Friday, December 12, 2008

LimeWire 5 Adds Private Sharing

The LimeWire 5 Alpha was released earlier this week, improvements include a simpler interface and powerful private sharing feature. The new private sharing feature allows users to set up friends lists and can import contacts from sources like GMail, Jabber or LiveJournal. Once you and your group of friends have Limewire installed, users can decide which files they would like to share and with which friends. User can then access files between their collective group of friends privately.

Of course you can still use it just like the old traditional version as a bittorrent client, to share and download from strangers via the Gnutella P2P network, but the socially networked sharing feature adds another level which could become the main way many people use the program.

By restricting friends lists to people whom you know and trust rather than permitting the addition of large groups of strangers, the new LimeWire private sharing feature could make life harder for the RIAA and MPAA. Friends and family sharing files privately within a group of known individuals should be safe from prying eyes. Making the new feature a great way to share things like family photos, videos documents or just about any other types of files.

As mentioned LimeWire 5 is still in the Alpha stages but it was made public for Windows, Mac and Linux on Wednesday. LimeWire does make it very clear this is an Alpha and it might be buggy:

"This is the Alpha version of LimeWire 5. We encourage you to give it a try. However, because there are still a number of bugs, we do not recommend that you use the Alpha as your primary file-sharing program, to download the current stable version of LimeWire click here."

The program installs fairly easily so just about anyone in the family can use it. Grandma might need a little coaxing but its really not that bad. Once the installation unpacks and gets under way you get the standard LimeWire warning about copyrighted content and there are a few extra clicks here an there. Importing files from your library can be done either automatically or manually, most users would want to use the automatic feature, but oddly enough that feature didn't list any files for me so I had to manually add folders and files.

Sharing with friends is only a few clicks away. Clicking the "share with friends link" gives you the option of logging into GMail, Jabber or LiveJournal. Facebook contacts is apparently also in the works. Your friends show up in a list to the left and is sorted just like any other buddies list. Friends who are online appear in a chat window so you can ask them to download and install the LimeWire application. Once they do, you'll be able to decide which files to share with them and view the files they're sharing with you.

Personally I wanted the ability to add more friends that aren't using any of the above mentioned services. But it looks like the company intentionally left out that option. Correction Wired's Eliot Buskirk writes: "That way people really have to know those they're sharing with. Not only does this discourage RIAA snoops, but it should also result in a more personal experience when using the software, because people will actually have to know their friends."

For a more in depth view as well as a great setup guide head over to

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments will be moderate for content, please be patient as your comment will appear as soon as it has been reviewed.

Thank you