Freemake Music Box Review: Stream Free and Legal Music

Freemake Music Box 0.9.7 Reviewed

Freemake Music Box
Freemake Music Box Main Screen. Mark Harris

Freemake Music Box is a music search tool that you can use to find songs on the Internet which are then streamed directly to your computer. Ellora Assets Corporation who are the developers of Freemake Music Box say that their standalone software application indexes songs that are legally available on the Internet and therefore ensure you stay on the right side of the law. As well as being able to find music on the Web, this free music app also has the facility to create playlists in order to organize your cloud music collection.

There's also a built-in player with various controls for playing back audio streams.

However, is Freemake Music Box worth the download, and has it got enough options to be the tool of choice for finding and streaming free music?

For a closer look, read our full review of Freemake Music Box.

Pros:

  • Stream free and legal music without needing to sign up to an online music service.
  • Playlists can be used to organize your cloud music streams.
  • You can import playlists from other software music players.

Cons:

  • Software extras (toolbar etc.)bundled with installation package -- need to de-select each one if you don't want them on your computer.
  • Options to import and create playlists not that easy to find.
  • Can't search for genres which hinder the program's music discovery potential.
  • Light on features compared to some other competing for free software programs.

Getting Started With Freemake Music Box

Before You Download: Freemake Music Box is a freeware program for Microsoft Windows.

It's compatible with Windows 7, Vista, XP, and requires the .Net Framework 4.0 Client Profile -- this will be installed if it's not already on your system. The installation of Freemake Music Box is quick and straightforward, but the process also includes the offer of additional bundled software. These extra programs (Amazon browser toolbar and Optimizer Pro) are included to help support the developers.

However, if you don't want unwanted software on your computer then you'll need to make sure that each one is de-selected as you go through each screen during the installation phase.

Interface and Music Searching

Finding Music: The interface of Freemake Music Box is so simple that it negates the need for a help system on how to use the program. To start looking for a track, album, or artist, you simply type in a search term via the large text box at the top of the screen. As you type, suggestions appear on-screen which not only serves as a time-saving feature but can also be used as a music discovery tool to see other alternatives that contain the same sequence of letters. You can further filter results by clicking on three hyperlinks (underneath the search box) which are: Tracks, Albums, and Artists. One search feature that would have made Freemake Music Box a vastly more powerful music discovery tool in our opinion would have been the inclusion of a genre option. Even though Freemake Music Box only uses YouTube for its Internet-sourced search results, the program also looks to see what's on your computer's hard drive too. You may already have a music library on your computer and use a software media player such as iTunes, Winamp, etc., which Freemake Music Box can scan.

Playlists: A great feature of Freemake Music Box is the inclusion of playlists. To organize the music you have found on the Internet, the program enables you to create custom playlists. The problem is, you may not see how to do this at first glance. It would be nice to see this on Freemake Music Box's main screen somewhere rather than it being tucked away as a sub-menu. To be able to create custom playlists, you first have to click on the My Playlists drop-down menu. Once you've discovered this hidden gem, you'll also notice that there's an import facility too. If you've generated playlists in other software media players like VLC Media Player, Windows Media Player, Foobar2000, etc.

then these can be directly imported. Currently, Freemake Music Box supports the following playlist formats:

  • M3U, M3U8, ASX, TPL, KPL, WPL, AIMPPL, PLC, PLS, RLC, ZPL, XSPT, SMI, SMIL.

Even if you haven't got your favorite songs on the computer you are using, Freemake Music Box will use your playlists to try and find them on the Web. This is a stellar feature which makes it possible to carry around your favorite songs and stream them on any computer regardless of whether you have the physical audio files. All you need in this case is a computer with Freemake Music Box installed and an Internet connection.

Conclusion

If you're looking for a quick way of streaming music from the Internet without having to sign up to music services such as Spotify, Pandora Radio, and others, then Freemake Music Box might be the ideal program to install. It's simple interface enables you to dive straight in and start searching for music streams. However, this feature-light program may be too simplistic for your long-term requirements. When compared to other free software that can stream audio, the program falls somewhat short of the mark. For instance, Freemake Music Box only uses one streaming audio source, namely YouTube. Other freeware applications like Audials Light tap into a lot more Web resources and have extra features like being able to record as you listen.

However, Freemake Music Box is light on resources and enables you to quickly build up a cloud-based music library. By using playlists the program also allows you to organize music.

You can either create your own from scratch within Freemake Music Box or import ones that you already have (via other software media players). One advantage of using Freemake Music Box with imported playlists is that you don't need any locally stored files -- just the playlists. It's got excellent playlist format support and can be used to find and stream songs from the Internet on any computer using your pre-populated playlists.