File sharing goes legit

And we thought the whole music download thing was getting staid. Playlouder MSP, a new internet service provider, has just signed a deal with Sony BMG that'll let you legally file share the label's entire digital catalogue

A new ISP has just announced the biggest change in music downloading since the launch of the iTunes Music Store.

Playlouder MSP, which is billing itself as the world's 'first and only' Music Service Provider, will give you a 1Mbps broadband connection, and allow you to legally share your music collection online and download an unlimited quantity of tracks from Sony BMG's digital catalogue (such as Beyonce, pictured).

The all-you-can-eat service will cost £27 a month, which is broadly equivalent in price and features to a standard 1Mbps broadband connection plus a monthly £10 subscription to Napster.

The key difference with Playlouder is that the ISP will allow you to use any P2P client you like - be it Limewire, Bearshare or otherwise - thus making for ultra fast downloads. In addition to sharing the Sony BMG music, you'll also be able to share and upload your own collection in whatever format you like. That means you'll be able to download iPod-friendly MP3s and AACs as well as the DRM-ed WMA files that the Sony catalogue is going to be distributed in.

Playlouder will monitor the shared files, block songs from leaving the network and pay the labels according to the number of people sharing their tracks. goes live next month. Look out for more info in the November issue of Stuff.