Free music? As in, honestly, no record companies coming after you free? Yes, that’s the story with the newly launched, ad-supported Web site,

The music service, which has had its share of business woes recently, cut a deal with Vivendi SA’s Universal Music Group to build its catalog. Universal opened up its collection, which includes top artists like Gwen Stefani (left), in return for a cut of advertising and sponsorship revenue. Selling those little discs must not be working out so well anymore.

Users sign up for free, but must visit the site at least once a month to retain access to their tunes. You won’t be able to burn discs, but you can transfer the music to portable players. Just not the iPod. And that’s the catch.—Gregory Mone