SpiralFrog to Offer Free Music and Video Downloads

SpiralFrog.com, an ad-supported Web site that allows visitors to download music and videos free of charge, has launched today in the U.S. and Canada after months of "beta" testing. The music service, which has arranged to pay record companies a cut of its advertising revenue, aims to lure music fans who normally flock to online file-swapping networks to share and download music for free. "We believe it will be a very powerful alternative to the pirate sites," said Joe Mohen, chairman and founder of New York-based SpiralFrog Inc. "With SpiralFrog you know what you're getting ... there's no threat of viruses, adware or spyware."

To deter users from posting copies of songs and videos they get from SpiralFrog, the service requires that users register and log on to the site at least once a month. Otherwise, the content locks up and can't be played. The Web site's registration screen queries users on demographic filters such as their age, gender and ZIP code. The information is used to determine what kind of ads the users see when they are on the site. Currently the site has roughly 800,000 tracks and 3,500 music videos for download, primarily from Universal Music Group, but hopes to have more than 2 million tracks in the coming months. Though free, the audio and video files on SpiralFrog carry copy protections like those found on tracks available for sale at Apple Inc.'s iTunes Store and elsewhere. Downloads cannot be burned to a CD, but they can be transferred to dozens of digital music players. The content, however, is not compatible with Apple's Macintosh computers or its market-leading iPod.

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Good God People

They are free what do you expect....??
If there was no DRM do you think the RIAA would be ok with this?
Hell you fart and record it they think they own rights to it!
Yeh baby i see the no drm free sites just lining up to launch
Bah you get what you pay for folks DRM hell and all

Spiral Frog are really risking frustrating users by keeping them at their PCs and dictating how they listen to tracks, by sticking to a DRM platform. Letting consumers to do what they want with music and making it easy for them will be the counter-balance to the adverts. Users are far more likely to accept ads if they’re getting a DRM free MP3 file to keep.

Good but only limitation is wma. Got Eat Me, Drink Me by Marilyn Manson. A minor annoyance is that once a song finishes downloading, it won't instantly go to the next but instead it shows the options "play song" and "Download next".

Great idea, I'll give 'em credit for that... but poorly implemented (as usual). As mentioned previously, protected WMAs?? wtf... can't put em on an iPod, or play em back in iTunes without having to strip off some kind of DRM...

If they did this with MP3s it might be a little more popular since anyone and everyone would be able to download the music they wanted and play it all back on any device.

Also, what's the deal with this whole 30-day lockout thing? I don't get why your music or whatever will be "locked up" if you don't renew a membership? As far as I can tell, iTunes doesn't do that... You bought the songs, you should be able to do what you want with them when you want to...

I REALLY hope the analysts are right in saying that DRM will be dead in the near future, as it's REALLY getting on my nerves....

I have been in the what-was closed beta and it really sucked in my opinion, not only because you have to use a download manager, but also because it doesn't have like any bands that I enjoy. Sorry, I don't enjoy U2 or Akon. Jeez, get some better music!

Same here.
The idea is good, but it was not perfected before launch.
And a huge majority of people use iPods, and they are not going to have those users. It is a shame.

I think the site is being hammered right now, and I am getting alot of 404's. It probably should have stayed in beta longer. Also only .wma's. Yuk.