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The Media

Torrentocracy = RSS + Bit Torrent + Your TV 172

Posted by timothy
from the clairvoygence dept.
lerhaupt writes "I've started a project called Torrentocracy which is the combination of RSS, Bit Torrent and your Television. It's written as a plugin for MythTV (the homebrew Linux PVR project). This means you can not only easily find out about new torrents from various enclosure enabled blogs, but you can also start the torrent download process with the click of your TV remote control. Are RSS aggregators which support torrent downloads the next greatest thing since web browsers? What is the significance of hooking this directly to your TV? Here's a screenshot."
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Torrentocracy = RSS + Bit Torrent + Your TV

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  • by Moblaster (521614) on Monday June 21, 2004 @07:49AM (#9482875)
    Except for the fact that I'll need to keep my television on 24 hours a day to seed.
  • by numbski (515011) * <numbski AT hksilver DOT net> on Monday June 21, 2004 @07:50AM (#9482884) Homepage Journal
    You really should've torrented that .jpg.

    Just a thought.

    Kthx. ;)
  • Interface (Score:5, Interesting)

    by millahtime (710421) on Monday June 21, 2004 @07:52AM (#9482891) Homepage Journal
    The Interface needs to be as easy as digital cable. Otherwise i'd never use it. When I sit down in front of the TV I become a veg. Anything not easy is just plain to hard to do.

    Can't look at the screen shot though. been /.ed
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 21, 2004 @07:52AM (#9482892)
    You should have set up a torrent and had people mirror the site.
  • Bad rep (Score:2, Insightful)

    Its a really good idea. But when your dealing with programs like bit torrent with its reputation for illicit downloads you're fighting an uphill battle to get any sort of mainstream interest.
    • Re:Bad rep (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Stevyn (691306) on Monday June 21, 2004 @08:11AM (#9482962)
      Not nessesarily, as far as p2p apps go, this has the best reputation in my opinion. For example, when mandrake released their ISOs of mandrake 10 to the club members, they distributed it over torrent. Another plus for bit torrent is you need to use a secondary method of finding the torrent files so unlike kazaa, there is no "search for music" option. Being open source also helps in that you can ensure there is no spyware. I think bit torrent can succeed as a reputable p2p app because it was not designed to steal music and divx movies, it just happens to do it well.
      • Re:Bad rep (Score:5, Interesting)

        by spezz (150943) on Monday June 21, 2004 @08:32AM (#9483063)
        Absolutely. It's been fastest way for me to get Red Orchestra and several other huge Unreal mods. The "make something unreal" contest has created a whole mini release cycle for mods, with it's deadlines and lure of cash prizes. So all of a sudden there's 4-5gb of files worth downloading all at once and all manner of choked up servers.

        Bit torrent, however can serve up the 400+ mb file within an hour and the developers can just set up the link to the seed from their site. It carries an air of legitimacy greater than you can achieve by saying "or look for the file on eMule".

    • by reality-bytes (119275) on Monday June 21, 2004 @08:21AM (#9483010) Homepage
      With the vast amount of legitimate downloads made available using BitTorrent, I wouldn't say it has a 'bad reputation' at all.

      BitTorrent has successfully been used to provide everything from ISOs for distros to large commercial game demos.

      The use of BT for transmitting illegal warez etc has been minimal mainly because BT requires a larger number of people to be interested in the particular warez than most P2P software for a download to work.

      Its worth remembering that the primary use of BT is to get large files out to large numbers of people as soon after a given date as possible (while using the minimum of initial bandwidth).

      What the article is actually getting at tho is that the PVR can be used to easily start a BT download on another (perhaps headless) machine to which the TV/PVR is networked.

      Its convenient and useful but hardly revolutionary in this case.
    • I think it's quite the opposite.
      Michael Moore's going to release Fahrenheit 9/11 with bittorrent.

      http://www.denounce.com/archives/000055.html

    • Yes, because no one uses any P2P apps like KaZaA or Grokster since they're all linked with illegal activities.
  • Smirk (Score:3, Funny)

    by mfh (56) on Monday June 21, 2004 @07:55AM (#9482904) Journal
    Guy: Here's my new cool project on torrents and TV.
    Slashdotters: Cool. (Click)(Click)(Click)
    Slashdot: Arrrrrrrrrrrrgh!!!! [[[[Crush]]]]
    Server: (Dies)
    Guy: Well now that you've killed my server... I guess my project can't continue. :(
    Slashdot: Thanks for letting us know about your project.
  • Computer + TV card (Score:5, Insightful)

    by freeduke (786783) on Monday June 21, 2004 @07:55AM (#9482905) Journal
    A lot of people take the problem from the other side, while trying to download movies on your TV, we prefer to watch tv on our PCs.
  • have always failed to get complete large files.

    if this is to work on a television, maybe torrents should start to be paired with PAR files to create a far more robust method of fetching large files.

    sure these might need to be seeded and torrent files too, but as the PAR files could be dramatically smaller (i.e. 15% of size depending on size of parity) than the full torrent file, they could be published on the sites of the copyright owner (in the case of legit works where the company is using torrents to s
    • by pointwood (14018) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [voksmarj]> on Monday June 21, 2004 @08:22AM (#9483013) Homepage
      I use torrents quite often and I don't have a problem fetching large files. In fact, fetching large files are exactly what bittorrent is all about.
    • by laird (2705) <`lairdp' `at' `gmail.com'> on Monday June 21, 2004 @08:25AM (#9483025) Journal
      "torrents should start to be paired with PAR files to create a far more robust method of fetching large files"

      This doesn't make any sense. Torrents are completely reliable -- they already have block and file level hashing and automatic re-downloading of blocks in case of transmission errors, etc. The only time you won't get a complete torrent is if there are no complete copies of the file being served. Adding error correcting codes (e.g. PAR files) would make the total file larger, and only recover from incomplete torrents that are _almost_ complete (i.e. would have been complete if the PAR file hadn't made it 15% larger). Just make sure that anything you're downloading has a couple of seeds before starting the download. ;-)
      • Just make sure that anything you're downloading has a couple of seeds before starting the download. ;-)
        And THAT is why this is unsuitable for your average user. They want to download it and expect it to work, regardless of how many other people are sharing it at the time. When's the last time you had a large file you were getting from an FTP site just disappear mid-download (except in the case of /. effect)?
        • If a file is being provided by a company/whoever that would have had a permanant FTP, the torrent should always have a seed: the company's would be FTP server that is now acting as a BT server.
        • "And THAT is why this is unsuitable for your average user. They want to download it and expect it to work, regardless of how many other people are sharing it at the time"

          For large files being legitimately distributed, this isn't an issue, as the publisher can (and obviously should) leave up a permanent 'seed' server.

          "When's the last time you had a large file you were getting from an FTP site just disappear mid-download..."

          I'd say that if you're running an FTP site, the BitTorrent equivalent is running a
    • by ctr2sprt (574731) on Monday June 21, 2004 @08:41AM (#9483103)
      Well, basically what BT does is treat all torrents as single files (even if one torrent includes many files). It then splits this pseudo-file up into many chunks of configurable size. Each chunk gets a checksum which is, I believe, included in the .torrent file - this is why some .torrent files are much larger than others (smaller chunk size, more chunks, more checksums to include in the file). I think BT uses SHA1, but I'm not sure. As each chunk arrives, it's checked by your BT client. If it fails - i.e. the checksums don't match - it redownloads the chunk. Most clients will also check the entire file when you go to resume a download, so it can determine what pieces it needs to (re-)download. Some clients will also check the file after you download it, just to make sure it's been written to disk properly.

      What this has to do with PAR2s are obvious: the entire effective functionality of PAR2s is already integrated into BT, automatically. It's not something that users can turn on or off, it's an integral part of the protocol.

      The cause of your problem is likely that your torrent ran out of seeds before you finished downloading. Look at the "distributed copies" number your client gives you. That represents how many effective copies there are of a torrent. (Say client A has the first 50% of a torrent, and client B has the second 50%. Those are the only two peers. That's 1.0 distributed copies, since even though neither peer has a full copy, the two of them together do.) If the number is below zero, you will never be able to download the entire torrent unless a seed pops in.

      As BT clients advance, this is becoming rarer. There's a "super-seeding" option of some clients which helps get out sparsely-seeded torrents as fast as possible by refusing to send the same chunk more than once.

      If this is a problem for you - trying to get poorly-seeded torrents - you might want to try out Azureus. It preferentially grabs complete files inside a torrent first, and you can tell it which files to try for.

      • Thank you VERY much for this explanation :)

        I think this is precisely what the problem may be... I generally am downloading what people call 'world music' and it's not as widely seeded as your usual porn, bootlegged britney and what not and troublesome to find.

        Hence I've seldom managed to retrieve an entire file.

        I only persevere because you lot keep raving about it :)

        I'll look into Azureus :)

        Cheers
      • by kryptkpr (180196) on Monday June 21, 2004 @10:00AM (#9483794) Homepage
        If this is a problem for you - trying to get poorly-seeded torrents - you might want to try out Azureus. It preferentially grabs complete files inside a torrent first, and you can tell it which files to try for.

        Conincidentally, being able to prefer one file over another is one of the reasons that we have poorly-seeded torrents to begin with.

        The mainline BT client does not support this becuase it interferes with it's rarest-first algorithms. It will download the pieces that are in danger of falling off the network before it will download a more common piece.

        I agree that preferring files may be a useful feature from the user's point of view, but it's still a selfish thing to do, and makes the 99%-and-no-seed problems worse and more frequent with it's use.
      • I think Torrent might still be able to make good use use of PARs.

        You are are exactly right about the seeding effect of not sending the same chunk more than once. Well, after the root (or anyone else) has sent every chunk at least once then you are *forced* to resend the same data. Redundant and inefficent.

        If you use PARs then you are not forced to resend the same data. You can start spiting out PARs instead. That's better than attempting to guess or discover which chunks are the rarest to re-seed those. I
    • My problem is I just can't get large files to download over bittorrent because of my linksys cable modem. For some reason when I use bittorrent for more then a few hours it crashes the cablemodem and I loose all internet access till I reboot the modem. This only happens with bittorrent. So far I havn't needed to download anything that large yet that I can't get via ftp, but if I did, I guess I'd have to debug this problem.
    • I tried to download 70 MB of mp3's as a torrent. It downloaded 70 MB until it reached 99%. Since then it has downloaded 50 MB more, but keeps on 99%. It's been running for over a week now, taunting me with 'time remaining 0 min 45 sec' or similar, but never actually finishing.
      • let it get as "close" to finished as you can, then stop the torrent.

        I do not know what causes this problem, but what I let it do is start downloading until it get right up to the last bit letf, then I stop the torrent.

        it is usually good at this point and you can use it.

  • by Moblaster (521614) on Monday June 21, 2004 @08:00AM (#9482927)
    Next thing you know, Orrin Hatch will be introducing a bill to blow up your television every time you watch some bootleg show.
  • Wait... (Score:4, Funny)

    by MonkeyOfRage (779297) on Monday June 21, 2004 @08:01AM (#9482936)
    They still make TV's?
  • by Grummet (161532) on Monday June 21, 2004 @08:02AM (#9482938)
    If its from democracy then Slashdot just voted you out of office.

  • Easily Tracked? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by artlu (265391) <artluNO@SPAMartlu.net> on Monday June 21, 2004 @08:13AM (#9482967) Homepage Journal
    In my understanding, ISPs are able to easily track torrent downloads do to the seeding algorithms. If torrents become more mainstream, people will have more protection in downloading them as there will be more for the governments to regulate.

    Thoughts?

    GroupShares Inc. [groupshares.com] - A completely free stock trading community!
    • Re:Easily Tracked? (Score:5, Informative)

      by laird (2705) <`lairdp' `at' `gmail.com'> on Monday June 21, 2004 @08:19AM (#9483001) Journal
      I can't say that it's "do to the seeding algorithms" but it's true that there's no encryption or hiding in BitTorrent -- it's pretty fundamental to the protocol's efficiency that everyone downloading a given torrent is given everyone else's IP address so that they can exchange data. This is why BitTorrent is great for moving large _legitimate_ files, and not so clever to use for "piracy". You might as well wear a red shirt on (original) Star Trek. :-)
    • Re:Easily Tracked? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Planesdragon (210349)
      BitTorrent is a replacement for FTP, not Napster.

  • by tinla (120858) on Monday June 21, 2004 @08:14AM (#9482974) Homepage Journal
    Torrents.co.uk [torrents.co.uk] also publishes an RSS feed of new shows, and has several links to auto-downloaders. These other downloaders don't bolt onto a PVR, which is a nice feature, but it is worth remembering that many trackers already have RSS feeds and there is _some_ software already out there.
  • I kept hoping no one would do this. I'd seen requests for something like it on mythtv-users. Now that MythTV will be indistinguishable from "Movie Pirates" in the MPAA's eyes. It's probably only a matter of time before the whole project gets litigated, albeit unjustly, into oblivion. Well I hope Isaac can file legal paperwork and code at the same time, but I'm guessing not. And don't bother telling me this is a separate plug-in for MythTV, I know that. What I'm saying here is that the MPAA's lawyers don't know or won't care.
    • by davidu (18) on Monday June 21, 2004 @08:53AM (#9483170) Homepage Journal

      Actually James, this could be a good thing.

      There are plenty of fair-use cases for this sort of application and if MythTV were to get sued over something like this than it would potentially not only be a good case for the EFF to stand behind but also a bunch of consumer electronics companies.

      We know Orrin Hatch just created that new INDUCE bill he's going to try to pass and this is the sort of development it would try to suppress. Groups like the EFF and CE companies like Phillips, Sony, Sanyo, etc should all stand behind things like this that are creative in advancing fair-use rights in the digital space and that have clear non-infringing benefits.


      -davidu
    • by fwitness (195565) on Monday June 21, 2004 @09:24AM (#9483396)

      "...MythTV will be indistinguishable from "Movie Pirates" in the MPAA's eyes..."

      Ahem. They prefer to be called [dieselsweeties.com] buccaneer americans. [dieselsweeties.com]

      I mean honestly, the insensitivity of some people.

    • by Sanity (1431) *
      I kept hoping no one would do this.
      Yeah, great plan. Let's avoid any innovation that might conceivably upset the copyright cartel.

      They have a word for that, its called appeasement [reference.com].

      They tried it with Hitler before World War II. It didn't work.

      • *Ugh* First an obligitory link to Godwin's law [faqs.org] because you brought up the Hitler.

        That being done, I simply meant that MythTV is one of the Linux applications that is easy to use, fully funtional, and has a professional look and feel. This would be one of the last projects I would like to see die under the weight of litigation. There are few linux applications that I can install on an x-box, put it in front of my mother, sister and brother, and hand them a remote and they can figure it out. It simply delive
    • Historically, the actions of the industry have shown that they make little distinction between actual pirates (e.g., that guy on the street corner selling DVD's made from a theater camcording) and legitimate paying users who choose to exercise their fair use rights to consume media in a manner not approved by the MPAA. Mr. Valenti's now infamous "Boston stranger" comment springs to mind. These are the people that movie industry reps are usually talking about when they say "pirate."

      MythTV users are alre
  • Caught on google (Score:2, Informative)

    Google has the front page of the site cached, in case no one sets up a mirror.
  • by gorim (700913) on Monday June 21, 2004 @08:20AM (#9483003)

    1. I thought torrents randomly sent chunks from all over the file, rather than as a stream. Wouldn't this make no sense unless you wanted to wait forever for the program to be completely downloaded ?

    2. Given the large amount of copyrighted programs made available on torrent networks, isn't this an effort to make mainstream what might be otherwise illegal ? Does it make sense to put this amount of effort into support of what might be intended to be an illegal activity for most ?

    I would have RTFA but its slashdotted, so I couldn't confirm for myself how torrents are an appropriate medium, and whether the issues of widespread support for copyright violations are addressed.

      1. No, they start from the beginning and work their way through. That's why they can be hard to finish sometimes. As soon as people have finished downloading they close the connection, so there are fewer sources for the last part of the file than there are for the beginning.
      2. Yes, and yes. A lot of people do want to make mainstream what is currently illegal.
    • Wouldn't this make no sense unless you wanted to wait forever for the program to be completely downloaded?

      In a previous post [slashdot.org] I talked about a similar problem when TiVo suggested a similar feature. I think this would apply here too. This doesn't change the DVR recording model, which is schedule something and watch it later. The only thing that this adds is that it makes the Internet a like a TV channel, from which you can set up something to record, and then watch it later. It's not *exactly* like a TV channel, but it still fits the DVR model.

      Does it make sense to put this amount of effort into support of what might be intended to be an illegal activity for most?

      The person/people who are creating this tech have got to pull off a trick. They've got to figure out how to make sure that the only content available is distributed with the permission of the copyright holder. If they can do that, then they have a much more credible case that this is not intended to be a tool which is intended for copyright violation.

      I don't mean to suggest that copyright is a good thing. But it exists in today's world. It never ceases to amaze me when we (the slashdot crowd) get up in arms when someone violates the GPL (i.e. violates copyright) and then we turn around and violate copyright when it comes to music or movies or ... The point is that we can't ride whatever side of the fence is most convenient. Either copyright should be enforceable and we support others rights to enforce their copyrights or copyright should not be enforceable and we allow GPL violations without restriction. Which means that if we want a solid GPL, then we should also ensure that this tech does everything to respect other's copyrights.

      $.02.

      • it is a matter of useing the system to bump itself. If the GPL's ideals are truly better than copyright than eventually it will spread and become the new system but for now it has to use the exisiting system. Only time will tell which is the best or most acceptable system.

        I have always thought of the GPL as the base line between free and propritary. The GPL is the most restrictive license that should ever be accepted, with BSD or public domain being the least restrictive. basicly saying all software sh
    • "I thought torrents randomly sent chunks from all over the file, rather than as a stream. Wouldn't this make no sense unless you wanted to wait forever for the program to be completely downloaded ?"

      Step 1: Pick a program to record.
      Step 2: Wait for the program to become available.
      Step 3: Watch the program.

      Those 3 steps both describe the way this system would presumably work and the way a PVR already works with traditional broadcast TV. The only difference is whether step 2 represents waiting for the n

    • I was just thinking about this - since the chunks of the file are in semi-random order, that's a form of encryption, right? One has to have the index to be able to correctly assemble the pieces. As such, are torrents covered by the DMCA?
  • I'm waiting for someone to develop a way to distribute the load of web pages via bittorrent. Wouldn't it be great if when a webserver hit a certain load, it was served by another server?

    Think about it: no more Slashdotting - just set your site up on a tracker the first time, and it's automagically covered under high load.
    • Re:http torrent (Score:3, Informative)

      http://freenet.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

      Completely anonymous too. Albeit slow as a snail on valium.
      An increase of users is supposed to equal an increase in speed. Unconfirmed.
      • And not really all that anonymous. Do you really think the feds will buy "but I wasn't requesting that kiddie porn your sting node grabbed from my IP--I was just passing it along for someone else's request. Honest!"
  • Does the name Torrentocracy really work here? Sounds like a bad form of government to me. But cool idea, even though none of us can check it out because it's /.'ed.
  • Freecache! (Score:2, Informative)

    by asgeirn (126441)
    You really should have submitted the screenshot link using Freecache [freecache.org] ..

    Only now it's too late, ofcourse..
  • by psmyylie (741794) on Monday June 21, 2004 @09:31AM (#9483471)
    As neat as it would be to live in a world where everyone has PVR's integrated into their TV's, and anyone interested connects to a .torrent for the file through a web interface on their TV/media pc/whatever, I can't see it likely in any near future.
    1. The inconvenience. As another poster indicated, BT downloads RANDOM chunks, so you'd have to wait until the entire file is downloaded until you can watch it.
    2. The bandwidth. If this BT concept became as ubiquitous as PVR's will be in the future, the home ISPs would collectively have a heart attack. Now, I don't own my own ISP, but from what I understand just about all of them could never put up with every, or a significant amount, of their subscribers utilizing their upload amounts. They sell you those great 3mbit/1mbit (or whatever) lines, but if you consistently use the 1mbit line for WHATEVER reason, many ISPs (comcast anyone?) will automatically flag and cap you once you cross a data transfer amount (an amount they refuse to disclose to you). Granted, torrents are a great idea for spreading popular files, but it is a system that requires (or at least thrives on) people kicking back whatever they can into the system.
    Anyone else see that as a serious problem?
    • I think you are overestimating the upload involved. In the torrent system your upload is essentially equal to your download. No one is a "super server" hog trying to feed 25,000 AOL'ers.

      Your usage is equal to one download and one upload of each show you want. Sure video takes a signifigant chuck of data, but if that is not "reasonable personal usage" then their terms of service need to state that watching video is not acceptable usuage of internet service.

      Of course consider the irony and anti-competitive
  • by McChump (218559) on Monday June 21, 2004 @09:59AM (#9483785)
    There's another reason besides copyright infringement that the powers that be aren't gonna like this much -- this looks a hell of a lot like an early backbone for truly independent television. This could allow distribution of student films, public-access tv, homemade movies and shows to a much wider audience than might be otherwise available. If some company starts marketing a plug-n-go set top box with this feature enabled and pointing to an RSS feed site that contains exclusively (or even primarily) legal video, there's might be a measurable number people changing channels away from bad reality TV.
  • with bittorrent functionality this close to your PVR content... and RSS action, one could see where if enough mythTV boxen where onlin with this (and seeded), a true "on demand" programming that would beat the pants of what certain cable companies are offering currently.

    *this* is why OSS and open standards and community/hacking innovation is soooo cool.

    e.
  • I posted to slashdot last week about my python script that does the same thing. Although no GUI is provided, it does what it needs to do, works on all OS's (XBox Media Center as well) Please check it out at http://ddll.sdf1.net/archives/002626.html [sdf1.net]
  • by sco (116197) on Monday June 21, 2004 @10:43AM (#9484214) Homepage
    Here is my original long-winded essay which explicated the RSS+BT idea:

    http://scottraymond.net/archive/4745 [scottraymond.net]

    After addressing the initial whys and wherefores, I speculate on how the pairing might be potent enought to spark an indie media revolution. Here's the text:

    -- RSS meets BitTorrent meets TiVo.

    The other day, Steve Gillmor wrote about BitTorrent and RSS and how they could be combined to create a "disruptive revolution." He's half right. RSS and BT are indeed two great tastes that taste great together, but Gillmor's vision is upside down: we shouldn't use BitTorrent to carry RSS, we should use RSS to carry BitTorrent. Let me explain.

    -- But first, some background.

    RSS (RDF Site Summary) is a simple format for syndicating content on the web. These days, the most common application of RSS is subscribing to weblogs: you tell your computer to check an RSS file for changes every so often, and then it notifies you when there's something new to read. If you're like me and you read one metric shitload of news every day, this is a life-saver.

    BitTorrent, the brainchild of Bram Cohen, is the current cool-kids' P2P program. It works sort of like Kazaa, but at a lower level. It doesn't handle searching for new files, it doesn't have a media player, it just concentrates on downloading big files efficiently.

    Okay. Two solutions in search of a problem. Here's a problem:

    -- I have a weakness.

    I am addicted to the show Alias. I watched the first couple episodes of season two as it aired, and I was hooked. In my honest moments, I'll admit that the show's appeal is mostly due to the callipygian Jennifer Garner. It's a weakness; we deal.

    But it gets worse. I go out on Sunday nights, when Alias airs, and I don't want to give that up. That's why God created the VCR, I know, but to compound the problem, I don't have TV. I don't want to have TV, because I love the feeling of superiority that I get by not having it.

    This system is at tension, it has no rest, its forces are unbalanced, it wants to be resolved.

    -- A partial answer.

    The internet, it turns out, is great at resolving different kinds of tensions, and this is one of them. After a few weeks of missed episodes, I realized that with a little patience, a P2P program like Kazaa was able to fetch back-episodes with aplomb. Each file is around 450 megs, fairly high-quality video, with commercials cut out. I start a few episodes downloading, and by the next evening, they're ready to watch, whenever I have the time.

    After a few weeks of enjoying this, a new tension emerged: I had caught up with all of the old episodes, and I had to wait a week for each new one. The problem is that the Kazaa protocol isn't especially well-tuned for getting brand new files: first someone has to record the show as it airs, cut out the commercials, and compress it to a reasonable size, then seed it on the network. Then, it has to slowly propagate to its peers, each transfer taking hours. It might take three days before it's available on enough peers that I'm able to even find it, let alone download it.

    -- BitTorrent to the rescue.

    The solution is BitTorrent. BitTorrent operates on similar principles to Kazaa, but it's tuned differently: it excels at downloading files that are new or currently in high demand. It breaks large files into many small chunks, and coordinates their assemblage, so that users can tap into a swarm and distribute the load evenly. At the same time that you're downloading a chunk, another user is downloading an earlier chunk from you -- no one server is overwhelmed, and the more popular a file, the higher its availability is. It's perfect for large files that are most interesting when they're fresh -- in other words, it's perfect for TV shows.

    In many cases, I have been able to use BitTorrent to completely download a new TV show mere hours after the show airs.
  • Already been done. (Score:2, Informative)

    by anakin513 (653341)
    Check this out Nucleus [64.233.161.104].
    Python application, all platforms, searches RSS feeds and downloads the torrent.
  • Anybody heard of this:

    White Water allows people with limited or metered bandwidth to publish files for download by thousands of people without saturating their bandwidth. Downloaders participate by distributing chunks of the file amongst themselves but gain by downloading several parts of the file simultaneously. The download speed will generally be limited only by the downloaders own bandwidth, not that of the publisher.

    White water can also be used in server or proxy mode, publishing and downloading fil
  • Whatever about the "distributed Tivo" analogies, ReplayTV of course [google.com] already has massive distributed show sharing, the most notable example being the 15,000-strong Poopli library [poopli.com].

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