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Post #1007

what the hell is Bit Torrent anyway?????

By Jay Dedman | Jay Dedman <jay@...> |
August 30, 2004 | Post #1007 | Topic #1007

In my search for understanding the landscape we videobloggers are working in...i found this good interview with a co-foudner of battle Torrent..now Blog torrent. Basically its a file-sharing method that lets you trade extremely large fiels very fast. They started it to trade music...but video is coming. I grabbed some choice quotes... http://grep.law.harvard.edu/features/04/08/26/0236209.shtml "People have technology to easily record and edit music and videos on their computers, but there's still no good way to distribute that content without pretty serious web hosting and some know-how. This is especially true if what you make might get popular-- and on the internet you never know. BitTorrent can solve this, but it has serious ease of use obstacles. Right now you need to know a decent amount about computers to run a torrent tracker on your own website and people who try to get a Bit Torrent file for the first time need to go through a few avoidable steps that can discourage them." Connecting BitTorrent to your TV would take all of this to the next level. Right now, for example, it wouldn't be hard to put together a set-top box like a TiVo that pulled content using BitTorrent from RSS feeds onto a hard drive to be watched whenever. You could do it for cheap too: a $90 used X-Box on eBay can run linux, and it's got all the hardware you need (okay, the hard drive is a little small, but it would be plenty for a couple days worth of compressed content). And the software's already been written, it's called Torrentocracy, check it out. The trick is packaging it all up so that you don't have to be a linux hacker to make it happen. It doesn't sound so spectacular at first, but think of how amazing it would be if something like this took off. People love to watch TV, but right now the pipe into peoples' televisions is a closed channel, controlled by a handful of bureaucratic corporations operating in an incentive structure that doesn't encourage quality. Once people start getting their TV through the internet, that channel's open, and everything that's true of websites and blogs will suddenly apply to television. Sure, people would keep watching TV shows and Hollywood movies, just as bloggers still read the Washington Post and the New York Times. But there would also be a huge opportunity for new things to sneak into the mainstream-- anything you make could suddenly end up on someone's TV. That's going to get a lot more people into the game, which means more creativity and eventually much better creative works. And if I'm watching TV in the morning while I'm eating my cereal, I would definitely check out a channel of weird internet videos and crazy flash stuff-- I mean, there's no commercials and it'd be a lot more entertaining than most things on TV. -- Jay Dedman Manhattan Neighborhood Network 537 West 59th NY NY 10019 212 757 2670 ext.312 http://www.mnn.org