SlyckSome P2P applications are simple and right to the point, such as WinMX, SoulSeek, Kazaa Lite, eMule, and the like. When you download the application, you get the client and that's it; no hidden goodies, no AltNet and no licensed content.
Conversely, Kazaa Media Desktop is like getting a four course meal when all you wanted was a Coke. The latest release from Kazaa offers no real improvements to the software or network protocol, rather an array of offerings from various new partners. Below is the press release provided by Magnet Public Relations:
KAZAA RINGS IN ROYALTIES FOR ARTISTS
New Kazaa version launches with Ringtone Channel, faster searching and new content distribution, packaging and pricing technology
SYDNEY, 20 November 2003?Sharman Networks Limited today launched Kazaa v2.6, the latest update of the world's most popular file sharing software. The new version includes a pre-installed Ringtone Channel, which will provide revenue to major record labels and artists by offering Kazaa users over 3,500 monophonic and polyphonic mobile phone ringtones for purchase through the Kazaa application. The ringtones available include tracks from the Top 10 UK, US and Euro charts.
This latest version of Kazaa also introduces advanced features that make browsing, trying, buying, promoting and selling downloadable content easier, including the option to run 24 multiple searches at the same time, access to streaming previews of licensed content, single click purchasing, Kazaa Kapsules and Magnet Links.
Through The Ringtone Channel, Kazaa's estimated 60 million users worldwide can buy licensed mobile phone ringtones using a global payment system that takes into account the different networks and licensing requirements in each country.
According to Nikki Hemming, CEO of Sharman Networks, "Kazaa users are
already downloading and buying mobile phone games through the Air Arena Channel. The Ringtone Channel expands Sharman's mobile content offering by providing thousands of licensed musical ringtones, screensavers and logos for download through Kazaa. The mobile and wireless platform is a rapidly growing and exciting marketplace."
Key new features and technologies in Kazaa v2.6 include:
New to Kazaa v2.6, Kapsules are a collection of multiple individual files digitally packaged together as a 'single click' download. "Kapsules are like buying the 'CD case and booklet', rather than just a music track," said Ms. Hemming. "They're about delivering a unique entertainment bundle in high quality digital format."
A Kapsule can include music, exclusive footage of live performances, lyrics, tour dates and images from the same band or artist. Equally, computer game companies can include game guides and hints, and movie distributors can include 'behind the scenes' footage.
Magnet links are a powerful promotional tool offering significant bandwidth savings to content providers. Kazaa v2.6 will enable users and content creators of all types, such as record labels, musicians, artists, photographers, and software developers, to promote and sell their content at around 20% of the cost of traditional website distribution. Consumers
benefit from a greater variety of content that can be downloaded faster and more cheaply.
With Kazaa v2.6 installed, clicking on a magnet link in any web browser, email or document will initiate a file search and download via the Kazaa application directly to the user's computer.
A magnet link can be created simply, then pasted into emails or websites for public or targeted promotion. This will allow a broader range of content creators and distributors to leverage the bandwidth efficiencies offered by peer-to-peer distribution. Existing audio, games, software and video content partners have experienced reductions in server loads as high as 94% by using Kazaa peer-to-peer distribution.
This is of particular significance to distributors of high volume or larger sized files such as high-resolution video and PC game content where bandwidth costs have been an impediment to wide-scale online distribution in the past.
Sharman Networks has also developed a simple magnet link publishing tool to assist content creators at all levels of technological understanding.
Multiple Simultaneous Searches
Searching in Kazaa v2.6 is now much faster and more efficient. Users can
run up to 24 concurrent searches.
"Single click" purchasing
Kazaa v2.6 users now have the option to preview selected licensed audio files in streaming format before buying. Individual files can be purchased with a single click, making buying and selling downloadable content entirely seamless. "Altnet's secure payment system within the Kazaa interface is advancing in order to meet our massive distribution capability," Ms Hemming said. "With improvements in this area we expect to unleash a great deal of purchasing activity."
Unique multiple licensing
Unique to Kazaa v2.6, securely wrapped files can now be offered to Kazaa users under a variety of different licensing terms. For example, the same file could be offered for different license periods, at a different price.
According to Ms Hemming, "Music download websites tend to offer tracks at a fixed price of around 99 cents. Kazaa's multiple licensing opens up a whole new world of targeted content marketing."