just want to get the song and go.

Again, the music industry just don't get it. They want to get people to stop using P2P and they do crap like this. Excuse me, if Itunes was that bad, how come they sold more songs than anyone else. They won't allow you to burn the music to a CD, a turnoff already.

BTW, I can play mp3's on my IPod. If mp3's won't play on an IPod, then what player will they play on?




RE: They just don't get it
By DragonMaster0 on 9/23/2007 4:43:05 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't see any ads to click, just a survey to fill every months to keep your license. There's a reason why it's free.

quote:
Excuse me, if Itunes was that bad, how come they sold more songs than anyone else.

Spell this : M-A-R-K-E-T-I-N-G

+

the fact that when a new Apple product is released, 99% of the media headlines state it. It's getting a little bit of advertising that way, including that iTunes comes with QuickTime, which is installed on about every computers. (QuickTime Alternative was great...)


only 128 k
By y2chuck on 9/18/2007 4:24:42 PM , Rating: 2
I downloaded a couple tracks from them a month ago or so. You need the latest windows media player and the songs I downloaded were encoded at 128K.

for being free, that's fine by me. I'll still buy the physical CD's for my favorite bands anyway.




RE: only 128 k
By DragonMaster0 on 9/23/2007 7:55:05 PM , Rating: 2
It's quite strange that it keeps asking for WMP11 because I use WMP10 without problems with it. (Except that the browser doesn't know how to sync with the download manager and keeps claiming that my download failed while they're almost finished downloading)

The only problem with the site is that the download system works really poorly (LOTS of error messages while the download works)


Ok so...
By ryedizzel on 9/17/2007 10:37:22 AM , Rating: 2
Has anyone tested this yet? And I wonder how long it will take before someone figures out how to hack the MP3 files so they can be burned to a CD and played on an iPod.




Music Industry has no clue.....
By mondo1234 on 9/17/2007 12:59:59 PM , Rating: 2
1. Make up your mind. RIAA complains that apple doesn't pay them enough, but they will sign for this? M$ must own the RIAA because Microsoft cant make up its mind either. DRM today, no DRM tomorrow.

2.Every car vendor is putting MP3 players in their new stereos. Ever wonder why? I would rather buy and have flexibility than this!!!




MTV or Nickelodeon?
By mondo1234 on 9/17/2007 1:06:00 PM , Rating: 2
Are these MTV ads or Nick ads. Just because it is free doesn't mean it is suitable.




no domain names left
By SpudNYC on 9/17/2007 5:16:40 PM , Rating: 2
their name reminded me of www.clownpenis.fart

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7333522659...

When I think of good, downloadable music, I think spiralfrog.

Of course.




iTunes Sucks
By AvatharV on 9/17/2007 7:35:44 PM , Rating: 2
Having an iPod does NOT mean that you are stuck using iTunes. iTunes has more issues than I will bother to list here, but there are probably at least a dozen programs that let you manage your iPod instead of iTunes.. for example, Anapod and Media Monkey for 2 good examples.

You can also load alternate firmware (Rockbox) on your iPod to play FLACs natively. Just because you like their hardware doesn't mean that you are limited to their software or firmware.

As for DRM.. if you are limited by DRM.. I guess you are going to have to pick the music store that has the bands you like and then pick a mp3 player that works with THAT store.. end of story.




Late comment
By bpwilldo on 9/18/2007 9:53:22 PM , Rating: 2
Doesn't matter if anyone reads or not, I know I am late to the party.

Signed up. Tried FF first. Had to install WMP plugin. Got an error message about heavy traffic and not able to go to page.

In IE, got error message when attempting download that the DRM in MP had to be updated. Clicked the link they provided but the "install" button was grayed out. WMP 11 reports it is fully updated.

Odd I would get different errors using different browsers and their solution for IE would not be necessary.




DRM FTL
By djkrypplephite on 9/17/07, Rating: 0
"If you mod me down, I will become more insightful than you can possibly imagine." -- Slashdot














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