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The New Kid on the Block: Ohaha.com
Open-Source, File-Sharing Program
By Margee Fagelson
(more articles from this author)
2000-11-07
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Everyone has their personal favorite file-sharing program -- at least until Listen.com officially purchased Scour and Bertelsmann officially loaned money to Napster. I was a Scour fan - my timing with Napster was always bad and I could never get on, though it sits proudly on my desktop. I recently used Gnutella and in some ways prefer it for clarity of selection. In any case, there may be a new kid on the block.

Ohaha.com is a sort of file-sharing search engine. In their own words, 'Ohaha is an open-source initiative to create a new suite of protocols that enable file sharing in an entirely decentralized but highly scalable way and make them accessible to average users as part of an easy-to-use program.' Ohaha deservedly boasts a simple, one-click download. The end result is a plug-in for your Internet Explorer browser - yes, only IE at this time. However, for those who sneer at the software's temporary MS-centric usability the news is good. Ohaha's founders/creators had the unique foresight to make all developments, progressions and new versions work with low overhead. What a concept...a group of people in this 'space' who choose low overhead

David E. Weekly, a noted MusicDish technology commentator said, "If it actually continues in development it could be something pretty cool - it's more scalable than gnutella and has some good ideas in it, although since security wasn't really considered, it will have to be tightened up a lot (ie. A fundamental reworking of its operations will need to be considered.)"

In practice, the search results were not as plentiful as they were with the other applications. The gist of peer-to-peer is that your search results are only as good as the collections of those who were also in the system. Ohaha has the ease of functionality but may not yield the results that some of its 'peers' can. The question before us is, 'Why?' If I can find several results for Beatles through Gnutella, then, in theory, I should be able to find results through Ohaha. And there was no notice of the engine's inability to notify the end user of the lack of results. Other complaints against the new system have included an aversion to the requisite additional toolbar...with Wired and Google as well as whatever our own personal customizations have been implemented; are we being asked to give up more of our valuable desktop real estate?

Ideally, Ohaha will be an open source program more scalable than Gnutella and Freenet. Can it in any way compete with ease of use of Napster. Perhaps, but how important is ease of use with no results. Perhaps we hit it on a bad night. But then again, Ohaha is free, and Napster, well... we'll see.

Linkography

Bertelsmann - www.bertelsmann.com
Freenet - http://freenet.sourceforge.net
Gnutella - http://gnutella.wego.com
Listen.com - www.listen.com
Napster - www.napster.com
Ohaha - www.ohaha.com
Scour - www.scour.com

Related MusicDish e-Journal Articles:
» My, Have Times Changed! BMG and Napster in a Partnership? (2000-10-31)
» The Digital Economy: How Digital Goods are Reshaping the Rules of Commerce - Introduction (2000-11-01)

Related News from Mi2N:
» Ohaha.com Announces Napster, Gnutella And Ohaha Compatible Music Search Software


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