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Paul Vaughn is a freelance graphic artist, writer and web designer.

From the July, 2002 issue of PC Alamode Magazine

Since 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 button.

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.

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