I've been seeing a lot of internet babbling about SeeqPod. For those of you that haven't heard of this website, let me run it down for you in a nutshell. It is a music search engine that allows you to build a playlist and listen to songs it finds on the internets. Sounds really cool right! I think it sounds effing great ... but the people that have posted those songs may not think so. Let's say that you are using a hosting site that grants you a certain amount of bandwidth during the month. After you exceed that limit, you start being charged for extra bandwidth. So now SeeqPod can find these songs and the more people that use SeeqPod, the more accessible these files are on the internets. Some Joe Baloney that posted his favorite Metallica song that may never get any internet hits, may now all of a sudden be getting hundreds of hits a day ... and worse, may get a hit right in the ol' wallet at the end of the month. He'd be lucky to get past Lars Ulrich's wrath anyways.
So streaming some MP3 files doesn't sound so bad. Kind of like it. There are a few Firefox plugins that let you play MP3 files you encounter with an embedded player. These are just little one off sorts of things. The playlist feature in SeeqPod is nice since you can find enough material out there to last you for a long time. Instantly, you have people that want to download the files that they encounter. While SeeqPod does not allow you to download these files, it does tell you the location of where to find them on the internets. Basically you can type in the URL that you see and get to the MP3 file and download it. How quickly will SeeqPod be turned into a device for illegally downloading songs?? Now, I don't condone downloading MP3s, but I wanted to see how easy it would be to turn SeeqPod into an MP3 download tool. Took me about 5 minutes and it is cake. Here is how to use SeeqPod for downloading MP3 files:
I use Firefox, so these instructions are for firefox users. First off, go to www.seeqpod.com and do a search for some music that you would like to listen to. I did a search for Dream Theater (because they are da bomb). If anything is available, you will get a list of songs on the left hand side of the screen. That's all you need to do as far as SeeqPod is concerned. The rest will be up to you and your browser. Open up a second tab in FireFox and paste 'about:cache?device=disk' into the location bar (without the quotes). This should pull up your cache. Do a search in your cache (ctrl + F) and paste into the find box 'anonSearchPaginationFlash' (again, no quotes). Scroll through those results and look for links that have what you searched for (dream theater would be visible somewhere in the link). Click on the key link and it will load it as cache entry information. Click on the key link again and it will load the XML of the SeeqPod results page. Look for Location tags. Those will be the path to the MP3 file that you searched for. At that point, it is up to you how to handle the download. If I were a crafty person, I would just copy all the links and stick it into some sort of download.html file I created on my computer. Then I might just load that file in Firefox and use the DownThemAll plugin to grab all the files at once. This is just a concept, so if you want to experiment, go ahead. I'm not responsible for your downloading activity ... just sayin.
Is SeeqPod a great idea ... absolutely! Will it be used for illegal downloading ... certainly. Anytime a website that crops up that seeks out MP3 files on the internet, it will probably be put to use in a negative way. Haystack is another example of the streaming audio principle. It is a bit different, but again, very easy to download music off of.
If you are going to download something ... since it is so irresistible ... at least experiement with CD's/music that you already own. Not that it makes it any better, but at least you have dropped some money into the artists pockets for it at some point. That's a whole other can of worms that I'm not going to touch.
*** Note ***
If you do have an iPhone, then just find a song that you want to hear and then you can "share" the link. The share button just emails a link to whoever you want (in this case, the URL of the mp3). You can just email it to yourself and then using your email tool of choice, download the file from the link you just sent yourself. Very cake!