Back in the summer of 2003 a group of developers debuted a new torrent client, which they called Azureus.
BitTorrent itself was still a relatively new technology at the time and users were eager to find new tools to transfer their files. The feature-rich Azureus client, which later rebranded to Vuze, delivered just that.
In recent years, however, things have gone relatively quiet, up to a point where Vuze development appears to have stalled completely. Perhaps not surprising, as two of the core developers, parg and TuxPaper, have left the project and moved on to something new.
“We are no longer involved in Vuze or Azureus Software, Inc. We can not speak to what their intentions are with the development of their product,” they inform us.
The developers, who were also part of the original Azureus team, are not saying farewell to their code though. While they are no longer working on Vuze, the pair have started a new Azureus branch, one they will actively maintain.
“We have invested such a large amount of our lives in the endeavor that we feel the need to keep the open source project active, for both our and our users’ enjoyment!” parg and TuxPaper tell us.
BiglyBT, as they have named their new client, will continue where Vuze development stalled. In addition to optimizing the code and releasing new features, BiglyBT is determined to keep the open source project alive, without any commercial interests.
“Our main goals for BiglyBT is to keep it ad-free and open source, and to continue to develop it into an even better torrent client. We also hope that a community will form again around the product.”
People who try the new client will notice that it’s indeed very similar to Vuze, but without the ads and some other ‘cluttering’ features, such as DVD-burning.
While BiglyBT looks and operates in a similar manner to Vuze, in the future the developers will work on a new set of features, a new style, and various other changes that will set it apart from its older brother.
“Our first release is mostly a name change, but we have removed some of the things that we know users don’t particularly want or use, such as the content network, games promotions, DVD burning, the huge ad in the corner of the app, and the offers in the installer.”
While Vuze appears to have downsized its development efforts, BiglyBT promises to go full steam ahead. The new client will also stay true to the Open Source nature. Previously, some people complained that Vuze included proprietary code, resulting in more restrictive license terms. BiglyBT is purely GPL, and will remain so.
The client is currently available on all major desktop platforms, including Windows, MacOS and Linux. An open source Android app, forked from Vuze remote, will follow in a few weeks.
BiglyBT should appeal to a wide range of users, especially the more seasoned torrent user who wants a client they can configure to their liking.
“Our target users are people who love to delve into the world of torrenting. People who like to tinker and watch torrents do their thing. Hoarders who like to seed, automate, categorize and contribute back to the torrenting community,” the developers note.
People who are interested in giving BiglyBT a spin can download the latest version from the official site. The application is free and won’t install any other applications or adware. Instead, it’s solely supported by donations from the public.