Looking to score some free music without having the RIAA on your behind?Â Then check out Ruckus Networks,Â operators of the Ruckus digital music network designed for college students.Â Beginning today, Ruckus is offering up its service for free to all U.S. students with a valid .edu email address. Previously Ruckus had only been accessible by students at schools who had contractual agreements with Ruckus to provide music to their students.
Students can begin signing up for the service starting right now, and by doing so they will have access to free music from a library of over 2.1 million tracks, as well as a number of social networking features.Â Users can set up and maintain profiles, participate in discussion boards, and create playlists of their favorite music.Â According to Ruckus, several hundred thousand students have joined the service since its launch, and by opening it up to all U.S. college students they now expect their membership to increase exponentially.Â Prior to today, Ruckus had agreements to provide the service to more than 100 schools across the country.Â Schools that have agreements with Ruckus already will enjoy such perks as faster downloads which are enabled by local network facilities and access to video content as well as the music content.
“Free and legal digital music has just become broadly available to the most active and engaged music consumer group on the planet,” said Michael Bebel, Ruckus President and CEO, in a statement.
“This is a major milestone for Ruckus, but much more importantly, for the growing community of college and university students and faculty we have been interacting with for the past three years. We look forward to providing the same great user experience with an incredible library of content, to an even greater number of users nationwide.”
I’ve not yet tried out this service, but it does sound intriguing.Â I think I’ll give it a go this week and check back in with details on my experiences.Â It sounds pretty good, but I am somewhat skeptical of ad-supported services such as this.Â As long as the ads are not obnoxiously obtrusive, then I’m okay with it.Â If any of you have used this service before, or attend a school that subscribes to Ruckus, do you have any information or tips that you can share with us?Â I’m sure we’d all love to hear it!