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Clickster

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Clickster

Everyone loves getting something for free. With Clickster you get a double dose: This free program searches the Web for free MP3 music files from your favorite artists, and delivers them to your desktop. Clickster's developer, Robert Palmer, insists that there's no copyright issues to worry about, since the MP3s that Clickster accesses are free files stored on Web sites. As long as you don't share the files, you're safe.

That said, "free" does have its price. The interface isn't very well designed, and the touted ShoutCast Internet radio features didn't work in my tests. There's no in-program Help system, so be sure to read the documentation online before you use Clickster for the first time, or you will quickly become confused.

Once you figure out how to use Clickster, you can quickly search for MP3s from your favorite artists, or of particular songs. You can listen to a track from within the program before downloading it, or click the Safe Browser button to take a look at the Web site from whence it came. You can download up to three tracks at a time, even while Clickster is finding more files. Note that despite Palmer's claims, Clickster doesn't necessarily speed up downloads: Files downloaded at my connection's usual speed, no faster.

Clickster lets you build Playlists that you can embed into your own Web pages--complete with a media player. Creating a Playlist is simple, but I didn't try embedding it into a Web page. Since the resulting Playlist is a simple XML file, however, it's probably fairly straightforward to get it onto your own site.

Basically, Clickster functions as an MP3 search engine, streams files just fine, and lets you download supposedly legal MP3s for free. Its lack of in-program playlists and album information could turn off some music aficionados, however.

--Kim Saccio-Kent

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Clickster

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