To the average downloading public, the recent news about LimeWire being forced to shut down sounds pretty ominous. At my day job, I've already been asked "How do I download songs now?" While LimeWire shutting down is bad news for its users, there's a silver lining to this cloud.
- The Gnutella network did not get shut down -- the actual songs you were downloading came from the Gnutella network, not directly from LimeWire. LimeWire merely found the songs on the network and then downloaded them.
- LimeWire is open source software -- this means any developer with the know-how could download the LimeWire program code and modify it and release his or her own version of LimeWire.
So, how do you download songs now? Easy -- just replace LimeWire with an alternative program which can download from the Gnutella network and you're good to go!
In case you didn't guess from the name, FrostWire is about as close as you can get to the original LimeWire experience. The program is pretty much LimeWire minus some of the annoyances -- like the "upgrade to pro" nag screens. Some Gnutella programs don't compare to LimeWire for searching or download speed, but FrostWire is one of the best -- which makes sense, since it's built on the same source code.
As a bonus, FrostWire is also available for your Android phone -- check out Sebastian's post for more details!
Watch out for the Ask toolbar during install -- just uncheck all the boxes if you don't want it.
Download FrostWire for Windows, Mac, or Linux
We've written about Cabos in the past, and it might be exactly what you were hoping LimeWire would be in the first place. Cabos is small, fast, good at searching, and offers excellent download speeds. Installing Cabos is a breeze -- there's no toolbar to watch for and no lengthy "set up your sharing options" wizard to trudge through.
Download Cabos for Windows or Mac
MP3 Rocket also looks a lot like LimeWire and works the same way, so it's another good option. It's a lot like FrostWire, too, though MP3 Rocket does offer you a pro version and screens will pop up from time to time asking you to upgrade.
During install, MP3 Rocket offers the Ask toolbar -- make sure to uncheck all the boxes if you don't want it. You'll also be asked for your email address, but you don't have to provide it -- just click next to skip ahead.
Download MP3 Rocket for Windows
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