By Tom 2/08/02
SongSpy has been in existence for a considerable amount of time, yet little attention was given to this network. However, since the introduction of version 2.0, SongSpy has been developing a dedicated userbase of approximately 10,000 users and over 2 million available songs. SongSpy's steady growth comes as a mixed blessing, as the network's health is dependent on centralization.
Ease of Use:
You really can't ask for an easier network to operate. When you launch the application, you're instantly connected to the SongSpy network. SongSpy is designed a bit like Scour or CuteMX, as the toolbar is located vertically on the left side of the client. Setting up additional variables is accomplished by accessing the configuration menu. There's no server maintenance like eDonkey and no host cache's to enter like older Gnutella clients - its P2P networking made simple.
Just about anyone can take advantage of SongSpy due to its easily navigable interface. All available options are clearly displayed, allowing the user to easily manipulate the client. While eDonkey and WinMX may scare newbie's away, those who were comfortable using Napser should feel right at home.
Speed of Download:
One of SongSpy's redeeming qualities is the download speed. As long as you download a song with a low ping speed, you'll frequently achieve full download potential. We tested SongSpy on a 740KB DSL line and were generally satisfied. However, with duplicate files plentiful, SongSpy would benefit greatly from multi-segmented downloading.
If you're looking for an alternate source of MP3's, then SongSpy should do the trick. The availability of MP3 files was impressive, especially for more popular music. Unfortunately, SongSpy only supports MP3's, potentially limiting its competitive ability against other networks.
SongSpy is generally a resourceful network if you're only looking for music. With a network dependent on centralization, single source downloading, and MP3 only support, SongSpy is more of a relic rather than the "next generation music sharing network" it claims to be. Although fun to use, its centralized characteristics leave it vulnerable to the RIAA juggernaut.
Tom from Slyck.com is a regular contributer to MP3 Newswire. Tom's insights on other digital music issues can be read on his site and we encourage you to check it out.
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