SpiralFrog has reached an agreement with EMI Music Publishing, one of the largest music publishers in the world, to use its songs and lyrics for a music download service scheduled to roll out in a beta version by November.SpiralFrog, which announced its first deal with Universal Music Group last week, plans to offer free song downloads, with the service funded through advertising. "This is just the start of signing major labels and music publishers to offer their catalogs to the users of SpiralFrog," said Neville Hobson, SpiralFrog spokesman.SpiralFrog is one of several technology companies and music publishers forging alliances in an effort to suppress illegal music downloading, blamed by record labels for falling sales. SpiralFrog said\u00a0its service will be a high-quality alternative to file-sharing sites that are "characterized by poor-quality music, missing song details and spyware."Music on SpiralFrog will be in Microsoft\u2019s Windows Media Audio format and encoded with rules on how the track can be used, known as digital rights management. The record labels will retain the power to set restrictions on how a song can be used, Hobson said. It\u2019s planned that songs will be playable on a user\u2019s computer and transferable to two portable devices. But the songs can\u2019t be burned to a CD, and they can\u2019t be shared with other people, he said. The songs will remain playable only as long as a person regularly logs into their SpiralFrog account.The choice of format means the content won\u2019t be playable on Apple Computer\u2019s iPod media player, which dominates the industry.Songs downloaded from Apple\u2019s iTunes Music Store will play on PCs or Macintoshes, but can be transferred only to the company\u2019s iPod media players. Users can buy individual songs or entire albums.But Apple\u2019s competitors are experimenting with other business models such as subscription services, which allow access to thousands of songs at a time as long as the subscription fee is paid, and ad-funded free services, to lure users away.SpiralFrog\u2019s deal with EMI will also allow users to search and display the lyrics from EMI\u2019s catalog, the companies said.EMI holds more than\u00a01 million copyrights, it said, and publishes artists including James Blunt, Eminem, Jay-Z and the Arctic Monkeys.-Jeremy Kirk, IDG News Service (London Bureau)Related Link:\n\nSpiralFrog, Universal to Offer Free Music DownloadsCheck out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.