Like downloading music but don't like paying for it? Soon-to-officially launch Web service Guvera attempts to find a balance between piracy and poverty by offering legal, advertiser-sponsored downloads from major labels.
While many forward-looking music services (such as Spotify) largely rely on streaming, Guvera's emphasis on MP3 downloads is useful in the Australian market, where download limits make it hard to embrace a permanent HQ-streaming channel if you also want to do other things with your connection.
That's not to say the service is as easy to use as a conventional online music store, based on Lifehacker's experience with the beta version. You search for an artist and, once you find a track you like, have to click through to an advertiser-sponsored page which includes your track and others in vaguely similar genres. You can increase your credits by visiting more sponsor pages and by completing the profiles on your taste in areas such as music, travel and gadgets.
Guvera is currently restricted to Universal and EMI, which means there's a healthy selection of music, but it's also not too hard to come up with major artists who are completely ignored. Even artists who are included may not have their entire catalogue on offer (though the same can be said of many paid music services).
Guvera will officially launch in Australia on March 30, but you can sign up on the site now and may well get an approved account before that.