|LimeWire Pro 2.2.3,
by LimeWire LLC
LimeWire Pro 2.3.3 is a Macintosh OS X package which enables individuals to search for and share computer files with anyone on the internet. LimeWire is compatible with the Gnutella file-sharing protocol and allows connection to other client computers on the Gnutella network.
Price: Single - User
License - $9.50 (on-line), $14.00 (mail)
LimeWire Pro 2.3.3 is a file-sharing application allowing searches, uploads and downloads for users connected to the internet. The Gnutella file-sharing protocol, reverse-engineered from an AOL subsidiary's project which "escaped" into the Public Domain shortly before the parent company shut it down, forms the basis of a Peer-to-Peer (P2P) network. This network is de-centralized relying on no main server as Napster did (among other P2P networks).
The Pro version dispenses with the ads on the basic (and free) version. Bundled software (Spyware) is also removed. Additionally, added support is provided for owners of the Pro version, including e-mail support.
The installation creates a folder in the Applications folder containing the LimeWire package, a number of jar files and other miscellaneous shell scripts and folders. LimeWire scans your computer's drives for media files and asks if you would like to share these. You may delay this choice for a look at a number of preferences which must be set (and tweeked for maximum efficiency):
The exact settings for these will depend upon your preferences and experience. The LimeWire website and associated Forums apparently do not address this.
The Search tab is where most of the action takes place. The user may choose to search by "Any Type", "Programs", "Video", "Documents", "Audio" or "Images". "Audio" and "Video" searches also may specify metadata: "Album", "Genre" (Bebob is described as "jazzy Dylan"), etc. Clicking the Search button sets the lime slice rotating while the network is being explored. Stop halts the search occasionally. The mouseover of a returned search file name will occasionally display the file's metadata.
groups files with similar names and sizes from different peers into a collection
on a single line. Whenever more than one file is grouped, a quantity will appear
in the # column indicating the number of files that are grouped. To use LimeWire's
Smart Downloader, select the file you want, and click the "Download Any"
button. This action causes LimeWire to attempt to download the file rotating through
each peer in the group. It downloads only one copy of the file, but will smartly
use all the peers (e.g., it will start with the fastest peer, but if that connection
is dropped, it will continue with the download using the next fastest peer, and so
A search for "Macintosh" resulted in 3038 items before I clicked Stop. The first 2 were OS 9 update files and the rest (as far as I could scroll before locking up) were MP3s in the Michael Jackson-cum-Hip-Hop genre. Searches often seem to turn up some inexplicable matches.
LimeWire also includes
a chat functoin. If a smiley icon is displayed under the "Chat" column,
that indicates the peer is available for chatting. I was unable to convince anyone
to chat, but it appeared that my message was being sent out.
The Monitor tab allows the user to monitor the searches on the Gnutella network. This defaults to disabled but when enabled, the number of searches may be adjusted. Whenever I selected this, I received a dialog box stating, "Your client is a leaf node shielded by an ultrapeer. Hence you will see few or no searches in the monitor window." This didn't seem quite correct as I watched a parade of Incoming Searches march by.
The Connections tab displays the connected hosts on the Gnutella network, IP addresses, messages, bandwith, peerage and percentage of dropped I/O (poor performers may be removed here.)
The Library tab displays the files that you have selected to share. These files may be launched in the appropriate player or LimeWire's media player. Playlists may be created, updated and saved. Files may be annotated with various attributes for audio or video ("Title", "Artist", "Genre", etc.)
The OS X Tools menu item delivers the statistics for your current connection. The on-line documentation hints at more functionality in the PC version.
The Help is browser-based, which is fine since everyone has a browser. However, having to switch to another window for help when you want to keep the LimeWire window visible is not always an easy task. Adding insult to injury, an ad window oftens pops up along with the help web page. The User Guide pictures alternate between the Windows and OS X versions, and provides a decent amount of help.
LimeWire froze often requiring a Force Quit and occasionally completely locked up the computer mandating a Restart. I also needed to use Force Quit a half-dozen times to terminate large search results when Stop didn't seem to be working. This behavior seems to be an OS X related problem, as the freeze-ups never occurred running LimeWire under OS 9.2.