the demise of Napster, folks have had to look for other ways to find music
files on the Internet. The free utility LimeWire finds music and a whole
lot more. LimeWire is a peer-to-peer file sharing utility that is compatible
with the Gnutella network. The fact that it is peer-to-peer sharing means
that there is no central server or organization that can be easily shut
down by the music industry.
LimeWire allows users to share not only music files (typically in .MP3
format), but also movies, images, programs and any other type of document.
The interface is simple enough to use. Click a radio button in the lower
left corner to choose the type of media you are looking for, and then enter
keywords for the search. You can look for titles, artists, authors, genres
or whatever. LimeWire will display all of the search hits under a tab showing
the keywords you entered, complete with file size, bit rate and connection
speed. If you see something you want, select it and click the download
You can share some of your own files if you want, but you donít have
to. LimeWire will download a single file from multiple sources if possible
for speedier transfers and it will resume downloads when the program is
relaunched as long as the uploading peer is still available. The program
even has an integrated MP3 player and the ability to chat with other users.
One word of caution, searching for music works great, but parents should
be warned. If you search for video, regardless of the keywords you put
in, you will find a great deal of pornography.
LimeWire is available as a free download.
Since the program is written in Java it is compatible with many computing
platforms including Windows, Linux, Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X. LimeWire is
the number one download for Mac and Linux on CNETís Download.com. LimeWire
is supported by ads at the bottom of the screen; the ad-free LimeWire Pro
is available for a mere $9.50.