Peer-to-peer pioneer iMesh on Oct. 25 unveiled the public beta version of a new, label-authorized file trading service.
The new service keeps the same P2P interface and free access to vast amounts of unlicensed and unclaimed music. But it now identifies music copyrighted by record labels that only paying customers can access.
The beta period is expected to last up to two months, during which time all content will remain free. Users will have to pay either 99 cents a track or a $6.95 a month once the beta period ends. Subscription portability won’t be added until a later date.
The new iMesh also adds significant music recommendation and discovery capabilities, such as genre-specific pages, Billboard charts and more than 200 themed playlists created by the iMesh staff.
It’s also taking a page from MySpace and other social networking sites and creating an iMesh community area where members can interact. Discussion groups are organized by age, location, personal interests and musical tastes. Additionally, it includes instant messaging and other communication options.