Following my disenchantment with iTunes, I was interested to read this piece in today’s Guardian. SpiralFrog will offer (legal) free downloads in exchange for suffering an ad while the download is taking place. Given that I could probably have watched a couple of Kurosawa films while the download from iTunes was taking place on my last laptop, this doesn’t seem too much of a hardship. It isn’t really cost that is the determining factor for me though (although given the choice, I prefer free), but rather choice (I need those eighties indie bands more than James Blunt) and, to rather hammer the point home, usability and robustness. SpiralFrog will need to make sure they crack these.
It is also another example of the drive toward all content being free. With the success of open source, the rise of open content and the liberation of information one sometimes wonders if _everything_ will be free one day. I await the first open source car with interest.