Universal Music to back free digital music service | iLounge News


Universal Music to back free digital music service

Vivendi’s Universal Music Group, the world’s largest music company, has partnered with SpiralFrog, a new online music start-up that plans to allow customers to download songs for free. The advertising-supported, web-based service will initially offer Universal’s complete roster and will include digital rights management technology on the tracks. The SpiralFrog service, which is expected to launch in the U.S. and Canada in December, is apparently targeting the pirated music circles rather than the iTunes Music Store. In the company’s press release announcing the service, Robin Kent, SpiralFrog’s CEO said: “Offering young consumers an easy-to-use alternative to pirated music sites will be compelling. SpiralFrog will offer those consumers a better experience and environment than they can get from any pirate site.”

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Thats a pretty cool idea. If the quality isn’t too sh…, er, crappy I might just use it (Yes, Napster Free, I’m looking at you.)

And with FairUse4WM they’ll probably be able to make their way onto my iPod.. ;)


Posted by Josh Powell on August 29, 2006 at 12:01 PM (CDT)


would these be mp3 files or wma? it it doesn’t play on the ipod then 75% of everyone with an dap isn’t going to be using it.

Posted by jm on August 29, 2006 at 12:06 PM (CDT)


I agree with jm - evidently, this music will be sold with DRM.  If it works with the iPod (like the Audible files do), then great.

My money says that it will *not* be iPod compatible, though - it will probably be protected WMA or some such.  Which leads to an interesting question:  will Apple give licensing to this Twisted Frog company since it will sell a crapload of iPods, or are they still hoping for the day when the iTunes store rules all?

Posted by JohnHummel on August 29, 2006 at 1:11 PM (CDT)


from nyt article:
“For consumers, SpiralFrog’s free downloads will come with many more strings attached than Apple’s paid ones do. Users of SpiralFrog will have to sit through advertisements, and will be prevented by special software from making copies of the songs they download or from sharing them with other people.

They will have to revisit the SpiralFrog web site monthly to keep access to the music they download. And the songs will be encoded in Microsoft’s WMA format, meaning they will not work on Apple iPod portable music players.”


Posted by jm on August 29, 2006 at 3:56 PM (CDT)


ha ha..  another soon to bite the dust online music selling company. A lot of Joe Smoe people Have Ipods… face the facts!

Posted by psxp on August 29, 2006 at 4:45 PM (CDT)


First, Protected WMA if able to burn all you need to do is burn to CD-RW and then RIP it back as MP3. Then you can erase the CD-RW and have the song Unprotected, so it might become popular depending on the music available.

Posted by ECH on August 29, 2006 at 8:54 PM (CDT)


My experience with how people fill their ipods is that people borrow each others CDs (and DVDs) and rip their own MP3’s.  Or they make a DVD data DVD with about 700 MP3 songs for a friend.  I don’t know anyone who encodes their own music in AAC.  If you look at the percent of songs that are have been sold on itunes since its inception, versus the number of ipods sold, on average an ipod owner buys well less than 100 songs.  That’s unlikely to change with this, Zune, etc - that is, as long as you can make copies from other people’s CDs.

Posted by Low Earth Orbit on August 29, 2006 at 11:37 PM (CDT)


That’s funny, I don’t know anyone who DOESN’T encode their own music in AAC.
Anyway, I’m sure that these freebies won’t be able to be burned to a disc.

Posted by Galley on August 30, 2006 at 1:09 AM (CDT)


192KB/s m4a right here. ive done alot of tests with my hearing and music rips and spectral views to find the best sound/space ratio for me. Check this frequency test site to see what you can hear.. http://www.ochenk.com/entry.php?id=63

Posted by Brad J on August 30, 2006 at 2:24 AM (CDT)

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