The company recently launched the beta version of BearShare 6.0, described as an “authorized peer-to-peer application.” iMesh acquired BearShare assets in May.

IMesh was one of the first P2P song-traders to follow in the original Napster’s footsteps. Like Shawn Fanning’s Napster, iMesh faced the legal wrath of the recording industry and reached a $4 million settlement with the major labels two years ago under the condition that it would evolve into a pay service.

The new BearShare will include a new product – a portable music subscription service called ToGo. Like other subscription services, any songs downloaded using ToGo will cease to play once a subscription is canceled. The current iMesh operates under a similar procedure, minus the file sharing.

For the time being, both BearShare 6.0 and iMesh will operate as separate services, but current iMesh users will have access to BearShare features in the coming months.

“In our continuing effort to grow the authorized P2P marketplace, we gave full consideration to the rights of copyright holders, while introducing features that greatly enhance the consumer experience,” iMesh executive chairman Robert Summer said.

IMesh is offering a 30-day free trial for BearShare, after which users can transition to the subscription model or the pay-as-you-go, a la carte route. While iMesh hasn’t actually quoted subscription rates, it does say BearShare’s price structure will be “competitive” with current music services.

World Wide Webber

Fans of shows like “Evita” and “The Phantom of The Opera” will soon be able to download their favorite Andrew Lloyd Webber tunes.

Webber’s London-based Really Useful Group recently inked a deal with Universal Music Group, giving the music company exclusive worldwide rights to the composer’s entire catalog for both digital downloading and mobile phones.

The mobile phone part of the deal calls for realtone versions of Webber’s music. While ringtones are often specially produced versions of melodies and songs, realtones are clips of the original recorded music.

Webber also completed a deal giving Universal the album for the forthcoming West End production of “The Sound of Music,” which will feature the winner of the hit BBC TV show “How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?”

“I am delighted to be able to announce these significant deals between the Really Useful Group and Universal Music and thrilled that my entire catalog can now be downloaded,” said Webber, who added, “I say this although the bulk of my own music collection is on vinyl!”