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Developer(s) iMesh, Inc.
Initial release November 24, 1999 (1999-11-24)
Stable release 11.0.933 / August 5, 2012 (2012-08-05)
Written in C++
Operating system Windows
Size 14.0MB
Type Peer-to-peer
License Proprietary
Opened October 25, 2005
Pricing model Free, Permanent Purchase, Subscription Service
Platforms Windows: XP, Vista
Format DRM WMA and MP3
Catalogue 15 million free songs, 4 million licensed from the record labels
Preview 30 Seconds
Streaming No, only 30 second previews
Trial 14 days free 'iMesh ToGo'
Availability USA and Canada for subscriptions, otherwise - worldwide.
Features Artist Discovery, Community, Music synchronization with MP3 players, Parental controls, iMesh DJ.

iMesh is a media and file sharing client that's available in nine languages. It uses a proprietary, centralized, P2P network (IM2Net) operating on ports 80, 443 and 1863.[1] iMesh is owned by American company iMesh, Inc. and maintains development centers around the world. In 2009 it was the third most popular music subscription service in the US.[2]

iMesh operates the first "RIAA-approved" P2P service, allowing users residing in the United States and Canada to download music content of choice for a monthly fee in the form of either a Premium subscription or a "ToGo" subscription. This subscription-based approach is advocated by theories such as the Open Music Model. A third option is also available for users (residing in either country) to permanently purchase tracks for 99 cents (USD) each, without a subscription.

In addition to the paid content, iMesh allows all users (regardless of origin country) access to "non-copyrighted" music and video files. A legalized ringtone download service provided by Thumbplay is also available, allowing users to purchase ringtones for their mobiles.


  • Legal aspects 1
    • RIAA lawsuit 1.1
    • Settlement 1.2
    • Legality 1.3
  • Release history 2
    • Original program 2.1
    • Current program 2.2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Legal aspects

RIAA lawsuit

On September 18, 2003 the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) sued iMesh for encouraging copyright infringement.[3]


iMesh settled the lawsuit a little over 10 months later on July 20, 2004, where according to the RIAA, the terms of the settlement were that iMesh would pay them US$4.1 million and could continue operating as normal (unlike Grokster) whilst implementing a paid service (iMesh 6.0).[4] iMesh had first agreed to have the new service available by the end of 2004, but this was pushed back towards the end of 2005. [5] due to technicalities[6]


iMesh is now advertised as a 100% legal P2P client, and acknowledged as being so by the RIAA.[7] This is because downloads through the client are limited to a select database of 15 million songs and videos.[8]

The iMesh 6 client (and later versions) have achieved this by detecting attempts to download copyrighted material and blocking the transfer through the use of acoustic fingerprinting, provided by Audible Magic.[4]

An agreement with the MPAA had also been reached. Video files more than 50 MB in size and 15 minutes in length can no longer be shared on the iMesh network, ensuring feature-length releases cannot be transferred across the network.[9]

Release history

Original program

  • November 24, 1999, a pre-beta 1.02 was released.
  • December 26, 1999, a beta version 1.02 was released which features instant messaging between users, a new skin and anti-virus scanning.
  • March 2, 2001, version 2.0 was released.
  • March 18, 2002, version 3.1 was released.[10]
  • April 15, 2003 iMesh 4.1 was released.[10]
  • September 4, 2003 iMesh 4.2 was released.[10]
  • June 8, 2004, iMesh 5.0 was released [11] which was the first multi-networked version allowing users to connect to the eDonkey Network, Gnutella, Gnutella2 (like MLDonkey and Shareaza) and the iMesh network.
  • August 25, 2004, iMesh 5.0 build 223 was released with support for the eDonkey Network removed due to many bugs.
  • June 30, 2005, iMesh 5.2 was released.

Current program

  • October 25, 2005, iMesh 6.0 was released. The first "RIAA-approved" P2P service.
  • April 10, 2006, iMesh 6.5 was released, allowing users to send instant messages to each other and simultaneously listen to the same songs with the "Listen Together" feature [12]
  • November 6, 2006, iMesh 7.0 was released, which added social networking features, instant messaging, an improved user interface and greater stability to the client.
  • April 11, 2007, iMesh 7.1 was released.
  • April 5, 2008, iMesh 7.2 was released.
  • October 12, 2008, iMesh 8.0 was released with a new skin, the ability to purchase music in the MP3 format and integration with YouTube, allowing videos to be searched for and downloaded to a user's library.
  • December 23, 2008, iMesh 8.1 was released with various bug fixes and the key feature being a 'guest' mode, allowing users to access the service and download P2P content without the need of registering.
  • May 11, 2009, iMesh 9.0 was released featuring an 'iMesh DJ', enabling users to choose an artist or song and instantly receive a playlist of similar artists, streamed directly from YouTube.


  1. ^ iMesh FAQ
  2. ^ Indie Music Rights Agency Merlin Adds Tracks To P2P Network iMesh
  3. ^ Recording Industry Files Copyright Infringement Claims Against P2P Service -
  4. ^ a b P2P service iMesh goes legit -
  5. ^ iMesh looks to go legal - PC World
  6. ^ Legal P2P opens for business
  7. ^ RIAA List of Legal Download sites -
  8. ^ "Where Can I Download Free Music?". Legal Free Music Downloads. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  9. ^ Peer-to-Peer Goes Legit -
  10. ^ a b c - iMesh Guide
  11. ^ iMesh 5.0 announcement release - iMesh forums
  12. ^ iMesh adds instant messaging to P2P service

External links

  • iMesh Website
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