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Middle of the Pack - Songspy
http://www.songspy.com

By the standards of behemoths like Napster and Gnutella, SongSpy is not exactly what you'd call wildly popular. A proud notice on the company's web site informs visitors that the program has just shattered its own record by having 3,000 people online at one time. Although the feat is certainly an accomplishment, it also demonstrates how far Songspy has to go. The highlight here - a slicker than thou interface. For the time being, usage is limited and likely to remain that way.

This application boasts the usual assortment of features that are by now standard on file-sharing applications including instant messaging, chat and an internal MP3 player.

SongSpy eventually plans to reward sharing by tracking downloads and awarding what it calls karma points. Of course, the legal implactions of keeping records on exatly who is downloading what may not be something that SongSpy has thought too long and hard about.

Windows only. The company says it is planning a Linux release.

pluses: People like the cool of this application's interface. Some potential for success - especially if Napster is unplugged.

Minuses: Users report connection problems, bugs, conflicts with other software in some cases, see songspy faq for more info. Hilary Rosen et. al unlikely to be moved by ambitious teenagers offering karma points.

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