Newteevee recently wrote about a new tool called Sharemonkey that aims to combine P2P with the world of traditional online retailers. Sharemonkey checks the hash value of a song you downloaded and then suggests legal purchasing options for the whole album.

From their website:

'We know the album origin of 500,000 of the most shared mp3s. We've matched more than 200,000 p2p movies; cams, rips, trailers and extras, to the DVDs they originally came from, and we're matching more every day. We can tell you what album, dvd, game, application or book your download came from - all you do is right click on a file in Windows and choose "Where is this file from?".'

Sharemonkey is available as a stand-alone application for Windows as well as a plugin for the Windows P2P applications Shareaza and Emule. The company is also partnering with P2P search engine Swarmz.com.

The idea behind this is hardly new though. Bitzi.com has been offering file recognition from within P2P applications like Limewire and Shareaza for years. Musicbrainz has been working hard on a music metadata catalogue that now includes the acoustic fingerprints of more than five million tracks. Both sites include ecommerce options.

listenseeker
The Listen.com Listenseeker. Click here for full view.

And of course one shouldn't forget about a little music startup called Listen.com that once launched an application to search, identify and buy media from within the original Napster P2P application. They quickly figured out that you don't make too many friends when you try to make money with unauthorized downwloads, so they ended up launching Listen.com Rhapsody instead - and the rest is history.

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