BearShare is a file sharing software program which was created by Free Peers, Inc. to run on Microsoft Windows operating systems. Launched as a peer to peer file sharing application, it includes chat settings, a library of software which is free to all users, and media which is named ‘Bearshare Featured Artists’.
There is the option for online help available to the user if they need help with the software program. Its appearance is quite outdated, however it is easy to navigate and use, and all options are readily available to the user. A list of files is provided to the bottom left of the screen, while options are listed in a row at the top, and search keywords are also listed to the right of screen. This appearance makes for a user friendly, easy to navigate software program.
Although at first it may appear difficult to work with, the interface of the program is actually very easy to use. The user will quickly grow accustomed to the program and how it works, because this is very easy to pick up. There is a built in media player which can play music or videos at the request of the user, and the user can perform a search by clicking on the ‘search’ button to the right of screen. Bearshare is good at managing many media files at the same time, enabling organisation of files. Also available are other settings – for instance, parental controls, with which parents can determine the use of the software by their children.
When I compare Bearshare to Limewire, I can find that both are rather evenly matched. Limewire has several versions available for the user to select from; these are a free version and a ‘pro’ version, the latter of which must be paid for. Although Bearshare is free initially, most of its music catalogue is inaccessible without a monthly paid subscription, whereas Limewire is able to offer a free download service to its users.
The professional version of Limewire includes certain features which the free version – and Bearshare – do not. The most prominent of these is its offer of increased download speed technical support. For users who do not wish to pay for a subscription to Bearshare, there is the option of a $0.99 download fee per song, which is in line with iTunes and Amazon rates.
In conclusion, I believe that Bearshare is a very good software program developed by a perhaps lesser known developing company. However, the fact that the company is lesser known has worked to its advantage; it has moved up in the world of peer to peer file sharing, and Bearshare is now one of the leading lights in its market.
About Musiclab LLC
Free Peers, Inc. was set up by Vincent Falco and Louis Tatta. There was previously a forum for users of Bearshare to converse and share their experiences of using the software program, however pending a lawsuit in 2005 this forum was closed down with immediate effect. The company transferred all Bearshare related assets to the company MusicLab LLC in 2006, using the $30million which that sale generated to settle the aforementioned lawsuit.
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