Vuze unveils Fanhattan: One video site to rule them all?

You may (or may not) know Vuze. It's the company behind the eponymous Bittorrent client (formerly known as Azureus) that's been slowly but surely morphing into a do-it-all media software hub.

The Vuze software is all fine and good (5 stars from CNET editors, an average of 4 stars from more than 1,900 CNET users), but that's yesterday's news. The company is emerging from the Bittorrent shadows and aiming to become the next big thing on the media landscape with its new venture: Fanhattan.

(Before we proceed: Yes, it's "Fanhattan." As in, "fan + Manhattan." Ridicule it all you want, but just remember the same scorn that was heaped upon the names "Wii" and "iPad" before they went on to become the defining products in their respective categories.)

Fanhattan is designed to be an entertainment discovery engine, a single point of aggregation for all of the TV and movie entertainment options available on (and off) the Web. At the core of the service is The Open Movie Database (TMDb), a formerly independent user-created database that Vuze has now acquired. (Vuze says the site "will be completely rebranded and redesigned to support the new service.")

Using the TMDb metadata, the hope is that Fanhattan will be a comprehensive resource for searching on TV shows, movies, actors, directors, and other related information. In addition to providing the standard "related content you might also enjoy" links, Fanhattan aims to provide links to the relevant content itself, regardless of the source.

That's where things get tricky.… Read more

Smooth sharing

Vuze is the free, full-featured reincarnation of the popular BitTorrent client Azureus, an app for finding and watching video content that you download via torrent files.

Compared with more traditional and utilitarian BitTorrent clients, Vuze has a much richer, iTunes-style interface--with as much attention devoted to finding and viewing videos as to downloading them. You can browse the "Vuze HD Network" for videos (although you'll find a lot of lower-grade Internet fare, like promos, trailers, and podcasts), or you can look around using a friendly, easy search interface (although much of the content you'll find is … Read more

Video junkies use Vuze

If you're a video junkie, or if you're headed that way, Vuze is one application you shouldn't miss. Once known as Azureus, Vuze is a free BitTorrent app that can download and play back video content, including HD. Version 4.3, the latest update, adds speed enhancements and compatibility to play back HD video on your Windows or Mac computer, iPhone or iPod, Apple TV, Tivo, and Xbox 360, PS3, or PSP.

There's also a portable version of Vuze that you can install on a USB drive, iPod, iPhone, or portable hard drive and take with … Read more

Vuze update auto-converts video torrents

Continuing to stake out a different approach to torrents, the latest version of Vuze integrates an auto-conversion feature for both portable screens and your television. Available for Windows and Mac, Vuze 4.2 offers a device drag-and-drop feature that automatically converts a video torrent from its native format to an appropriate one for iTunes, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360, and then pushes it to your device.

Still in beta, the new Devices tab on the left nav will ask you to install a transcoder and a plug-in. Devices then detects iTunes or any of the devices when they're connected … Read more

Buzz Out Loud 862: George Bush, Pollution, cardboard, whatever

Today's title is an example from Natali's mind of some tags you might put on a video with Yahoo's new video tagging game. I would like to see that video. We also touch on the myth of Cyber Monday and keep you up to date on Linux on the iPhone.

Listen now: Download today's podcast EPISODE 862

Cyber Monday supposed to be big this year

Joost for iPhone

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Vuze gets another makeover

Never let it be said that software publishers ignore the demands of their users, at least in the case of BitTorrent client Vuze.

Back in June, the popular BitTorrent client Azureus underwent some serious reconstructive surgery. The familiar layout of top buttons and a spreadsheet interface was wrapped up in a Web 2.0 package, tied off with a bow of peer ratings and reviews and an emphasis on video content. The old UI was kept but de-emphasized, and the application was renamed Vuze 3.1.

Although it kept Azureus' blue frog logo, fans were not amused. Vuze 4.0 … Read more

Featured Freeware: Vuze

Formerly the feature-rich Azureus, Vuze takes Azureus' BitTorrent foundation and builds on top of it a network for video discovery and user-created video publishing tied together by social networking.

From XML torrent options to IP filters, firewall tests to UPnP plug-ins to baked-in social networking, Vuze isn't breaking new ground--the original BitTorrent client has gone this path, too--but it is doing it in an innovative and attractive way. When you install the program, you're faced with a Web 2.0-style interface from which you can get a general overview of your torrents and Vuze's latest media. Users … Read more

Azureus is dead, long live... Vuze?

The torrent client Azureus changed its name and added some nifty social-networking features with the release of its latest upgrade. Now called Vuze, after the name of desktop video player it launched last year, the new client bundles the two together and throws in some new features.

The two most notable things about Vuze 3.1 are the search engine and the social networking. It's rejiggered but still open source; users can spider across multiple torrent-tracking Web sites such as MiniNova while looking for content. The social-networking features let you share your favorite torrents directly with friends and create … Read more