Azureus rolls out HD YouTube challenger

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

Culver City (CA) - Azureus, the makers of the popular Bittorrent client of the same name, is rolling out a high-definition video service called Zudeo. Users of the service can upload, rate and comment on videos, just like the YouTube video sharing site. However, unlike YouTube, high-definition videos can be shared and there is no limit to the size or duration of the videos.

Users must download the 4.4 MB Aureus 3.0 Bittorrent client before they can view the videos and audio clips on the beta Zudeo website. Most of the clips are in regular or low definition, but several HD clips are denoted with a blue HD logo in the bottom right corner of the thumbnail.

Many people will want to compare Zudeo to YouTube, but it will be a while before it can compete effectively with its much bigger service. While some of the functionality is similar like the commenting, uploading and ranking of videos, the rest of the interface is quite crude.

YouTube easily plays the video clips inside of the current browser window, while Zudeo users must jump through hoops and open up another application to download and view clips. YouTube buffers videos from beginning to end so viewers can watch the beginning while the rest of the video finishes downloading. Zudeo on the other hand is restricted to its Bittorrent roots and downloads pieces of the video in almost random fashion. Users must wait for most of the video to finish downloading before they can watch.

Zudeo is encouraging digital directors to upload their content through its beta Zudeo Director Edition. The upload terms are quite generous with Zudeo saying that there is no charge to distribute the videos and that there are, "no limitations in duration or file size."