P2P file sharing has moved on. BearShare hasn’t.
Anyone who was hooked on BearShare when it was largely illegal will love this new version.
BearShare is cool, but very out of date. Those looking for the latest features should look elsewhere.
BearShare is cool but out of date
While most peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing networks have gone the way of the dodo, BearShare is still going strong. When the service was created in 2000, it originally competed with the likes of Kazaa and LimeWire. After the advent of torrent-based downloads and a host of lawsuits from the RIAA, many traditional P2P file sharing networks were either left bankrupt or a shadow of their former selves.
BearShare, on the other hand, managed to, by and large, keep most of its primary features while operating in a fashion that is 100% legal. This being said, for better or for worse, BearShare is no longer 100% free. Now, a fairly large amount of music can be accessed free-of-charge, but to play it, users have to log in and have a stable internet connection. In order to actually download a track and transfer it onto an MP3 player, users can opt to pay a 99 cent (US) fee. BearShare also offers a premium, subscription account ($29.95 for 12 months) that gives users access to all of the tracks on the network, and an additional BearShare ToGo subscription ($14.95 per month) allows users from the US and Canada to play premium music on their smartphone.
All in all, BearShare is cool, but out of date. Essentially, it’s a less hip version of Grooveshark or Spotify without the ability to listen to whole CDs at a time. It have any advertisements in between songs, but the trade-off is that the amount of music users can listen to free of charge is limited. In the long run BearShare has made it out better than other P2P file sharing networks; however, the fact remains that this P2P network has been severely outmoded by more current services.