I’ve been a fan of Gang of Four bassist Dave Allen’s blog, Pampelmoose for quite some time, but I was never happier to be an avid reader than on the day Allen blogged about a fabulous little application called Peel. This app has literally changed my life as a writer in a small but wonderful way; Peel legally harvests free MP3s from music blogs anywhere you tell it to go. Within two weeks I had more free music than I know what to do with, and even listening in the home office for the better part of the work day I can’t possibly keep up with it all. No more changing CDs in the middle of a tricky writing assignment for me, Peel can be set up to dump all the MP3s into iTunes automatically so I just hit “party shuffle” and enjoy endlessly.
Peel is designed to give you access to all that great stuff you’ve been missing with the same basic notion that all good MP3 blogs have: if you like what you hear, buy the full album and support the artist. Contrary to what the major labels and the RIAA would have you believe, this is a supportable business model for an independent artist as evidenced by the recent Radiohead album, In Rainbows which was released digitally “for any price you want” long before the CD went into stores. Radiohead sales have been fine in spite of the damn-near-free digital release.
Peel is my new favorite tool, but alas it is only available for the Mac at present. You can download it for a free one-month trial, and then buy it once you’re hooked for the ridiculously low price of $14.95.