Vuze Brings Easy Video Conversion to Apple Devices, but at What Cost?

vuzeI admit, I am a reformed Azureus user. When I made the transition from Windows to Mac for my primary machine, one hang-up that came with me was my devotion to Azureus, a program which (as I was soon to discover) was fast becoming unnecessarily resource-heavy and bloated, especially compared to lightweight Mac alternatives like Transmission, and more recently, uTorrent. I abandoned Azureus long before it stopped being open source and become Vuze, that Frankenstein beast of a media download manager.

Because I care about you, I actually installed the newly released version of Vuze on my MacBook today, even though it was painful to do so, and my notebook’s fan started working overtime the moment I did. The reason? Vuze now offers a quick and easy way to get video content in to your iTunes library and onto your iPhone, iPod, or Apple TV without getting your hands dirty with complicated conversion software.


It worked like a charm with the Katy Perry fluff piece I downloaded (if I have to endure Vuze, I should get to have some fun at least, right?); the conversion process took very little time and the video was available in my iTunes library immediately afterward. Likewise with a “Fast and Furious” trailer downloaded for the purposes of testing HD conversion, but I was disappointed to find that I couldn’t maintain HD quality during the conversion, since the max resolution supported under iTunes devices is 720×432 for Apple TV.

I suppose it’s very handy if you’re looking to quickly get video onto your portable Apple (s aapl) device, and if you don’t mind finding and/or downloading the file in Vuze (I tried adding a previously downloaded .mkv file to my Vuze library, but could not). And it works very well if you want to convert HD content for playback on your PS3 or Xbox 360, but overall, I don’t think the bargain is worth the price of admission, especially if you’re an advanced enough user to convert your video using HandBrake or some other similar program.