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Azureus Inc. Moves Toward Commercialization 290

SamBob writes "Future releases of the most popular BitTorrent client, Azureus, will come bundled with a 'platform' for media companies to promote their product to Azureus' multi-million users, reports Azureus Inc., who are the newly formed company behind the Azureus software, plan to generate a profit from the platform in the future, but in the short-term are hoping to help independent film companies find their audience."
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Azureus Inc. Moves Toward Commercialization

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  • Above the radar (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Saturday April 29, 2006 @11:15AM (#15227927) Homepage Journal
    In the current anti p2p world, i dont think thats such a good idea. Now they will be a direct target.
    • Re:Above the radar (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Cat9117600 ( 627358 ) on Saturday April 29, 2006 @11:27AM (#15227986) Homepage
      They'll be a direct target if they offer copyrighter material without permission. If they do this the right way, and sign on independent movies (which the article mentions) with permission from the makers, we might finally see p2p distribution of movies and music become legitimate, and Azureus become a place to get good, independent legal media.
      • They don't have to offer anything period, legitimate nor otherwise.

        The bittorent protocol is used a lot of time legitimately - linux ISOs, people sharing their large digital camera files of events with friends, etcetera.

        Suing Azureas (or another bittorent company) would be like suing the internet in general, for being something that is used sometimes llegally, by third parties, in some cases. Just like GM could be sued for providing cars to people who use them illegally in some cases (speeding, hit-n-run,
  • "Platform?" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hunterx11 ( 778171 ) <hunterx11@gma i l . com> on Saturday April 29, 2006 @11:18AM (#15227938) Homepage Journal
    Am I the only one who thinks that this really means that it is going to be the next Kazaa?
    • Re:"Platform?" (Score:3, Informative)

      by BPinard ( 971384 )
      Exactly what I was thinking. This is bad news. Good thing I've been using uTorrent for a while now.
      • Good thing I've been using uTorrent for a while now.

        I love utorrent. I just wish there was a Linux version or alternative. I used to use the btdownloadcurses, but it becomes cumbersome when you want to leech/seed several torrents at once.
        • Re:"Platform?" (Score:3, Informative)

          by nkh ( 750837 )
          try if you want to download many torrents at the same time, for example: --max_upload_rate 5 . to download all the torrents of the current directory, and on Mac OS X, if you drag and drop new torrents in this directory, these new torrents are automagically added to the download list.
        • check out rtorrent [], its an ncurses bittorrent cient with support for downloading and seeding multiple torrents, has down/up rate limiting, a nifty fast resume feature and the ability to select which files within a torrent you want to download. Also has a "pure seeding" mode where it will just seed your torrents. Its pretty cool and runs nicely in screen. You can set up default settings in ~/.rtorrentrc and they have an example one in their wiki. The only thing i miss about azureus is safepeer and texting me
          • hmmm , this rtorrent is written in what ?

            azureus was written in java last time i checked. to make it worse it used regular swing gui components so it was slow as hell as the result.

            i'd prefer a platformed nongui version, preferrably written in C so i wouldn't even notice it running :)
            • Re:"Platform?" (Score:3, Informative)

              by kv9 ( 697238 )
              i'd prefer a platformed nongui version, preferrably written in C so i wouldn't even notice it running :)

              it's your lucky day. rtorrent is written around a very nice C++ library (hence the site name), so you can even hack your own client [] pretty easily if you don't like that one. and it's really easy on the resources a vast improvement over all the python crazyness (i won't even mention azureus' java `magic'). highly recommended for console junkies. combine that with screen [] and you have yourself a fucking tex

            • Re:"Platform?" (Score:3, Informative)

              by AnyoneEB ( 574727 )
              Uh, azureus used SWT (native widgets; same as Eclipse) last I checked... which was a long time ago.
        • Personally, I like TorrentFlux []. It's PHP-based, so I can access it from anywhere - handy when I stumble upon something while I'm at work.
      • uTorrent Azureus (Score:3, Informative)

        by mriker ( 571666 )
        I had been using Azureus for quite a long time, but recently started to look for an alternative because Azureus is such an enormous resource-hog. I wasn't optimistic; Azureus has a lot of great features that I didn't want to part with. Then I found uTorrent. It has most, if not all of the features that I loved about Azureus, and it's extremely resource-efficient. Minutes after I ran uTorrent for the first time, I was uninstalling Azureus.
      • Just switched. Should have a long time ago, for many reasons.
    • Absolutely.

      Actually the wider pattern is :

      Build company doing something cool for free to get users.
      Whore users off to advertisers.
      Users go to next company doing something cool for free.

      If you're really lucky you get to sell your company somewhere between steps 2 and 3.
      • I dropped Azureus because it's a resource hog of Biblical proportions, like a lot of big Java apps. uTorrent isn't as feature rich but it's got one Hell of a lot smaller footprint.
    • Yeah, and just watch their usage plummet like a stone once they actually release the adware-bundled version.

      They're getting greedy, that's all.
      • Speaking as a complete hippie who thinks the world already runs too much on money, how is building a kick-ass piece of software and wanting to make a little cash out of it greedy?
    • Re:"Platform?" (Score:5, Informative)

      by Arker ( 91948 ) on Saturday April 29, 2006 @04:45PM (#15229291) Homepage

      Am I the only one who thinks that this really means that it is going to be the next Kazaa?

      No, you're not alone, you're in the company of all the other commentors that couldn't be bothered to read the article.

  • by Omicron32 ( 646469 ) on Saturday April 29, 2006 @11:19AM (#15227945)
    As long as there is no way the same media companies can track what you download elsewhere, I don't see the problem in this. Is Azereus open source? If it is there won't really be a way to hide snooping software in there.

    I believe it'll be a good thing that will help Bittorrent be seen in a better light. I just hope it'll remain as cross-platform as the bittorrent client.

    • Is Azereus open source? If it is there won't really be a way to hide snooping software in there.
      There's also no way to prevent someone from stripping out the content layer and offering up Azureus 'Light'.

      The bittorrent n00blets will use the content layered version, the semi-paranoid "OMG teh RIAA" group will use 'Light' offering.

      I see no problems here, it might even mean more eyeballs on the AZ source code.
  • by Darlantan ( 130471 ) on Saturday April 29, 2006 @11:20AM (#15227946)
    If they make it annoying at all, what's to prevent people from switching to the slew of other BT apps out there? Given the fact that advertising is almost always made to catch the eye, it'll have a hard time not annoying users. Frankly, I'd switch to something else even if it was a static clickable banner.
    • Note that I'm assuming they'll have some more direct system tacked on than a screen with a URL in the new media. That may not be the case, but unless the new stuff is really awesome, I don't see it getting enough hits to make the people paying to have it there really happy.
    • What do they have to lose ? It's not like they're earning money with it at the moment... they're just trying to, if it works, yay for them, it if doesn't, too bad but not much harm done for them (unless the entire development process relied on a future commercialization of Azureus, which I highly doubt...)

    • It's already annoying. It's Java, which of course means that the GUI looks like something that comes from the planet Weebo-- well, ok, I don't know what planet it comes from, but it's certainly not Earth where Mac OS and Windows reside. Full of all those little bugs that don't really affect how it runs, but drive you up the wall anyway-- mostly things not refreshing when they change.
      • Um, no, you're wrong about the interface. Azureus is one of the few large projects (besides Eclipse) using SWT, IBM's take on cross-platform GUIs. SWT is similar to wxWindows in that it uses native widgets whereever possible, which means Azureus and Eclipse look like native applications.

        It is not easy to tell that Azureus is a Java even comes in a standard executable package for Windows.
        • I have a Macintosh and I've downloaded and used Azureus and I beg to differ.

          In fact, because I'm extremely bored, I'll even re-download it just to give you an idea of where it goes wrong.

          This Azureus on OS X:

          1) The first thing I see is a configuration wizard. Unfortunately, the buttons and layout are not the same as any OS X wizard.

          2) At the same time I get the configuration wizard, I get Azureus Updater which tells me I need to restart. Already I'm confused; do I update first, or do the wizard fi
    • A funny thing is happening with the updates.

      I use Azureus but have been leery of the updates --I like to look at the changelog first rather than mindlessly clicking on the [OK to Autoupdate] button. That's why I'm still using v2.4.0.0 and ignoring the update available for v2.4.0.2.

      Reading this Slashdot news today, I decided to try to autoupdate my Azureus (from Help > Check For Updates). It listed two updates with checkboxes that were available: the Core Update v2.4.0.2, and a new version of the Auto-U
    • Here's my question:

      Can't I just hide it? I mean, when I download anything from the internet, I click to download, then hide the progress window. The experience was similar when I got OpenOffice and Ubuntu over BitTorrent. If I can just minimize/hide the app, who cares about an ad?
  • I would have to say that I prefer the official BitTorrent client from Bram Cohen. It is a simple, elegant solution. I do notice that every time I look at a peer list it is filled with Azureus, but only a handful of the official client. Azureus is just too large of a program for the purpose of jumping on to a swarm and downloading. And now they want to add more to it. BitTorrent is really good for a few things like minimizing bandwidth for content distributors, but people want to bend it to be a general
    • Re:Bram's Client (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Parham ( 892904 )
      You should give uTorrent [] a try if you like a small elegant client. I switched from the original BitTorrent to BitTornado to uTorrent, which I think is the best one out there right now.
      • Re:Bram's Client (Score:3, Insightful)

        by houghi ( 78078 )
        houghi@penne : sh utorrent.exe
        utorrent.exe: utorrent.exe: cannot execute binary file
      • I'm in full agreement. If you're on a Windows machine, uTorrent is the way to go. My biggest complaint about Azureus (aside from the plans to go ad-supported) is the memory footprint associated with running it in the Java Runtime Environment. Maybe I just need to break down and upgrade my computer, but in the meantime, uTorrent is a small, effecient, fully featured bittorrent client. Good stuff.
    • It looks ok on Mac OS and Linux (but only because all Linux apps are ugly), but it's eye-scarringly hideous on Windows.

      Also I have problems sometimes getting the official client to download from certain sites... sometimes they require some kind of feature or something that the official client doesn't implement and you end up with a download that never starts. I mostly use it on Mac, though, so maybe that's only the Mac version.
  • Fork. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ph33r th3 g(O)at ( 592622 ) on Saturday April 29, 2006 @11:22AM (#15227960)
    The client is open source, no?
  • Ah, I see... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bacon Bits ( 926911 ) on Saturday April 29, 2006 @11:23AM (#15227961)
    BitTorrent + Steam + Multimedia content providers = profit.

    All you have to do is, say, convince Cartoon Network or Sci-Fi to publish their TV shows (with commercials intact) through Azureus. Users provide most of the bandwidth, content is delivered in a manner that earns providers money, and Azureus takes a slice off the top.

    And suddenly we won't see HBO suing for people downloading the latest Sopranos. We'll see HBO distributing episodes for $1-2 to anybody who wants on the private tracker. Or better yet, users simply subscribe to the HBO/Azureus service and can download any available content they want that month and view as they please. Keep the price reasonable and the only pirates you have to battle are the people who wouldn't pay for your service even if they couldn't decrypt your works.

    • That's the idea, except that folks like HBO aren't going to go for it, at least now. But there are thousands of filmmakers out there today, many of them doing better work than anything you'd see on TV, but languishing in obscurity without access to the monopolised distribution channels. Those are the folks they're going to be cutting deals with, it sounds like, and I think it sounds like a damn fine plan to me. I hope it works out.
  • well (Score:5, Informative)

    by bwd ( 936324 ) on Saturday April 29, 2006 @11:25AM (#15227980) Homepage
    It looks like it's time to migrate to utorrent [] if you haven't already. There no commercialization associated with it and it's much faster. The only downside is that it's for windows only.
    • Re:well (Score:5, Interesting)

      by paulius_g ( 808556 ) on Saturday April 29, 2006 @11:49AM (#15228092) Homepage
      And for Linux, use TorrentFlux [] which is a PHP torrent client which is controlable from the web.

      It's really sweet and it's way nicer than VNCing to a Linux desktop filled with BitTorrent clients opened.
    • Yeah. Windows only. GREAT alternative!
    • Re:well (Score:3, Informative)

      And for the Mac, there's Transmission [], an open source Cocoa-native client that looks and feels like it was actually written by a true-blue Mac user with a sense of taste. Caveat: it doesn't support distributed tracking (yet). But for most torrents, it's the leanest, most Mac-like client out there.
    • In part, Azureus and the BitTorrent programs are attractive because they are free software—users are free to run, share, and modify the software. By contrast, uTorrent is non-free software—users can't be sure what they're really running because they can't inspect the program or get others they trust to inspect the software for them. If uTorrent doesn't do what a user wants, changes are difficult to implement (if not effectively impossible) and are not legally allowed besides. Don't think about helping your community by improving uTorrent and distributing the improved version, users can't legally do that either. Despite these restrictions, the uTorrent refers to the situation uTorrent users face as "support []" in the uTorrent FAQ which frames the issue not from the perspective that users deserve software freedom, but the more narrow developmental goals of the Open Source movement [] which merely shrugs slightly disappointedly at proprietary software.

      Apparently it takes so little to get some to give up their software freedom, even in circumstances where there are perfectly capable free software programs to do the same job.

      • Have you ever tried running uTorrent on older hardware? For that matter have you ever tried running Azureus on older hardware? The former uses at most 4% of my modest 1.2GHz processor, while the later uses at least 40% at any half decent speed (say 40KB/sec up and 80 KB down). I don't know about you, but when I have a BT client open, I expect to be able to do something other than let it suck up all my cycles.

        I like OSS as much as anyone else but let's judge software on its ability to do the job and its fu

    • It looks like it's time to migrate to utorrent if you haven't already. There no commercialization associated with it

      Unless you count the fact that the sole developer works for one of the anti-p2p companies that helped take down Suprnova, and he refuses to open the source of his client. Don't you find the desperate pleas on very suspicious? utorrent is a brilliant lightweight client but I wouldn't touch it with a 50 foot pole. t -ased. []
  • "Free" (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ABoerma ( 941672 )
    So, how long before someone will start an ad-free fork?
  • by anzev ( 894391 ) on Saturday April 29, 2006 @12:02PM (#15228153)
    I'm not sure if all of you just want to post ASAP or can't read but this does not mean they will bundle azureus with adware of any sorts. AFAIK, a content layer will just provide a way of getting free content (they said in TFA that they have not yet analyzed any serious payment methods so this could mean it will be free, or not). Too bad they won't let the big distributors come into play:

    "Large movie studios and record labels will not be targeted for the project, as the Azureus team do not believe that they are ready yet. "You're not going to see Star Wars or Batman quite yet," joked Rohter."

    So basically everybody will be allowed to make a movie, then post it on this platform, and if I will like the "genre" I will just download it... Kindof :).

    Anyway, I think it's premature to judge anything until we see what they've got.
  • by Andronicus ( 263666 ) on Saturday April 29, 2006 @12:08PM (#15228178) Homepage
    I think this is a bad move for the Azureus team. The need to make some money is turning the team away from building the best generalized BitTorrent implementation, so that it can become something that can generate some cash. I think that will ultimately kill it in it's new form, but it's present for may live on under new developers.

    I don't mind that the team has this desire to profit from their work, they should. But this new development is unfortunate (for we users of current Azureus).

    The community who has made Azureus popular has done so because the program is a really novel and effective implementation of the BitTorrent protocol for general purposes. It's supremely useful.

    What they (the Azureus team) want to do with it now is very different and more narrowly defined. I don't think they understand that the audience which made their program popular is not necessarily the same (not at all the same IMHO) audience that might enjoy a P2P client with pay-per-download content.

    I think many will bail to other general BitTorrent clients, and/or the source of Azureus will fork and a new crop of developers will continue to carry forward the original mission of the program: to make it the best and most portable general BitTorrent implementation.
  • As long as Azureus program continues to meet my needs, I don't have to switch. They aren't going to sell the Azureus software to end users. How the content model ends up being fiscally viable, we don't know yet. Just because something isn't open-source doesn't mean I'm searching for crappy clients to find something else. Commercialization in some respect represents the maturity and popularity of the software. I certainly don't begrudge them that. It's their baby. They can choose to open-source it and to clo
  • Azureus Above All (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Azureus is a great piece of software. uTorrent might be functional enough, but it's no Azureus.

    People need to cut the best (and free as in speech) client some slack. It might use obscene amounts of RAM but when somebody can point me to a client I can run in commandline mode that auto-updates itself, supports DHT, supports regexp scanning RSS feeds, runs on Linux, automatically queues torrents from a given directory, I might consider switching.

    Heck, Azureus is worth buying another 512MB stick of RAM for, jus
  • BT clients with RSS? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Johnso ( 520335 ) on Saturday April 29, 2006 @12:17PM (#15228221)
    Are there any good clients besides Azureus that provide RSS functionality? It's nice to be able to automatically syndicate downloads. In fact, the RSSImport plug-in for Azureus [] is the only reason I still use that bloatware.

    Do any other BT clients offer RSS functionality?

    • Yes, at least one. The best Windows bittorrent client ever: []

      It offers all of the features that Azureus supports, with a much faster slicker interface. It is of course, Windows only. I have no idea if it works on WINE. It is also very very small, a single executable file currently 154.44k (The download page doesn't even bother to zip up the exe file)

      I always used azureus until I found this beauty. Everyone should give it a shot if they are on Windows.
    • by gooseserbus ( 802066 ) on Saturday April 29, 2006 @01:26PM (#15228557)
      Why not try one of the following:

      LH-ABC [] or ABC_OKC []

      Borh of these are forks of the popular python-based open source bittorrent client ABC [] which runs on Linux (and is itself based on BitTornado which extended from from Original Bittorrent Core System, coded by Bram Cohen). These forks should therefore also in turn run on Linux. LH-ABC and ABC_OKC both have support for RSS.

      uTorrent [] a very small and popular closed source Microsoft Windows based bitorrent client. Has extensive support for RSS and can be run on Linux using Wine (I don't know how successfully but I know it can and has been done).

      G3 Torrent []Another open-source Python based bittorrent client the Original Bittorrent Core System, coded by Bram Cohen. It has support for RSS and runs on Linux (I think).

      Rufus [] Another open-source Python based bittorrent client (based on G3 Torrent) with support for RSS and runs on Linux (I think).

      ZipTorrent [] Another closed source (and supposedly small) Microsoft Windows based bitorrent client. Has support for RSS, other than that I don't know anything about it.
  • Well... (Score:2, Insightful)

    I'll just have to remember to not upgrade it anymore.
  • by Zangief ( 461457 ) on Saturday April 29, 2006 @05:01PM (#15229355) Homepage Journal
    Thank you very much Azureus. Good luck.
  • by petrus4 ( 213815 ) on Sunday April 30, 2006 @01:17AM (#15230730) Homepage Journal
    Whenever it's learned on here that someone wants to actually get paid for what they do, they're immediately branded as the spawn of Satan.

    I dislike a lot of what corporations do as much as the next person, but do we really need this kneejerk response that anybody who wants to make *any* money at all is declared soulless, ravening evil?

    People need to eat, and they generally also want to do a lot of other things...and last I checked, food and most of said other things usually cost money. That has to come from somewhere, and what I really think is wrong is the idea that the only morally legitimate means of earning it is sitting in a cubicle like a battery chicken for eight (or however many more) hours a day.

    If you're going to come back at me with the "donation" response as well, don't bother. I'm aware that the only real reason why 98% of the readership of this site believe that making money from software is evil is because Richard Stallman said so...not because they themselves actually have a reason for said belief.

    Yes, the corporate rampage in a lot of different areas is a problem...but kneejerk, mindless Communism is too. They're both extremes, and they're both equally undesirable. RMS is as much a destructive fanatic in his own way as Gates or Ballmer are in theirs. Both sides want to remake the world in *their* own image, and to hell with what anybody else wants.

    A lot of people here pride themselves on being intellectuals...but sometimes, some of you really don't act like it.

The party adjourned to a hot tub, yes. Fully clothed, I might add. -- IBM employee, testifying in California State Supreme Court