Limewire and iTunes talking behind my back

I thought I’d have a play with Limewire (while respecting copyright laws naturally), so downloaded it onto one laptop. For those who haven’t played with it, Limewire creates a folder for shared files, which you download to and share with others (it also offers to search your hard disk for any media files to search, which is a bit of a security nightmare, so I declined).

While I wait for my Toshiba to be mended, I have put iTunes and all my music on another old, laptop. When I started this up iTunes created a menu item for my shared Limewire folder, which was on a different computer. This puzzled, concerned and delighted me simultaneously. While not wanting to resort to computer anthropomorphism, I was left asking ‘how does it know?’ I didn’t give Limewire my itunes id, or vice versa.

The answer is probably obvious to everyone else, but it took me a while to figure it out – it is because they are both on the same wireless network in my home, so iTunes searches for any other DAAP software and automatically integrates it. I thought this was neat, but it made me kind of nervous in two ways: i) what other info was being accessed and by who, and ii) it has kind of Forbin Project overtones with computers talking to each other without need for me. What else are they doing together?

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