May 12, 2001 10:15 PM   Subscribe

Kazaa is the most robust peer-to-peer application I've ever seen, and I've seen plenty. Among its innovations are multi-sourced downloads, automatic resume, searching by genre (and other metadata), and "supernodes." And it's getting big fast. 54,214 users online as I type this, sharing 22,250GB of files. (Sorry, Windows only.)
posted by waxpancake (25 comments total)
There are only two major problems, as I see it.

1. They're currently only allowing people to share MP3s up to 128kbps. Stupid, but true.
2. They're planning on eventually switching to a subscription model.

Aside from that, it's practically perfect.
posted by waxpancake at 10:20 PM on May 12, 2001

still doesn't beat audiogalaxy for music searches, but looks like it could be aiming for best of breed in the general media sharing genre.

audiogalaxy does transparent source downloads, automatic resumes, searches by genre, with genre cross referencing, artist cross referencing, track popularity ranking, music sharing groups, etc etc, and the client is tiny.
posted by titboy at 2:37 AM on May 13, 2001

the other handy thing about audiogalaxy, is they have what must be a team of editors, who manually categorise music, write reviews, genre descriptions, etc. so when you do a look up on say afrobeat music, you don't just get the music where the person making the id3 tag selected "afrobeat", you get the artists that the musically informed editors have selected as afrobeat. makes for tidier searches, seeing as id3 tags are notoriously messy.
posted by titboy at 2:43 AM on May 13, 2001

Yeah, that is cool. There's no replacement for a human moderator. (Not yet, anyway.)
posted by waxpancake at 3:10 AM on May 13, 2001

I know it's kind obvious...but for those who didn't know, you can download the audiogalaxy satellite, the small program which allows you to share and download music, at audiogalaxy.com. I've been using it ever since Napster started the filtering... and it really is just as easy to use... some things it does better, others it's a bit lacking. Audiogalaxy also still offers a great ftp site search as well.
posted by canoeguide at 3:37 AM on May 13, 2001

Oh... I almost forgot to ask? Any predictions on Napster's "paid" service, which is supposedly due out late summer/early fall?
posted by canoeguide at 3:38 AM on May 13, 2001

From what I have seen, Audiogalaxy is still the best. I have never used Napster (university network ban), so my frame of reference may be somewhat small, but I've never had any problems other than the availibility of some lesser-known artists.

Does anyone know anything of it's future? It seems that the servers are getting a little bogged down. More than one person I mentioned it too said that the site was not found.
posted by ttrendel at 5:07 AM on May 13, 2001

At least us mac huggers have Limewire now...
posted by machaus at 6:28 AM on May 13, 2001

wow - another 7,000 people are now online since the post was made...
Can't all be from metafilter, can they? ;)
posted by warpy at 6:50 AM on May 13, 2001

Re: Audiogalaxy. I can't get it working with my firewall. I'm giving up and sticking with Limewire and the crippled Napster.
posted by jpoulos at 7:52 AM on May 13, 2001

I can't get Audiogalaxy to work, I guess it's the firewall, but it's strange though because everything else works well. This just times out.
posted by tiaka at 8:28 AM on May 13, 2001

Except Audiogalaxy is spyware, and reports information on your surfing back to its source. AG's business model also seems to be to let artists pay them to have a page on the service that lists only the media files that the artist wants shared on the service, blocking all other files by that artist.

Other than that, it's great!
posted by endquote at 12:39 PM on May 13, 2001

webhancer is pretty common now, and chances are you got it blindly installed with something else prior to audiogalaxy installing it anyway. you can uninstall it without hurting the app it came with.

i've yet to see an artist who's done what you describe with restricting tracks, apart from the ones where they've got a blanket block on almost all their tracks (i'm keeping a list of them here, but i don't have that many listed yet. it tends to be only trashy mainstream names that are going that route anyway). when it's a hosted artist, the first page you get after a search usually lists only one track that is the "hosted" track, with a bit of a bio or something. from there you can click "list all songs" or some such, and you get the rest. coldcut would be a good example of that.

damn, i sound like a customer services rep.
posted by titboy at 3:10 PM on May 13, 2001

kazaa would be great if I could add users to a hotlist ala napster and search through their libraries. In my search results I don't see any way to do that.

Without that sort of built-in collaborative filtering (if you liked the song/video/file you found on X user's machine, you might like the other things they have available for download...) this is less useful than napster or gnutella or scour is/was.
posted by mathowie at 4:16 PM on May 13, 2001

Yeah, but you can uninstall WebHancer if you know where to look for it.
posted by SpecialK at 4:35 PM on May 13, 2001

like the add/remove program applet :)
posted by titboy at 5:46 PM on May 13, 2001

Most robust peer to peer file sharing application ever? I don't think so.. (ahem limewire!)
posted by mikeyb at 1:08 AM on May 14, 2001

Limewire is a Gnutella client, which automatically disqualifies it from being the "most robust" anything. Gnutella as a service is fundamentally broken -- it wastes vast amounts of network resources because its architecture scales so astonishingly poorly with the addition of new nodes. I have never once got any Gnutella client to do anything useful for me.
posted by kindall at 8:20 AM on May 14, 2001

I agree. And limewire, at least on Macs, is horrible even for a gnutella client.
posted by rodii at 9:30 AM on May 14, 2001

I'm as surprised as you, gnutella clients have never done anything for me.. but limewire seems to at least have something working, unlike other gnutella clients i've used.. at least we can all agree that napster is useless now right?
posted by mikeyb at 10:46 AM on May 14, 2001

Reading the FAQ (linked above) reveals some interesting items - no mp3s over 128kbps, intent to provide a mechanism to pay copyright holders, etc. While those are essential to the survival of a p2p filesharing business, they will drive away the users who are looking for the free access that napster used to provide.

I recently had a chance to compare an assortment of file sharing systems, I was looking for 'The Only Bug in the Mission' by Doctor Olive. Took me a week, Audio Galaxy promised it but Gnutella (via Limewire) found it for me first. And I'm completely in love with the other stuff I've heard off that album, I'm gonna go track it down and buy it.
posted by mutagen at 12:05 PM on May 14, 2001

Well, I just downloaded the latest beta of limewire and was pleasantly surprised. It hasn't crashed or frozen, and doesn't take forever to write to the screen. It still isn't peppy (that Java thing) but definitely seems to be headed in the right direction. It even managed to find and download a file. So, while I agree with kindall about the scalability issues with gnutella, it may be that some clients, at least, are less terrible than others.
posted by rodii at 12:10 PM on May 14, 2001

more comments...

Kazaa found the same file right away. Search didn't work properly, 'Olive Bug Mission' didn't return anything but a search on 'Doctor Olive' did, it appears to truncate things, possibly in the attempt to categorize artist and title.

It's media player doesn't want to play the file.

Oh, and buy survival in the last comment, I meant that only by nodding to IP rights are these kind of systems going to survive the attacks by the estabished interests.
posted by mutagen at 12:17 PM on May 14, 2001

No filesharing system based on a business can ever be "the ultimate". Open and proprietary is the way to go. Didn't we all figure this out a decade or two ago? Why are people still trying? This will fail just like all the rest have failed; no one company can scale to meet demand forever, and no one company can act as gatekeeper for a universally valuable service.

posted by Mars Saxman at 3:42 PM on May 14, 2001

Er, open and non-proprietary, that was.

Sorry, I was feeling a bit cranky when I wrote that.
posted by Mars Saxman at 7:42 AM on May 15, 2001

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