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Debbie Sharp Loeb, teacher by training but full-time mom to a disabled son, craftsperson, bead artist, great cook, creative homemaker & terrific spotter of cool new products for everything under the sun, presents Hodgepodge: recipes, household hints, stories about children, friends & relatives, cool stuff, music, & much more.

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Friday, November 06, 2009

Free, Legal Music: A User's Guide

The following is information gleemed from an article from the 6/25/09 issue of Rolling Stone magazine (pg. 16)
"Major labels are letting more and more online services stream music for free. These sites have the most action."

GROOVESHARK - 23 million songs, all submitted by users.
Pros & Cons - this is like an audio version of You Tube so you can find anything but it isn't always easy finding what you want and songs can be ocassionally mistitled.
It says it is the best service for now because of its great selection but because it operates in a gray area, enjoy it while it lasts.

MYSPACE MUSIC - More that 5 million artist pages, most with many songs.
Pros & Cons - On the upside lots of exclusive streams, on the downside the ad-heavy design makes it hard to find specific songs.
Lots of free legal music but frustrating because of the difficulty navigating through the lousy interface.

QTRAX - This service is to launch in the next few months promising 25 million songs.
Pros & Cons - Offers free legal downloads rather than just streaming but it only works with Windows Media Player files.
The advantage over the others is you can download the music but you can't play files on your iPod.

LALA - More that 6 million songs.
Pro & Cons - Most well organized free-music site currently to American fans but not entirely free. Any song can be played once for free, then unlimited streaming is 10 cents a track.
Good for casual use but if you want to hear songs more than once you'll have to pay.

SPOTIFY - Close to 5 million songs with 10,000 being added a day.
Pros & Cons - Downloadable program with great iTunes-quality interface but only available in Europe for now. Also an audio ad plays every 20 minutes unless you pay for the premium service.
It could be the best if it makes it to the U.S. with its catalog intact.



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