Print 80 comment(s) - last by DragonMaster0.. on Sep 23 at 7:55 PM

Universal and SpiralFrog are dancing to a different tune...and it's not playing on an iPod  (Source: launched its free ad-supported download service today, and there's some interesting quirks 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  Apple has not commented on this development.

For many, though, 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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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
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

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
(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.

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

you cant get a nano in white...

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer

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