Vuze (Azureus) Readies new Version
June 16, 2008
Vuze, the P2P program formally known as Azureus, has announced the arrival of their new version. Azureus provided Slyck with an advance copy, scheduled to be released publicly today, and we took it for a test spin. The key to appreciating the software is perspective. For the hardened file-sharer who demands utilitarianism over style, Vuze is just another well-dressed BitTorrent client. But for the less hardened, more casual BitTorrent user who enjoys content driven by community-driven and authorized sources, the new Vuze offers enticing new features.
By default, Vuze will only search the content that is provided by their store. However, the end user can change the default settings so many other BitTorrent sites are queried. By default, the end user can expand his or her search to include Btjunkie, Jamendo, Mininova, Sumotorrent, and of course, Vuze. More sites, such as The Pirate Bay (which was not included), can be added. However we were not impressed with the non-intuitive interface for doing so. But that’s not so much Vuze’s fault as the imposing number of various BitTorrent sites, as their unique ways of conducting searches requires a degree of advanced input from the end user.
With the legal situation in the United States decidedly against P2P development, firms such as BitTorrent, Inc., Vuze, and LimeWire have been pushing hard to distribute community driven, creative commons, and industry content. If one were to examine any of these clients and look at a version from say, 2005, and compare it to a version from 2008, the differences would be mindbottling. The original BitTorrent release bears no resemblance to its current iteration, as many will remember BitTorrent as little more than a manager that sat in the task bar. Vuze looks nothing like Azureus, save for the download/upload manager – and the current version looks very Vista-ish. LimeWire is also undergoing a significant, albeit less dramatic, metamorphosis as it launches its new online music store.
So here we have Vuze, which, like its competing brethren in the US, remains open source. Despite the radical changes to all these clients, the community driven atmosphere has remained intact – and expanded in the new Vuze. The latest version of Vuze allows the end user to create sub-communities with their friends, and share bandwidth allotment to enhance download capacity. Since we don’t have any friends, it was difficult to test this feature, but the theory behind it sounds promising.
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“When you create a network of Friends on Vuze they will be able to directly use a portion of your bandwidth to get it, over other users in the swarm. One benefit of “Friend Boost” is that in most case[sic] it will speed up downloads for you and your network of friends,” Vuze informed us.
For the Vuze faithful, the latest release will be much welcomed and provides key enhancements – especially the search and friends features. Vuze has certainly transformed from its Azureus days in many respects, from its appearance to its emphasis on authorized content. But mainstream file-sharing has changed too, forcing those who’ve decided to stick around to alter their appearance and emphasis. However, like BitTorrent and LImeWire, Vuze has minimized the political pressure and still retains its core in the midst of P2P fluff.
The new version should be launched at 1 PM PST via Vuze.com
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