Reminiscing about Kazaa

Back then when the most prevalent form of Internet connection was still dial-up, I discovered Kazaa. Older batchmates talked about it and how it got them the latest music for free; being ignorant, I hazarded to try it out. I wasn’t able to use much of it, however: it was primarily my older sister who asked me to obtain the popular songs of that time. I didn’t know about spyware back then, and I really didn’t care. However, as time passed I noticed that my computer functioned slower and slower. I wanted to get to the root of the matter, and so I started reading about Kazaa. A lot of people were decrying the presence of spyware in its program, so I read more about that. What is common knowledge nowadays was back then quite a formidable opponent, since spyware was still relatively new as well as silent yet insidious. Eventually that computer was reformatted: I, however, had already learned my lesson. I didn’t install the original Kazaa Media Desktop anymore.

This was the interface of Kazaa Media Desktop (the spyware-ridden version).

This was the interface of Kazaa Media Desktop (the spyware-ridden version).

With my increasing knowledge on and about the Internet, however, I discovered there were alternatives to the heavily bloated Kazaa Media Desktop. There was Kazaa Lite, a clean and spyware-free evolution of the original program, and Kazaa Plus, the paid version without the accompanying advertisements and software bundles. I was already inundated with the ways of the Internet by this time, and so I obtained a copy of Kazaa Plus, and used that as well. I remember that I still preferred Kazaa Lite to the limited participation levels in Kazaa Plus; I also preferred Kazaa Lite because it was faster as a program despite it being the bastardized version of the original software, and I could download anime from it, despite the anime being of bad quality.

Time passed, and I moved on. By 2003 I was already attempting to properly use a torrent, and when I was able to successfully do so I no longer found need to use Kazaa Lite, because I was also using BearShare, a P2P client which provided a lot more results and downloaded significantly faster (I was no longer on dial-up by this time, but 256K). I did experiment and install different FastTrack (the protocol Kazaa used) clients, like Kazaa Gold, Kazaa Gold Premium (scams), Kazaa Lite K++, and Kazaa Lite Resurrection, to name a few. I didn’t find much use for these clients as well, so when I got a new computer I didn’t install any FastTrack clients at all, and I simply forgot about them.

This was Kazaa's logo.

This was Kazaa's logo.

About a few days ago, I was reminded of the existence of the FastTrack network. I wanted to procure an obscure file, so I didn’t think it was a big problem to look into the FastTrack network. It turns out that the FastTrack network has been shutdown, although I don’t know when and I don’t know how. However, while back then I was still able to connect to the network with certain supernode (method of data transmission within the FT network) patches I could no longer do so currently. I tried different clients once again, but they were useless as all of them didn’t connect to the network. I even tried using Kazaa Plus once again, and I found it ironic that within the span of seven years what was once the network that dominated peer-to-peer networking now only provided a sub-par Internet explorer and media player (Kazaa Plus primarily functioned as a P2P program, but it also had a working web browser and music player within the software). Within the span of less than ten years Kazaa’s downfall as a program has been rapid and disastrous. I simply find it ironic that something which was previously hallowed is now forgotten by most, except as something execrable. Perhaps that is the payment for the dirt they accompanied the installation of their programs on the user PCs.

I do wish I’d still be able to connect, though. Can anyone help?

11 Responses to “Reminiscing about Kazaa”

  1. Os Says:

    I cant help you, but I can attest to the spyware. I wanted to get cable internet for my computer but it wouldn’t work because of all the crap from Kazaa. I ended up reformatting it cos it turned out I had 13 different viruses and one of them was named “Terrorist”. Good times.

  2. Michael Says:

    We eventually had to reformat out PCs as well. Kazaa really sucked, now that I look back at it.

  3. Turambar Says:

    I think the biggest irony with alot of the older P2P programs was the fact that part of their decline was caused by competition from other networks whose own client was being distributed through the former.

  4. Michael Says:

    Really. But I think a significant part was also the rise of other, cleaner spyware programs like Limewire (which, despite of the prevalence of fake files, remains to be spyware-free). Even Kazaa’s employees refused to install Kazaa on their PCs. That was how much they knew Kazaa was bad.

    Also, BitTorrent has grown to be a lot better and a lot more favorable. This reflection took place all because of my remembering a rogue anti-spyware program which I wanted to test.

  5. Kevin Says:

    Man, I remember Kazaa. Those were the days, until knock offs like Kazaa Ultimate or whatever promoted themselves, only to turn out to be spyware mania. Soon, even the original software got shut down. I manly use torrents and Limewire now, but those were the good old times.

  6. Michael Says:

    Remember Kazaa Gold and Kazaa Gold Premium? They were merely rip-offs from Kazaa Lite with their skins changed, and people bought into it, paying $30 for some free software. I found that really funny.

    I don’t know when the original software was shut down, though? I swear I was still using it early 2005, but I don’t know when it was shut down specifically.

    Torrents rock, of course.

  7. C.C. Says:

    Wow, christ I remember Kazaa… I used to get all of my Anime off of it, ‘cept I never used the original, just Kazaa Lite. I don’t remember when or why I stopped – I think I was off the internet for a while, and when I got back I just started using torrents.

    Grats on being able to write a whole entry on something like this, I fail at blogging. lol
    Mind if I add you to my blogroll~? I haven’t seen you around IRC in a while, but I suppose timezones can be blamed for that.

  8. Michael Says:

    Wait, you have your own animeblogger account, C.C?!

    That’s so cool! Of course not, I don’t mind. I haven’t been around because of the final requirements for my graduation, but I’ll hang around there quite soon. 🙂

  9. C.C. Says:

    I lurk #AnimeBlogger for a reason, Mike~

    I’ve been blogging on and off for years, only recently switched over to though, like a few months ago or something. Sometimes it’s hard to be consistent – I’m still trying to find the right feel for my blog. I can’t find a nice theme, either. ;_;

    I used to have a more C.C. type thing to the whole blog, but since I spam G00 stuff I decided to use the name Innovfailure (like Innovator) for now.

  10. Michael Says:

    LOL. Yeah, I was wondering why you were there in the first place. I don’t even have a theme for myself, I just write on stuff I like, but it often works. 🙂

  11. free magazines online Says:

    That was a very good read,Maybe I will sign up to your rss.

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