Peer-to-peer is the term used to describe a complex computer network. It is very different from a regular computer network as there are no centralised servers; it is simply a group of nodes connecting for the purpose of sharing files.
Instead of relying on a busy, slow FTP servers or websites for a bunch of files, peer to peer networks distribute or transfer files over a network as large as the amount of people using it is. In fact it enables those whoever download the files to upload them to others at the same time. In effect the more people you have downloading the file the more people you will have distributing the file on your behalf.
On a regular website, in order to get the best transfer speeds, you would need to keep your sites a secret and not tell others about the page. With peer to Peer, you actually benefit by having a larger group of people aware of your page. For musicians wishing to get there music heard this can be a simple, free and easy answer.
The broad term used to describe this process is called P2P technology. The key of course is to take advantage of this excellent technology while at the same time maintaining control of your music. Let your talent be seen, and discovered and then let them pay you to listen to your albums and tracks.
Peer-to-peer networks are tools just like many others that we employ in our day to day lives. A car when driven improperly can kill people. Does this make the car bad? Of course not! The same thing applies to peer-to-peer networking technology. It is not intrinsically bad or malicious. It is a very effective tool that unfortunately is being misused by a large number of people.
There are many more people that use P2P networks for legitimate file sharing (which does not infringe copyrights). It is a way for small independent musicians to release their music to the masses. It is a method that can be used to disseminate information quickly and easily without incurring huge transfer costs in bandwidth. In fact it is one of the most efficient ways of distributing information that man has ever created.
Contrary to popular beliefs, giving your music away for free does not mean you can not make money from your music. In fact this could not be further from the truth.