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How LimeWire Works

        Tech | File Sharing

Installing and Using LimeWire
­Users can save files and create organizational folders.
­Users can save files and create organizational folders.
Image courtesy of LimeWire

Here's how to install LimeWire on your computer:

  1. Download the installer program from the LimeWire Web site. You have a choice of downloading LimeWire BASIC (free) or LimeWire Pro ($21.95).
  2. Open the downloaded file to launch the Installer Wizard
  3. Follow the steps to install LimeWire in the appropriate folder on your PC.
  4. Once the installation is complete, you'll enter the Setup Wizard.
  5. Indicate the folders you wish to share with the Gnutella network. You have the option of letting LimeWire search your hard drive for all media files.
  6. Give LimeWire permission to pass through any firewalls on your computer and local network.

Before you can download the installer program, LimeWire asks if you'll use it for "copyright infringement." If you answer "yes," you'll not be allowed to complete the download.

Once the installation is complete, launch LimeWire and take a look around. The program will always open to the Search Tab. At the screen's top left corner are search categories for different types of media files: Audio, Images, Video, Documents, Programs and All Types.

When you click on one of these search categories, it'll open customized search fields in the window below. Under Audio, for example, you can search for song title, artist, album, genre and license type. You can check the "More Search Options" button for advanced search fields like track number or song length.

At the bottom left side of the Search Tab window is a button that says "What's New." Click the What's New button to see the latest files that have been added to the Gnutella Network under each search category. If you don't know what to search for, it's a good way to see what's fresh and popular.

Press Search and the search results will begin to fill up the main part of the Search Tab window. Depending on your connection, it may take a couple of minutes to find all of the related files on the network. Results are listed from most popular (more copies of the file available at higher download speeds) to least popular (fewer copies at slower download speeds).

Double-click on a file to begin downloading it. If LimeWire can't find a license for the file, it'll ask if you want to cancel the download or proceed without a license. The file will then appear in the Downloads window at the bottom of the screen, along with a progress bar showing the percentage of the file downloaded and from how many hosts.

Once the file is downloaded, it'll appear in your library. Click the Library Tab at the screen's top. Click the Saved Files folder on the left side of the Library window to see all the downloaded files. Within Saved Files are subfolders for different media types (audio, video, et cetera).

Double-click on any file in the Library, and it'll be added to the Playlist at the bottom of the Library window. Use the LimeWire Media Player controls at the bottom right of the screen to pause, stop and play audio files in the Playlist. Other file types will be launched in their associated media player or software application.

Now let's look at some advanced features of LimeWire, including LimeWire Pro.