Updated: December 13, 2008
When it comes to downloading content from the Internet using a P2P protocol of some sort, I'm more of an eMule (aMule) sort of a person. This is because I like to hunt down old, mundane, forgotten, obscure stuff that you can't possibly find anywhere else - think mime Hungarian movies from the 20s. However, if you are into viewing, publishing and sharing DVD and HD modern and current content, Vuze is the application you want.
Vuze is the successor to Azureus. It's a BitTorrent client, which allows users to access shared content using a pleasant, interactive interface. In a way, it's similar to TV pay-per-view menus where users can browse categories and search for desired content. The only difference is: Vuze is free and runs on your computer. Vuze is a cross-platform application, so you can use it on Windows, Linux or Mac.
Vuze is quite appealing visually. The interface sports black and gray colors with soft gradients. The Dashboard - or the main menu if you like it - allows you to quickly access various functions.If you're a registered user, you can also try to publish your own original content, advertise or chat with friends. You have quick access buttons to recommended items, new items and hot items, usually teaser and trailers to various (legal) DVD movies.
Searching for content is a simple affair. Please note that some of the offered content may be illegal in some countries. However, I leave the moral and political issues to you. In general, Vuze aims to be clean.
If you have Flash installed, you can preview the searched items. In a way, you can think of Vuze as a YouTube client that is installed on your machine - with access to a decentralized network of sources.
Monitoring downloads, as well as capping the download / upload rate is very simple. You can fine-tune the advanced options through the Menu (File, View, Tools etc).
If you're into the new and popular items, you can watch trailers before you decide if the content is what you want. Similarly to Youtube, you can preview, share, comment or rate the clips. This is a proven method and Vuze follows the smart lead.
While there are many sharing programs available, Vuze comes as a unique item in being interactive. It's webby and alive rather than just being a list-like catalog. It allows you to feel the content before you use it, integrating into the world of interactive Internet use that is growing popular by the day.
This may not be your cup of tea - and you may prefer a silent, spartan look of classic P2P software, but if you're into the rich world of user-controlled Internet, with all its up and downs, then Vuze is what you want and need.