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Logo of iMesh from Website.jpg
Developer(s) iMesh, Inc.
Initial release November 24, 1999; 16 years ago (1999-11-24)
Last release 11.0.933 / August 5, 2012; 3 years ago (2012-08-05)
Development status Discontinued
Written in C++
Operating system Windows
Size 14.0MB
Type Peer-to-peer
License Proprietary
Opened October 25, 2005
Discontinued June 9, 2016
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 was a media and file sharing client that was available in nine languages. It used a proprietary, centralized, P2P network (IM2Net) operating on ports 80, 443 and 1863.[1] iMesh was owned by American company iMesh, Inc., who maintained development centers around the world. As of 2009, it was the third most popular music subscription service in the US.[2]

iMesh operated 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 was 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 allowed all users (regardless of origin country) access to "non-copyrighted" music and video files. A legalized ringtone download service provided by Thumbplay was also available, allowing users to purchase ringtones for their mobiles.

On June 9, 2016, iMesh shut down their service without prior notification.[3] Their top-level web page was changed to read "We are sad to inform you that iMesh is no longer available."[4] Their Support page was changed to read "Due to changes in the music industry we regret to inform you that iMesh will no longer be available for download, and will no longer sell subscriptions or music tracks."[5] They posted to their Facebook page: "After many years of wonderful music, iMesh is no longer available. Thank you for listening with us. Stay tuned for our next adventure."[3] Multiple Facebook users commented on the post to express frustration that they had no way to contact friends made via the iMesh social networking features.[3]

In September 2013, the media and file sharing client known as iMesh was hacked and approximately 50M accounts were exposed. The data was later put up for sale on a dark market website in mid-2016 and included email and IP addresses, usernames and salted MD5 hashes.[6][7]

Legal aspects[edit]

RIAA lawsuit[edit]

On September 18, 2003 the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) sued iMesh for encouraging copyright infringement.[8]


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) while implementing a paid service (iMesh 6.0).[9] 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.[10] due to technicalities.[11]


After the relaunch, iMesh was advertised as a 100% legal P2P client, and acknowledged as being so by the RIAA.[12] This was because downloads through the client were limited to a select database of 15 million licensed songs and videos.[13]

The iMesh 6 client (and later versions) achieved this by detecting attempts to download copyrighted material and blocking the transfer through the use of acoustic fingerprinting, provided by Audible Magic.[9]

An agreement with the MPAA had also been reached. Video files more than 50 MB in size and 15 minutes in length could no longer be shared on the iMesh network, ensuring feature-length releases would not be transferred across the network.[14]

Release history[edit]

Original program[edit]

  • 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.[15]
  • April 15, 2003 iMesh 4.1 was released.[15]
  • September 4, 2003 iMesh 4.2 was released.[15]
  • June 8, 2004, iMesh 5.0 was released [16] 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.

Latest program[edit]

  • 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 [17]
  • 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.[citation needed]
  • April 11, 2007, iMesh 7.1 was released.[citation needed]
  • April 5, 2008, iMesh 7.2 was released.[citation needed]
  • 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.[citation needed]
  • 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.[citation needed]
  • 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.[citation needed]


External links[edit]