Over the years, we’ve spent a lot of time listening and building the features you wanted us to add.
An equally important question is how we can improve Vuze by delivering less of what you don’t want. We heard you loud and clear when you asked for less clutter, less bloat, and less memory footprint.
With this release, we focused more time on removing features than adding features. It’s a useful exercise for any product that’s been around since 2007, and has been downloaded over 70 million times. As a result, the latest release is faster to start, faster to navigate, and uses significantly less memory (up to 3X less memory!).
How did we do it?
Our first job was to significantly clean up the search experience. The new search results page is less cluttered, enabling you to find what you’re looking for, as quickly as possible. You’ll notice two design improvements:
- Color-coded rank icon: Our goal is to guide you to the best result as quickly as possible (the largest green bar you can find on the search results page).
- Larger download button: One of the challenges of meta-search is the need to combine the designs of multiple disparate sites. We’ve added a large download button after clicking a search result to enable you to quickly download the content you want.
More importantly, we’ve optimized the browser integration for search to significantly decrease memory usage.
Faster Network, On Your Terms
You’ll also notice two changes that will significantly improve the performance of the Vuze HD Network:
- Default Vuze Homepage: Vuze HD Network is no longer the default page when you open Vuze. Software on your desktop is yours. If you simply use Vuze as a media manager (or downloader), you shouldn’t have to navigate through the network every time you open Vuze. From now on, Vuze will open to the last window you had open. If you only use the Library, you’ll only see the Library.
- Lighter Weight Network: For those of you who enjoy browsing the Vuze HD Network, you’ll notice a much simpler, faster, and less bloated design. The network is now powered by simple RSS feeds from some of the most popular video publishers on the web. As part of this change, you’ll also notice a change in the programming available on the network. Publishers that do not offer RSS feeds for their content are no longer available on the Vuze HD Network.
Finally, you’ll notice that the Friends feature for connecting and sharing content is no longer part of Vuze. When we asked you last month which features were important to you, Friends ranked dead last (a ranking confirmed by internal Friends usage stats). While we still believe that sharing has a role in Vuze, the social media landscape has changed significantly since we launched Friends. Sites like Facebook and Twitter have spread like wild fire around the world. With this evolution, products like Vuze do not require their own social networking feature.
And for those of you who leveraged Friends to take advantage of faster downloads through FriendBoost, expect to see some alternatives for faster downloads in the not so distant future. Connecting with Friends should not be a prerequisite to faster download.
This “less is more” philosophy isn’t about a single release. We plan to continue these efforts over the next several releases (and beyond) to ensure that Vuze has the best possible user experience. That said, we believe that the “size” argument CAN be taken too far.
Upgrade timeframe: Vuze 4.3 is a required update due to some significant back-end infrastructure changes that Vuze will be making by the end of November. As of December 1, Friends will no longer function across all versions of Vuze, and the Vuze HD Network will no longer function in older versions of Vuze. The back-end changes are required to decrease our costs in providing a free software program to our growing community of users.
We’re excited about the improvements, and hope you will be too. Take Vuze 4.3 for a spin, and let us know what you think.
UPDATE: The Vuze team just pushed live a series of updates based on your feedback (Vuze 126.96.36.199). In addition, this latest release includes expanded support for magnet links. Read more