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The Download Blog

David Gray, "You're the World To Me": Free MP3 of the Day

The British singer-songwriter rocketed to stardom in the late '90s with a husky-voiced folk-pop that sounded both sensitive-guy sweet and intriguingly hardbitten. That mix has spawned many lesser imitators--think James Blunt--but this greatest hits set reminds that the inventor still does it best.

Xdrive releases AIR-based file manager

Now that AIR 1.0 has officially shipped, it's time to start experimenting with applications based on the shiny new platform, like the AIR-based file management application for AOL's Xdrive, Xdrive Desktop Light. I got a quick demo of this new application at CES in January, but now that it's out we can take a look at how well an AIR-based application can compare with a mature desktop application.

I like AIR applications, but it's very early days for this platform, and it shows in Xdrive Desktop Light. The application is pretty, and it does a … Read more

Hands-on: LinkedIn's new mobile Web site

What do you do if you're billed as a business professional's Facebook, and a substantial portion of your more than 19 million members are jet-setting business types with fancy mobile phones and jobs that lend themselves to schmoozing? You build a mobile Web site so they can invite contacts as they meet them or identify in real life those they already have.

That was the impetus behind LinkedIn's mobile beta. (That and the fact that all the other social networks have mobile Web sites, too.) It's a good move for the social network, whose CEO, Dan … Read more

Blind Boys of Alabama, "Free at Last": Free MP3 of the Day

Everyone's favorite sightless Southerners continue their remarkable late-career run with "Down in New Orleans," a record that comes by NoLa love (a common theme these days) honestly and authentically. Helped by Allen Toussaint and local luminaries, the guys offer ideally seasoned gospel harmonies.

Tommy Guerrero, "Salve": Free MP3 of the Day

This San Francisco native distills many of his city's eclectic musical styles into one inimitable brew. Latin melodies mingle with shifty electro-beats, a busker's spirit meets a mixmaster's tools, and the improv spirit of jazz gets funneled through an R&B/folk voicebox.

Power Downloader monitors his memory

When Power Downloader is hard at work in the Powerlair he often has several programs running simultaneously. Though he has plenty of RAM in his super system, Power likes to keep track of memory usage to see what's taking up the most space. It also helps to have memory tracking apps when he needs to diagnose system slow downs.

To keep track of how much memory is being used by his mission-critical apps, Power Downloader uses FreeMeter. With this free program on his computer, Power can track disk space usage, memory usage, disk transfer rates, and more all from … Read more

Firefox crosses 500 million download mark

Sometime last night, Firefox downloads crossed the 500 million threshold.

It's an arbitrary but interesting milestone for the open-source Web browser, whose development is overseen by Mozilla but that's also developed and extended by a large number of outside programmers. In September 2007, Firefox crossed the 400 million download mark, indicating an average rate a bit shy of 20 million per month at present.

According to the Spread Firefox site, there had been 500,168,448 downloads as of 6:15 a.m. PST. About 12 hours earlier, there had been more than 499,900,000.

Firefox has … Read more

Shout Out Louds, "Tonight I Have to Leave It": Free MP3 of the Day

On second disc "Our Ill Wills," the Swedish crew proves it's lost none of the raw indie spirit that made 2005's "Howl Howl Gaff Gaff" sparkle. The record plays like a frenzied coda to '60s jangle-pop and '70s smile-rock, with string-popping guitars, glissy strings, and wounded vocals.

Fast and simple browser performance tweaks

Browsers just naturally seem to slow down over time. Maybe it's because the add-ons start to accumulate, or because you forget to clear their cache and perform other standard maintenance via Windows Disk Cleanup app. But there are also some simple settings changes you can make to keep Internet Explorer and Firefox running at top speed.

Increase the number of simultaneous connections in Internet Explorer: This tip has been around for a while, but if you haven't implemented it yet, you can see a real boost to your browsing speed. It entails a Registry edit, so create a … Read more