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iMesh Strikes Deal with Sony-BMG
July 11, 2005
Thomas Mennecke
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It appears just about everyone is claiming to be the first to team up with a major record label these days. PeerImpact, MashBoxx and iMesh are the larger players staking this claim. Who truly is the first to actually score a deal? That currently is an unknown as none of these applications have distributed a client that reflects this deal.

So now the question becomes, "which client will be first to actually deliver the goods?" While PeerImpact and MashBoxx are relative newcomers to the P2P scene, iMesh certainly is not. In fact, it is nearly as old as Napster, the founder of modern P2P.

Shortly after Napster's release in the spring months of 1999, iMesh released their file-sharing network in October of that year. Considering Napster had shot to superstardom, there was little room for iMesh to grow. But it did manage to find itself a niche in the little room available, as its userbase trickled upwards.

By August of 2000, it had a population of approximately 21,000 users.

However, the iMesh client was not without a laundry list of problems. Indeed, iMesh was perhaps one of the most troublesome P2P clients at the time, save for CuteMX (remember the disappearing tool bar?). iMesh was known for going days on end without the ability to connect to its network. In addition it suffered from random crashes, lock ups, freeze ups and a variety of other bugs. Although it gained the reputation as the bastard child of the P2P community, it did manage to bring about three innovative features.

iMesh was the absolute first P2P network to introduce multisource downloading. No other P2P network at the time had ever introduced such a feature. It allowed an individual to download one file from multiple sources, allowing for blazingly fast speeds (when the network functioned properly.) This technology has of course expanded and grown, and is now a standard feature in any serious P2P network.

The second feature iMesh introduced was the ability to share any file type. At the time, Napster only allowed the trading of MP3 files. CuteMX came along shortly after iMesh and also allowed the sharing of any file type, however the application was - can you believe - worse that iMesh. Sometimes the client crashed for no reason, other times it simply vanished.

When iMesh did work, it actually worked quite well. Many current file-traders obtained their first movies from this network - although it would take days to complete. This brings us to iMesh's third innovative concept - the resume feature.

The third feature iMesh innovated for the P2P community was the resume feature (although this was not new to the Internet.) Without this, downloading large files would be near impossible. A typical feature length film (horrible cam quality at the time) was about 650 megabytes. Without this feature, if one lost a download at 400 megabytes, one would have to restart the download from scratch. On a 56K connection, this would prove to be an outrageously frustrating experience.

Although iMesh brought about all these innovative features, it was never quite able to lift itself towards the heights of Gnutella, FastTrack, eDonkey2000 or BitTorrent. Instead, the middling centralized network based in Israel would be relegated as the black sheep of the P2P community.

The popularity it did manage to build would be due to its piggybacking of the FastTrack network. Two years ago, it abandoned its proprietary network and became a FastTrack client.

Today, is trying to innovate itself once again by signing on with Sony-BMG Music. iMesh settled its differences with the RIAA in 2004, paving the way to its current deal. iMesh will continue to exist on the FastTrack and Gnutella networks while providing pay per download content from Sony-BMG.

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
P2P Clients :: Other Clients
Entertainment Industry :: Other

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