Universal’s Spiral Frog has more warts than a bad fairy tale

The whole site runs on asp and requires some Windows only plugin. Ok so not only am I shut out as an iPod user, I’m shut out as a Macintosh user. Fine, let’s keep looking.

Unfortunately, those running the Apple operating system on their computers will not be able to play preview clips, stream videos, or download songs and videos at SpiralFrog.

We require you to be running Windows XP or Vista at SpiralFrog for the simple reason that Windows Digital Rights Management is the only standard available for independent music stores like us to protect the songs and videos as required by the record labels’ licenses.

Windows Digital Rights Management is not supported by Apple Macintosh computers. Macintosh supports the AAC Digital Rights Management, but it is closed to Apple’s own use only.

At this time, we’re sorry to say that all you can do is browse our site, but it’s a very good site, and you’ll lots of information about all your favorite artists. So, please… enjoy!

Yeah ok.

Oh look at their FAQ:

How come there’s no cost – what’s the catch?

SpiralFrog is an ad-supported Web site. We sell ads on our pages to advertisers who want to talk to you. And we give the majority of that advertising revenue to the music publishers and labels who own the music you’re downloading.


What happens if I don’t renew my membership?

A couple of things happen if you don’t return to the SpiralFrog Web site and renew your membership every 30 days.

On Day 31, you will no longer be able to download songs or videos from our site, but the music you have already downloaded will continue to play on your computer and portable player for another 30 days.

However, if you choose not to renew your membership after 60 days, on Day 61 all the songs and videos you have downloaded from SpiralFrog will no longer play on your computer or portable player.

Alright, so I have to keep coming to your site and look at ads. That sounds like fun. Not.

You’re not compatible with Apple’s iPod, or the new Microsoft Zune player, right?

We’re not compatible with these devices. However, the songs and videos you download from SpiralFrog will play on any computer platform capable of running Windows XP or Windows Vista, as well as all portable devices or cell phones that play WMA music files and have implemented the Windows DRM support.

Nice! So they use the Windows DRM, and use the Apple-doesn’t-license-fairplay excuse to not play on iPods, but they don’t even work on Zunes! And if Spiral Frog is indeed backed by UMG, UMG is getting a buck from every Zune sold! ROFL.

It appears they only work with Plays For Sure, which as many of you know, is not Zune compatible.

If you’re in for a laugh, check out their board of directors One of them is even in the House of Representatives from Texas. Wow, if any Texans needed a reason not to re-elect this guy. Man he is even involved in voting online. This is starting to get scary.

All I can say is, I’m sticking with my nice, clean, easy to use iTunes Music Store.


  1. I don’t know about all that, I have been using Spiral Frog, and all it takes is to use an audio converter and you can stick it on your Zune. I synched my friend’s Zune, and it works.

    As for it not working on iPods, it’s your fault you got a device that’s already crawling with DRM, so don’t complain that you got an mp4 player.

    To get rid of the ads, just Adblock the image in FF or if you’re smart use the IE7 Pro plugin for IE7 and just filter the image out.

    Don’t complain, it’s legit, well-organized music, and it’s free. Your fault you supported Jobs, so don’t play sour grapes.

  2. Volsung28,

    nice points, but my iPods play non-DRM music just fine, thanks.

    Apple’s stuff works fine on Windows, this crap does not work fine on Macs. Sorry, it sucks, more closed than apple’s solution.

  3. Spiralfrog sucks worse than you think. I downloaded over 2000 songs. I can not play them because their site will not let me renew my membership. I also can not get new songs. Everything they have told me to do through e-mail has not worked. Oh, and my mp3 player is playsforsure and they don’t even play on my computer.

  4. waaaah.

    9_9 maybe you should just go pay for the music instead of whining about it. & No I’m not against free music -who is!?!?- but if you are just going to whine about then what the hell? So it doesn’t cater to your exact needs. The world doesn’t revolve around you.

  5. Hey, the converter thing usually works but I can’t find one that will convert a Windows DRM file… what do you guys use?

  6. Evryone bitches about DRM, evryone bitches about copyright, labels and incompatability with online music stores. People should be ganging up on the kid who won’t play nice on the playground, his name is Apple. Their policies are stifling Spiral Frog and others. If Apple allowed Macs and iPods to be WM DRM compatable (which it cud license from MS) and if they wud license Fairplay to MS Zune, Creative Zen and all the others, we wud have universality with all music, computers and music players. DRM wudn’t be such a big deal and Spiral Frog cud work on anything. Instead of insulting a music service that is trying why not email Mr. Jobs over at Apple and ask “if you care about music so much why won’t u license FairPlay to others and license WM DRM for iPod and Macs?”.

    As far as WM DRM not working on Zune, yah that is just shamefully dumb. Why are computer geeks deciding how music is distributed anyway?

  7. psh – this is no problem with a little ingenuity. I have xp running on my mac (i didn’t want a mac, but it’s what I was given) so getting the software and songs isn’t a problem. Audacity runs fine on macs, and either I can use the line-out or use a double ended headphone jack style cord (one side for the mic input and one side for the headphone output) and use audacity to record the song as it plays at the same quality and export it as an mp3 to my itunes and ipod. It’s a little annoying, but it’s free and takes only a little bit longer than listening to the song. If you don’t know how to get something for free online, you don’t know how to look properly. Granted you can get this stuff off of limewire or torrents, but this is less illiegal (?) and easier to find what you actually want at a good quality and guarenteed high-speed download (not like a dial-up limewire user).


    Yeah, more music for me cause I know how to get around my computer like a ninja with a guitar.

  8. Great info, we DO expect (though) that the ad-supported model WILL work. //keeping our noses down and pushing ahead… Sincerely, The Songnumbers Team PS, we just pushed out BETA 2 of our site!

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