Limewire music store now open in beta
Limewire, formerly a popular Gnutella-based P2P file-sharing service, has opened the beta of its DRM-free download store.
A delay is understandable, as the architecture of the service has changed considerably. Not based upon peer-to-peer file transfer, the 256K encoded MP3s -- and even a limited number of the 500K -- are hosted on Limewire servers. Purchase transactions can take place through the Web site in a browser, or through the P2P client's own interface.
Limewire's service saw it's first peak in popularity approximately four years ago, which garnered it a crackdown on file sharing by the RIAA. Last year, reports of its P2P client's relevance were mixed: Digital Music News claimed the service was installed in as many as 36% of PCs, while TorrentFreak claimed Limewire constituted 18% of all P2P clients deployed. (You're invited to try to do the math.)
Limewire's store enters the growing ranks of DRM-free music shops populated by Amazon.com, iTunes, eMusic and 7digital.