Friday, December 31, 2004

Exeem "Successor" to Suprnova Announced

Super Nova

It looks like suprnova is going to get a successor. The following was announced by Sloncek on irc.suprnova.org:

First, Exeem really isn't an extension of Suprnova as the hype might have you believe: the connection between the two seems more marketing than anything else. Sloncek has been hired to promote their product as the heir apparent to his popular website, but his involvement really seems to be almost entirely PR. It'll work obviously: my headline on this story mentions Suprnova, and so will hundreds of websites around the world in the coming days. "Yet another p2p app" would not create anywhere near the waves that "Successor to Suprnova Announced" will. I hope that people judge exeem by its own merits and not by its (clever) marketing.

Second, Exeem is pretty much what was rumored earlier: a blending of the tracker, the BitTorrent client, and decentralized indexing. It's Windows only. It's in beta now, and will be out at some indeterminate date in the future. It also has a rating and commenting system which appears to be somewhat rudimentary. It's unclear to me if the rating system will be as useless as other attempts, and I think this is the critical thing: Suprnova succeeded because the content available on it was verified and trustworthy. Suprnova was as much the work of a few dozen editors as it was a list of torrent URLs. So far no other p2p system has achieved that level of accuracy. Exeem supports magnet sites which is a start, but not exactly p2p either. And did I mention that it's adware?

Third, there's a mystery company. Someone is paying Sloncek. He won't say who, but there's a history in the p2p world of secretive development. Since Exeem is to be adware, someday it will have a billing address, which means the legal issues faced by predecessors like Napster and Kazaa will be forthcoming, which is of course why we have a mystery company that Sloncek won't talk about in the first place. We definitely haven't heard the last of this.

Personally I was hoping for more: source code and cross platform compatibility never hurts. These are the things that made BitTorrent a huge success. I guess I was hoping for a new protocol instead of just another Kazaa. I guess I was hoping for a monumental leap, and instead Exeem to be a more incremental step. I'm sure we'll learn more in the coming weeks.

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