October 11, 2004 2:37 PM PDT

Kazaa loses P2P crown

Kazaa, once the top Net nemesis of record companies and movie studios, appears to have lost its role as the world's most popular file-swapping software, network watchers said Monday.

According to BayTSP, a California firm that monitors file-swapping networks on behalf of entertainment companies, Kazaa rival eDonkey was the most widely used peer-to-peer application last month.

Kazaa's lead on rivals has been sliding for more than a year--at least since the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) started filing lawsuits against individual file swappers, with a focus on the Kazaa network. But many observers say Kazaa simply hasn't kept up with the technological times.

"We've known that trend was coming," said BayTSP Chief Executive Mark Ishikawa. "It was just a matter of time. eDonkey is a much better protocol for large files."

Kazaa's slide, along with eDonkey's rise, has marked a slow generational shift in the file-swapping world, analogous to the explosion of Napster alternatives when that original song-trading service went offline.

The spread of broadband networks, DVD burners and increasingly powerful compression technology has helped boost online demand for videos, including full-length movies. Previously, the vast majority of file-swapping traffic had been focused on MP3-formatted music.

Several of the new file-trading software packages, including eDonkey, have created their technology in order to speed the transfer of large files of this kind. Kazaa's core technology, by contrast, is now several years old.

Another video-friendly technology, called BitTorrent, also has quickly gained users but does not have a simple way of measuring how many people are online at any given time. Net-monitoring company CacheLogic found last summer that Kazaa had fallen far behind BitTorrent in terms of bulk traffic sent over the Internet.

According to BayTSP, eDonkey averaged 2.54 million users a day in September, while Kazaa averaged 2.48 million users a day. Those figures have fluctuated for weeks, but this was the first monthlong sample in which eDonkey had retained the lead, Ishikawa said.

A U.S. spokesman for Australia-based Sharman Networks, Kazaa's parent, had no immediate comment on the news.

11 comments

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Bundled Spywares ...
The presence of bundled spywares with Kazaa is not even mentioned, yet, in my experience, it's the single most important reason why peoples have learned to get rid of Kazaa / Gator (renamed Claria).
When I repair an infected PC, I start by removing that spyware ridden piece of crap and warn the user that I'll refuse to further service his/her machine if Kazaa is ever reinstalled.
Posted by My-Self (242 comments )
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So true !!!
Yeah people ditched Kazaa for its bundled sypwares. When Kazaa was at the top starting few years ago, every1 had a limited knowledge of spywares.

Now every1 is smarter ( only in case of adwares ) ... lol
Posted by tomal_rocks (7 comments )
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eDonkey... Free of Spyware?
Does eDonkey not load any Spyware of its own?
Posted by (3 comments )
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but kazaa lite
lets you have kazaa without all that crap... so instead of leaving they could have just switched to it
Posted by volterwd (466 comments )
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Thats how p2p companies profit
Spyware and paid advertising is how the australian company that owns Kazaa, makes money. People pay them to advertize. Thats how they, and other free software companies (like the owners of Morpheus), stay profitable.

I hate spyware, so I always opt for a spyware-free, or better yet, an open source AND spyware-free p2p client.

And for all you people who don't know: Kazaa is Dead. It had too many fake files on the network, too many lawsuits, and too few uploaders.
Gnutella2, bittorrent and edonkey are far better networks. And for all you people who love to share, remember to use proxies.
Posted by eviltoaster (31 comments )
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Spyware and better p2p programmes
Indeed how stupid not to mention the spyware, as well that the music industry no share files them self, that are totally scr*wed on purpose. Further more there are better p2p programme's out there, Bittorrent is mentioned, DC++ should have been mentioned, and indeed edonkey.
Posted by (1 comment )
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