Amie Street & Spiral Frog

Wow, that’s a mouthful! There are two new games in town for music downloads. One is an indy type locale where you can find the up and comers . . . the other is a full on popular music freeby site . . . with a catch.

Let’s start with Amie Street ( It’s a pretty cool idea. You head to their site, you search for music. The music starts out CHEEEEAAAAP (cheap as in free) and escalates as a song gets popular. It caps at 99 cents. While this is a neat idea, I found that the popular songs just aren’t there. I’m just not too keen on spending my time looking for songs I might like. I’m of the old school “heard it on the radio and want to grab it” method, which I think is still a valid way of doing business! Here’s hoping the major labels start to take interest in this method. Oh, and the kicker is that the music is DRM free . . . not locked in to a certain MP3 player.

The other service I’m looking into is called Spiral Frog. Free music from major artists. Now, doesn’t that sound nice? Well, of course, there’s a catch. You have to listen to an advertisement before each song!

I was mistaken with the previous sentence. There are advertisements, however, they are simply wrapped around the songs in play. Works well. We’ll see how this pans out . . .

Now that’s smart, NBC . . . and FOX . . . and CBS?

So, I’m browsing the downloadable content on my TiVo and see free downloads to NBC pilots. I click through and grab about 5 (including Journeyman, which I’m thinking ought to turn out pretty good). How easy was it? It took literally less than 1 minute to select the shows. Then, they were on my TiVo within the hour. No commercials, great quality.

So, now I have a season pass to record Journeyman. That’s effective marketing. Now, will Bionic Woman deliver . . . not so sure!

Also, I’m showing that iTunes is doing similar things. I think the networks are starting to figure things out!

Now, if I could download episodes for free with a sponsored advertiser, we’d be in business!

TruFone and Gizmo . . . mobile VOIP, woohoo!

I knew I bought my Nokia E61i for a reason. I was expecting the included Wi-Fi to be a nice bonus, but now I’m really feeling the potential.

Enter Trufone ( and Gizmo VOIP ( These little gems of software load up almost effortlessly to my Nokia Smartphone (Symbian OS). I can now call anywhere in the US for free (via TruFone, Gizmo is just 1 penny per minute). No minutes are used from my cellular carrier since it’s over the Wi-Fi signal. Just too cool. And, international rates are just a couple of pennies per minute.

I’ve tried both services and like them both fine. I’m using Trufone since its (duh) free for at least the rest of 2007 (they might charge after that, but it’ll be minimal).

Well, I’ve just about ruled out TruFone . . . it was nice that it’s free, but it took up too much of my phone’s resources. Also, I couldn’t get it to stay out of my way – it would always try to make the default calls when on my home network. Gizmo at least lets me tell it when to call. And, the new version works like a champ – very easy to install. Winner: Gizmo

Update: 11/14/07
Well, looks like it’s a work in progress. While Gizmo connects fine and runs fine, folks are noticing quite the delay in audio getting to their phone . . . not cool. I think I might try Skype for mobile . . . we’ll see.