Ever have you wondered if there is a way to download music legally through the Internet. I’m sure you have tried lots of ways , and you haven’t stumbled across anything. Surely , you may use other means such as acquiring it through peer-2-peer services such as Bit Torrent. But what most of us do not think is that we are harming the record industry and our artists as well. So do think twice before stealing music. There are other ways of accquiring music legally and free. Read on more on how its done.I promise its free and no this is not an advertorial or other “Click Me to complete offer and get things for free”. You wouldn’t even need a Credit Card nor some friends to refer. All it takes is you , your PC (Windows XP/Vista) and Windows Media Player 11
For the past few months, I wanted to get this album “An Indian Rhythm Ensemble” , but as usual the problem is you gotta fork out some money and the problem is I don’t have any money to fork out . Not to say any money to fork out but the exchange rate becomes the killer. Imagine one song over at iTunes costs me USD0.99 ,certainly it is cheap. I’m not denying the fact but after converting it to Malaysian Ringgit , its just not worth it – MYR 3 plus for a song. Oh common – You gotta be kidding right.Buying an album just because you want a song out of it sounds ridiculous to me as well
I tried to locate this album by ‘other means’ and I wasn’t able to find any. So anyhow , yesterday night while googling for the song again, I stumbled across spiralfrog – Yes , its a dream come true site but with some catches
At first I thought its going to be just like any other music site ,whereby they “offer” Free songs and you’ll have to use your credit card for verification purposes. Bah , this site is like “no other sites”. They are just giving the songs and albums for free without paying a dime. So now how it works , well according to their site. The songs and albums are for free as they have advertisers to cover the cost (if you notice , the site has tons of ads). This is how to the company pays the artists their revenue. Fair eh , yeah. Think about it this way , you aren’t stealing music and your favorite artist gets paid. As like any other free services , there are some catches. Lets take a look at them , shall we :-
- This service does not work with Creative Zune and the iPod
- You can’t burn songs and albums into a CD
- You’ll have to renew your membership every 30 days (Its free by the way)
- You may transfer this song up to 2 devices that supports PlaysForSure (This includes Nokia music phones , Windows Mobile Devices and Creative Zen)
- You must be in USA or Canada !
oh yeah the songs are in Windows Media Audio format (it somewhat sucks) and the default quality is 128Kbps , which is fine as its the normal bit rate for a music file. To register this service outside of Canada and the US and if you aren’t its simple – just use Hot Spot Shield and you are safe. Don’t ever use Open Proxy , its bad – as there is a downloader program that validates your IP one more time. If you use a open proxy , it will report as another IP. So just stick with Hotpsot Shield. Bam , just register for an account (and make sure you use one of the US Zip Codes. If you have no idea where to get US Zip Codes , you may just google for it). Thats it , verify your e-mail adress and download their music client downloader. Oh yeah , you must be using Internet Explorer , its a no go with Firefox.
Surf the site and download any songs you like – As Illustrated by the picture below. Oh the downloading takes some time. You’ll have to be patient
It just works like rest of the music store. Download and then you could listen it by using Windows Media Player or transfer it to your protable device. Read below for my verdict and my thoughts on this service
Verdict :-Overall its a pretty good service. I did manage to get some of the songs that I always wanted. Plus its legal , meaning that I’m supporting my artists as well and they do get paid. Recording Instrudies would be happy as they are getting paid. It seems to be a win-win situation. The only downside is that you can’t transfer it to an iPod or other MP3 Players that doesn’t support Windows Media’s DRM. On top of that you can’t burn it into a CD and you’ll have to renew your membership every 30 days for free – which may be annoying. So if you want to support your favorite artists , I recommend you to use this service or just give it a shot !