Vuze added some key new features this week that make it an even better choice of ways to get video on the internet. When you encourage your friends and family to be part of a world's record today by downloading Firefox, it could be a good time to encourage them to grab Vuze as well. If they like it, you'll be glad you did.The law-abiding and popular BitTorrent client
The new Vuze client includes some really useful search and social features that are worth a look. It's remarkably easy to use and includes access to both affordably priced and free content from around the world.
The New Features
The two new features that are most interesting are the ability to search other BitTorrent sites and the ability to add friends on Vuze. While the service itself has a fair amount of content available, including a good selection of BBC video for rent, users can now search for content on Mininova, Sumotorrent, BTJunkie and Jamendo. Not all of the content on those sites is rights-holder approved but that's how it goes. It's a very useful feature.
Second, the ability to add other Vuze users as friends looks truly useful. Friends are able to show each other the content they've discovered, something that will no doubt save time exploring the huge world of torrented content available. Most important, friends are able to get priority access to each other's shared downloading power - meaning that friends and family can help accelerate access to content of mutual interest. That's a great idea. As Janko Roettgers pointed out in his lengthy review of the new features on Vuze, the social features could use some more richness like the ability to share reviews of content - but it's a great start.
People Will Pay for Good Content Online
While most of the content available through the new Vuze is available for free, there's a lot of it that you have to buy or rent. A notable UK study released last night found that 80% of young people surveyed would be willing to pay for a legal P2P service . As Nate Anderson wrote at ArsTechnica last night: "What the respondents appear to want is an unlimited download service free of DRM that could be legally accessed for a monthly fee, something that doesn't yet exist."
This author can agree with that. After watching all the free episodes of The Office on the wonderful service Hulu, I'm ready to pay for some more. Unfortunately, there's no such option. Renting the original UK version of the show can be done on Vuze and we'll see what kind of search results come up there.
Sign me up for "an unlimited download service free of DRM that could be legally accessed for a monthly fee" - if content owners would get on board then it could very well end up being a great deal.
For now I'll keep using Vuze; I've found some great things on there before - now if I can make some friends my downloading will go faster. Vuze has raised $34 million in venture funding, has the co-founder of Tivo on its board and reported having more than 15 million installs at the end of last year.