Windows only: Freeware application Songbeat scours previously mentioned music streaming service Seeqpod for tunes, then streams or downloads the music directly to your desktop. Just install the app (the installer asks for your email address, but I was able to install without entering anything), fire it up, and start searching. You can choose to either stream or download any of the search results, but downloading will automatically save the MP3 to your default music folder or to any other folder of your choice (though streaming is handy to check the quality before you download). You can play back any of the downloaded files in the My Music section of the player or—you know—in your media player of preference. Songbeat grabs results from Seeqpod fast, and the downloads are generally very quick. Songbeat is freeware, Windows only (a “Pro” version is available and a Mac version is coming in 2-4 weeks). Put this one at the top of the ever-growing list of ways you can download and listen to free music from the web.
So the software isn’t peer-to-peer like Napster was (it pulls MP3s from the web), and you probably won’t see the breadth of search results you could find from Napster in its heyday, but in terms of ease of quickly finding and downloading songs à la carte, Songbeat feels most akin to the original Napster. Not that I, you know, ever used it. Of course the Limewires and FrostWires are still out there, but Songbeat just does one thing—music—and you’re not likely to inadvertently download anything nasty from Songbeat.