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RiffShare - share mp3s and more

An interesting combination of form and function, Riffshare, produced by Santa Barbara-based Widgetlab will let you do a couple of things and do them fairly well. First and most importantly, you'll be able to share files and playlists with other RiffShare users on a local area network (LAN).
You'll also be able to organize and play your MP3s in a pretty cool integrated jukebox.

Unfortunately you won't be able to download and keep files if you use RiffShare, a drawback that is not necessarilly as great of a disadvantage as it might sound, unless you happen to be a dedicated MP3 collector. Instead you'll be able to stream your music, with other computers on the LAN acting as servers.

In other words: you can listen but you can't touch. The advantage, of course, of doing things this way is that you don't have to wait for files to download before you listen to them.

Expect these ideas to be borrowed by competitors and potentially put to use on the open Net. They are too good and too easily adaptable to ignore.

If you're like us and you live in a heavily networked and gadgetized home - Riffshare may be the option you're looking for. Fun for the whole dotcom family. Recommended.

Pluses: Legally speaking, it would be hard to argue that sharing files with your neighbors in your home or office in this way isn't fair use, although certainly the RIAA would argue just that. This means that for the time being you probably aren't breaking any laws using RiffShare to trade files with your friends and colleagues, unless you're on a really really really big LAN. The playlist swapping feature is also a good idea.

minuses: If you want to grab MP3s off the Net you're going to have to look elsewhere.

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