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Get started with Audiogalaxy Satellite
Market forces may get to Napster long before lawsuits ever hit it. Soon, the company will be charging for its service, and it's going to be hard for fans who are used to free music to give away a credit card number for what could be a more limited service. Among the many alternatives is Audiogalaxy Satellite, which regularly tops Download.com's top digital audio downloads list. The program uses a Web-based interface to search for and acquire music, automatically choosing to download songs from users closer to you in order to reduce system load and download times. Nevertheless, system overloads were an issue; Audiogalaxy frequently stopped working--sometimes we couldn't even load the company's home page. When it was working, however, we found Audiogalaxy Satellite to be a reliable way to get music.

Required attention span: 10 minutes

 
   Before you start, you'll need to gather these elements:

 
Follow these simple steps

Step one
Download Audiogalaxy Satellite and install the program. When you run the program for the first time, it will ask you to create a new account (or log in to your old one if you've registered before).

Step two
Run Audiogalaxy Satellite. Click the large Go button. The program will log you in to Audiogalaxy's Web site, where you can search for music. Enter your search term at the top of the page and click Go.

Step three
Find the song that you want and mouse over the magnifying glass next to it. (The green bars to the left of the song represent the likelihood that your download will be successful.) If you want to choose a specific file to download, click Choose Version. If you trust Audiogalaxy Satellite to get the right file (we found it to be pretty reliable), click Send To Queue.

Step four
When you click Send To Queue, the magnifying glass turns into a satellite. Click the satellite to see your Status page. It will list recently downloaded songs, currently transferring songs, and requested songs. You can play songs that you've downloaded from this page as well. To see the status of your transfers, return to the Audiogalaxy Satellite window.

Tips

  • One of Audiogalaxy's greatest features is that you can access the Web interface from any Internet-connected computer. Leave the Audiogalaxy Satellite client up on your PC. From another PC, log into your account at the Audiogalaxy Web site. Search for music and download it just as you normally would, and the music will download on your PC.
  • To change the directory of songs that you're sharing, go to File • Edit Shares in the Audiogalaxy Satellite window.
  • If you have a fast connection, go to Options • Bandwidth Throttle and move the slider all the way to the right. If you have a slow connection and you want to use your computer's bandwidth for more than just transferring music, keep the slider at about the halfway point.
  • Click the login name home link anywhere on Audiogalaxy's Web site to get information about the files that you are currently downloading or have already gotten.

 
Next steps
  • Have you already stuffed too many MP3s on your tiny hard drive? If so, you probably want to burn those files onto CDs. You also might want to upgrade to a new CD-RW drive.
  • Don't have enough MP3s to ease your hankering for free tunes? Try CNET's MP3 search and start listening to the songs that you really want.
  • It's time to take your music on the go, and you certainly can't carry your CPU with you. The solution? One of CNET Editors' Top 5 MP3 players. We also have reviews for devices that play MP3 CDs.
 
 

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