Sunday, August 27, 2006

RIAA-Proof Music Sharing

Published 24 August 2006, California.

Several solutions exist for creating your own little mini-P2P network among trusted friends, but the Prague-based AllPeers, which is apparently launching in beta form sometime today, uses a FireFox extension and leverages BitTorrent on the back-end to make set up and private sharing easier than ever. You won't even have to convince your friends to install a separate application, as I had to when testing the original version of the now-Sony-owned Grouper (it was originally a private audio sharing app).

With all of the RIAA's bellyaching about the volume of files shared over these networks, it's easy to forget that one of the reasons people were so excited about Napster back in the day was the social networking aspect. I'm sure I'm not the only one who used to search for a few key, obscure band names and then add anyone who was sharing them into my Buddy List. To find new stuff to listen to, all I had to do was browse these buddies' collections.

AllPeers will allow exactly this sort of thing, although you'll start with the friends and end up with the files, instead of the other way around. I have received conflicting information about when the beta will be available to the public; the AllPeers blog says it will launch sometime today on the official FireFox extentions page, but its PR company told me the beta will be closed.

Maybe they mean it'll be closed to the RIAA and open to everyone else. It's hard to imagine an RIAA bot infiltrating a close-knit network of music-sharing friends.

The AllPeers beta installer is now available !!!

Posted by eliotvb


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