iMesh relaunches Tuesday as the first formerly unregulated peer-to-peer network to turn itself into a paid music service. iMesh reopens with ‘label approved’ P2P
The software supposed to identify and block virtually any copyrighted song being downloaded from peer-to-peer networks.
The new iMesh looks and acts a bit like the old file-swapping service, but it’s designed more with the successes of Apple Computer’s iTunes and the explosively popular MySpace social network in mind.
As before, the core of the service is searching for music. The vast majority of songs that are returned by any search are from iMesh’s “premium” service, which means they will be available only by paying the $6.95 monthly fee, once the promotion period ends, or by buying them individually.
The new iMesh
Like the basic subscription services from Yahoo, Napster and others, those downloaded songs will be locked to PCs, and cannot be transferred to iPods or other devices. A future version will let the songs be taken to some Windows-compatible devices.
The software also searches the Gnutella peer-to-peer network, often finding results on other people’s hard drives that aren’t legal to download. Those are identified and blocked as they are downloaded, but some songs from independent or unsigned artists can still be traded freely.
The service still will allow downloads of video, but only of files 15 minutes in length, or 50 megabytes in size, far too small to support a Hollywood movie or even a television show.