“Free music without limits” is the rallying cry of Freemake Music Box, a free-to-download program that will hunt through the narrow corridors of the Internet in search of free music, and then organise it for you.
It’s a small download, and a quick program to install. And first glance, it has clearly been to the Google school of presentation. You get a search box on the right hand side of the program’s working window, and a playlist and playback tools on the left. It’s sparse, and it’s simple.
When you search for your music of choice, Freemake then runs a query, that you’d assume would involve searching lots of online places to generate the list of results. Oddly, then, it seems that the bulk of results we got came from YouTube, with the associated video appearing in the left hand window, too. You can’t rip the track to your hard drive, either, although that’s not surprising, given that one of the selling points Freemake cites is that it’s a legal service (“you won’t get into trouble”, it promises).
But there are things you can do. The big one is that you can make a playlist of songs you’ve found by searching, without you having to gather all the music together yourself in the first place. It’s here where Freemake is offering a no-cost alternative to more advanced subscription streaming services such as Spotify. All you need to do to add a track to a playlist is hit the plus sign that appears alongside it in the search results, or you can just press play if you want to hear it.
What Freemake doesn’t do, though, is allow you any kind of expert filters. So audio quality doesn’t come into it, for instance, and any quirks of a YouTube upload are present and correct, too.
It’s not a bad little tool, this, and there are advantages to its stripped-bare approach to gathering legal music together online. Furthermore, additional useful features are apparently on the way. We’re told that Android and iPad versions are coming, as is the option to sync music to a mobile. However, its most compelling selling point is that it’s free, and without that lack of price tag, it’d be hard to find anything of real interest here. It’s simple, straightforward, but might just make you appreciate handing Spotify a few quid every month instead.
- It’s free, and it’ll certainly keep you on the straight and narrow
- The quality is variable, the results limited, and options minimal