Ever since the rise of services like Napster prompted a 24/7 digital music knees-up across the planet, cash-savvy music fans have been connecting to the net and downloading songs in an effort to save their hard-earned pennies for other pursuits - but things are changing.
Of course, there are still people pilfering Gnutella and BitTorrent in the hope that they grab their sonic loot while going unnoticed by anyone that might want to stop them. But many music fans are now simply unprepared to risk the sight of that ominous-looking Sony or EMI-headed envelope sitting on their doormat.
2 find MP3 seems to be aimed at those who still want free music but want to do things a little more "legally". Instead of connecting to a file sharing network, the application allows users to search through files that are freely available on the web for download.
Although it's far from the most squeaky-clean way of getting hold of digital tracks, the application appears to have two distinct benefits over running the P2P guantlet: a) There's no way that anyone can gain entry to your PC through the system; and b) there´s less chance of getting caught.
An interesting model for an application indeed, and, while we would never condone the extraction of copyrighted material, at first sight the program looks pretty good. The interface is as simple as any of the more intuitive Gnutella or BitTorrent clients we've seen and there's no sign of any adware or intrusive third party apps with a mind of their own.
Type in the name of a top artist or popular track and you'll be rewarded almost instantly with a list of files that match your request. It's then just a case of hitting the "download" button (which, of course, we at Softonic would never advise you to do) and slipping on your dancing shoes.
However, things are rarely as good as they appear to be on the surface, and after a few searches within the program, you'll start to realize its major flaw. Although you can access a raft of music from the cream of the rock and pop world, once you start looking for stuff from the more alternative acts, you end up with a screen as empty as Ozzie's memory bank.
The other point to make is that, while there's arguably less chance of you getting caught raiding the digital candy store than if you use P2P, the practice is still a long way off being legal. As an application it can't really be faulted for the purpose it serves, but that purpose is definitely highly questionable.