Zudeo: Azureus goes legit

z.jpgWith the release of Zudeo, Azureus is jumping onto the legal torrent bandwagon. This application features the classic and extensive Azureus torrent client and adds to it an online platform from which you can download and submit legal audio and video content.

Zudeo’s interface is a complete shake-up to what Azureus users are used to. The bittorrent developer has decided to focus on online multimedia content and introduce user participation. The first thing the user sees is a list of thumbnails of the latest videos uploaded to Zudeo. You can browse these files by using the left side menu, divided in time, main channels and tags. The menu at the top also links to hot and new content. Zudeo takes the web 2.0 road and you’ll see that most of the files have tags. You can write out a comment and leave a rating. The program also makes it a no brainer to send a video by email and link to content directly from your blog or website. There’s also a little diggit tag for each file, to submit them to the ultra famous social news site. It’s still a shame that Azureus omitted all the other famous social networking sites like del.icio.us or reddit. Maybe in a few months?

If you’re only interested in using Zudeo as a torrent client, click the “Advanced tab” and you will be taken to the original Azureus interface. You can open up the gazillion configuration options that have come to define this as the most exhaustive bittorrent client on the planet. There’s even access to extra plug-ins like 3D view, RSS feed scanner or share exporter.

We won’t expand on the qualities of the Azureus client, for which you can read a review here. Zudeo tries to innovate by adding social tools to the program and providing legal content. There’s up to nine channels to choose from, be it Tony Hawk’s Boom Boom Sabotage the Film School or Travel, yet we were disappointed with the content in general. On some channels there’s very little to watch and on others you don’t necessarily find what you were hoping for. The trailers channel for example, offers new video games trailers instead of releases of movies. However, with Azureus striking up a partnership with the BBC, you’ll soon get Dr Who, The League of Gentleman and Invasion Earth and surely other content providers will flock to Zudeo. Taking this into account, Zudeo also includes a special tag to let you know if a file is High Definition or not.

On the downside Zudeo does nothing to atone the principal drawback to Azureus: the over extensive use of PC memory. Yes, Zudeo is still a bandwidth hog, and there’s nothing to do about it. We also find the new interface to be incredibly cluttered. The old downloads and currently downloading windows are too similar to have to be separated and we don’t understand why Zudeo includes a Library tab when you can access content straight from the Home tab.

While the whole interface felt a bit clunky, and the number of legal content is still limited, Zudeo is a promising application for sharing and enjoying legal content. If you’re already hooked on the original Azureus bittorrent client, take a leap into the future with Zudeo.

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