New Kazaa beta aims to cut bandwidth costs

The latest version of the Kazaa P2P file-sharing program aims to promote the purchase of licensed content such as videogames

Sharman Networks, the makers of peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing software Kazaa, have announced the release of a new beta version of the popular program.

The new version, 2.6, allows users to run multiple searches at the same time, and is designed to allow content providers to sell their wares over the P2P network, enabling them to save on bandwidth costs.

"This offers significant bandwidth savings for companies like computer game manufacturers who often sell games that are over 500 megabytes in size," a statement issued by the company explained.

The company's latest offering is designed to entice its users into buying more licensed content through content "packaging".

"This latest version is designed to enable artists to offer music, video and promotional material in a digital package or 'Kapsule'," the statement read. "Musicians will now be able to offer a much greater variety of material, such as images, audio, video, lyrics, tour dates, and band information in one place."

Sharman Networks' chief executive officer Nikki Hemming says the design of the latest version will allow for increased distribution of 'heavy' files, such as games packages.

"It is encouraging to see content such as videogames, that can be up to 100 times larger and cost 30 times more than a single music file, being purchased by Kazaa users," she was quoted as saying in the statement.

The beta is available for download from the Kazaa Web site.