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Peercasting Ready for Primetime? 220

Posted by Hemos
from the bit-torrent-for-the-rest-of-the-world dept.
ZephyrXero writes "Have you ever wanted to run your own internet radio or TV station, but thought the bandwidth would cost too much? While Wired thinks Peer-to-peer broadcasting, or "peercasting", will be the future of the internet (previously posted); Peercast.org says it's already here today. Peercast's software is available for Linux, Windows, and Mac. You can broadcast both audio and video without needing a whole lot of bandwidth since each audience member also uploads back to the network. The Xiph Foundation is also working on a similar project called "IceShare," but it's still in planning. Peercast, still in beta seems to already be fully functional and ready for an audience (even you dial-up guys)."
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Peercasting Ready for Primetime?

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  • legal issues? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by tmilam (825889)
    So if I do this, will the FCC come knocking on my door?
    • Actually, BMI will come knocking.
    • Yup. ASCAP (Score:4, Informative)

      by sterno (16320) on Monday January 10, 2005 @12:52PM (#11310821) Homepage
      ASCAP will be knocking on your door. Shortly after I graduated from College I was running a little radio station on the Internet. It was a 28Kbps RealAudio stream and I had maybe 4 listeners at my peak. None the less, AASCAP sent me a letter demanding that I cease broadcasting, or license my broadcast through them.

      For a non-profit station they had a flat rate of something like $250/year. I suppose that's not that terrible, but since I wasn't making any money at all on the venture ~$20/month seemed a little steep to me. If you have any sort of revenue, they will charge you more based on your revenue.

      If you want to do audio casting, I'd recommend Live365 instead. Because they volume license, the rates that you ultimately pay to ASCAP are lower than you'd end up paying on your own. One argument for using them, bandwidth considerations, seems to be fading, but it's definitely worth it just to avoid the legal hassle if your a hobbyist.
      • Re:Yup. ASCAP (Score:3, Interesting)

        ...but it's definitely worth it just to avoid the legal hassle if your a hobbyist.

        This brings an interesting question: how to anonymize the stream source, the initial node. How to make impractically difficult to trace down the originator of the stream. Once this is solved, no more paperwork for hobbyists.

        Bureaucracy is a form of terrorism.

        • This brings an interesting question: how to anonymize the stream source, the initial node. How to make impractically difficult to trace down the originator of the stream. Once this is solved, no more paperwork for hobbyists.

          If you do that, they can still go after the listeners.

          Peercast software clones and retransmits the stream - so every listener is also making unlicensed copies in the process of forwarding. All they have to do is subscribe themselves, see where the packets are coming from, and go afte
          • If you do that, they can still go after the listeners.

            That is true, however the international jurisdiction differences may pose an advantage here. What about listening to an offshore source, from where licence fees do not apply?

            The connection should not be a "hard" indication of infringement, doubtful enough to give even a not too good lawyer a good chance to find a way out.

            Even without this, the listeners are more expendable than the producers.

    • Re:legal issues? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by starrsoft (745524)

      So if I do this, will the FCC come knocking on my door?

      In a word: No.

      If you have a talk-show type program (who'd wanna listen to that? =) Seriously though, I know that some widely read bloggers would have an audience) it would obviously be totally and unarguably legal. If you played music, you're fine as long as you pay the royalty to the artist (7.1 cents per song per play) same as any other internet or AM/FM/XM radio station.

      Now traditional radio stations have already tried challenging the 'net radi

  • Mercora (Score:2, Informative)

    by dknj (441802)
    One may also want to check out Mercora [mercora.com]

    -dk
  • Video on Demand (Score:3, Interesting)

    by madfgurtbn (321041) on Monday January 10, 2005 @12:15PM (#11310513)
    We're all t.v. networks now.

    If I were a major media executive I would be seriously worried about my businiess model.
    • I'm not sure I'd be seriously worried quite yet. There are plenty of people who have no qualms about and even look forward to plopping down on the couch after dinner and veging out for the primetime hours while they turn their brains off for network TV. It will be a while be a while before great numbers of people will give up their sitcom/reality show routines. I've had trouble convincing people of the benefits of a TiVo; anything more complicated than that will take some time to get much traction.
      • I've had trouble convincing people of the benefits of a TiVo; anything more complicated than that will take some time to get much traction.

        Of course it will take time. I didn't say it will happen tomorrow, but it will certainly happen,don't you agree?

  • Quick guess.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SirFozzie (442268) on Monday January 10, 2005 @12:17PM (#11310527)
    I would guess that the TV networks would try to stomp this and hard.

    Why?

    Protection of an already diluted market.

    Over the last 10 years, they've been hammered by Cable, Sattelite TV, and now BitTorrent. Appointment TV is dying.

    Now comes another technology designed to possibly make it so you can watch any show at any time. The more who watch, the more who are able to watch.

    The TV Networks SHOULD be the ones leading this charge.

    But they won't, because they can't imagine anything outside of the current "Must See TV" trap that's locked them in over the past decades.
    • Re:Quick guess.. (Score:4, Informative)

      by lukewarmfusion (726141) on Monday January 10, 2005 @12:28PM (#11310623) Homepage Journal
      One of my clients is a television network... public television, but a television network nonetheless. He said they've been working within their own group and with a couple of other, larger, non-public networks to deliver television content via web. They see it as competition for the market.

      During the day, you've got soaps, kids programming, and infomercials. What if you could simultaneously offer content for everyone else (not that I couldn't spend my days watching Days of Our Lives and Dora the Explorer, but I choose not to)? Or always having educational programs for schools available?

      I'd love the ability to pull up my favorite show (which I missed because I was [on the road|working|watching something else|whatever]) at anytime. Without needing a PVR and without worrying about some broadcast flag...
    • I would guess that the TV networks would try to stomp this and hard. ... Over the last 10 years, they've been hammered by Cable, Sattelite TV

      Cable and satellite providers carry local stations. Cable is essentially an extension of broadcast TV with additional channels. Satellite carries local stations but with restrictions due to location, etc.

      Local TV stations make their money from the local news. Almost all of a station's staff works in the news department or works to support them. The news departme
    • Re:Quick guess.. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Spy Hunter (317220) on Monday January 10, 2005 @01:38PM (#11311281) Journal
      They don't have to worry too much yet. I think the answer to the question posed in the article title is "No." The one station on peercast.org at this time with more than 20 listeners skips like crazy. Furthermore, I suspect that the upstream bandwidth of most listeners is not yet large enough to support decent video content, making peercasting TV infeasable. Certainly you're not going to get HDTV or even normal broadcast quality from this anytime soon.

      However, I do have to commend the peercast.org folks for an exceptionally nice user experience for their software. It installs in a snap and works immediately with zero configuration, using my default media players even. That's a big step toward wide adoption. Now if only the the ISPs would stop being so stingy with upload bandwidth, so the concept actually had a chance of working...

      • They don't have to worry too much yet. I think the answer to the question posed in the article title is "No." The one station on peercast.org at this time with more than 20 listeners skips like crazy.

        Part of the problem is that both the backbone and the ISPs are only delivering "best effort" Quality of Service (QoS) to their clients. This makes for dropped packets, which means either holes in the stream or retransmissions and stuttering. In a peercast environment such interruptions add up with every ho
        • The idea of switching to multicast when available to encourage ISPs to offer it is extremely interesting. What if BitTorrent added multicast capability? Would backbone ISPs race to cut the 35% of their traffic that is BitTorrent by finally implementing usable multicast?
          • What if BitTorrent added multicast capability? Would backbone ISPs race to cut the 35% of their traffic that is BitTorrent by finally implementing usable multicast?

            If they don't the local ISPs might go around them with M-bone like tunneling. The backbones bill the little guys by connection size, so they might fight at first.

            I think what we need is:

            - Software features from the equipment manufacturers so the local ISPs (which sometimes ARE backbone providers too) can do it easily once they chose to.
            -

    • Peercast only allows you to watch what is being shown on any given channel as it is broadcast, much like regular broadcast TV.

      The content shown is dictated by the operator of that channel.
    • You're making a distinction in media ownership that doesn't exist.

      The owners of the broadcast TV networks don't fear cable and satellite programming, because they own those content networks too (and in some cases, the delivery infrastructure as well). General Electric, for example, doesn't just own NBC; they also own CNBC, MSNBC, Bravo, Mun2TV, SciFi, Trio, USA, and many Telemundo stations.

      These companies SHOULD have pioneered the way in Internet video delivery, but they didn't, and there's a couple of r
      • "Even now, broadcast companies are afraid to set up official Internet delivery channels, in part because they haven't developed an infrastructure to deliver targeted advertising that matches traditional broadcasting's effectiveness..."

        This is something I've always wondered. How effective IS a broadcast commercial? I personally can't really think offhand whenever I've ever seen a commercial, and it caused me to go buy that product. I'm sure it may have happened with something new...but, no commercial for c

        • The only thing commercials really seem to do is improve brand recognition. If you going to the store, say to buy some laundry detergant, how many people do you think go for brand names over the store brands? Does "Cheer" really make you clothes that much brighter and cleaner than the noname stuff? No. People like to buy what their familiar with.

          Perhaps this laundry detergant isnt the best example, since its a reoccouring purchase for most people. However, for any product that you dont have previous expe

  • Bittorrent like? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by stratjakt (596332) on Monday January 10, 2005 @12:17PM (#11310532) Journal
    Is this the protocol posted on /. a few weeks ago, that was like bittorrent, but let you transfer thing sequentially, so you could watch/seek in movies as they're transferring?

    As for revolutionizing the world, I think TFA is getting ahead of itself. I don't care about Jimbo Q Nobody's online diary (I don't use the b word because it sounds retarded), and I can safely say I don't care to listen to his CD collection.

    Too bad copyright law WRT radio and television broadcasts is such a mess. How cool would it be if every online TiVo was/had a P2P client? Forgot to tape Simpsons? Download it from the tivo-net.

    Oh well, fuckit. Peercasting is DOA, there's no worthwhile content.
    • How cool would it be if every online TiVo was/had a P2P client? Forgot to tape Simpsons? Download it from the tivo-net.

      And this, of course, would be a logical thing for the media companies to support. Pay $15-$20 a month and we get to pick and choose the shows we want to download. And, since we're spreading the files using our own bandwidth, there's little cost to the media companies.

      I'd love to be legal, if the media companies would just give me what I want.
      • And this, of course, would be a logical thing for the media companies to support. Pay $15-$20 a month and we get to pick and choose the shows we want to download. And, since we're spreading the files using our own bandwidth, there's little cost to the media companies.

        From the point of view of the publisher the problem is that what is going to stop you from taking the shows you paid for and re-distribute them in another medium (edonkey, bittorrent,e tc)?

        What could they do? Some form of DRM? That's not s
        • by krbvroc1 (725200)
          From the point of view of the publisher the problem is that what is going to stop you from taking the shows you paid for and re-distribute them in another medium (edonkey, bittorrent,e tc)?

          Nothing. But by offering the majority of folks this option the paying users are enough to write off the 'losses'. There will always be cheats and no system will protect against that. The best method in my opinion is to offer an affordable unencumbered way of doing this. They can embrace the new environment we are in or
    • Re:Bittorrent like? (Score:2, Informative)

      by nkh (750837)
      I've discovered Peercast almost two years ago, it's nothing new at all. It's very buggy at the moment but when it works, you have access to a lot of good radios (sometimes real radios are streamed) which are different from the usual american music you can hear on Shoutcast (not that I dislike US music, but you won't listen to a real japanese radio on Shoutcast).

      Of course, the choice is very limited, but it will grow up I'm sure of it!
      • If you want non-American music, a lot of overseas public broadcasting conglomerates have web feeds (BBC especially, which has an insane number of radio feeds available for web consumption, including somewhere around 15-20 national and regional stations and World Service in 43 languages). I was listening to Raidio Teilfis Eireann just the other night as a matter of fact; thinking of setting up a rebroadcaster when I move.
    • "Peercasting is DOA, there's no worthwhile content."
      Well if they can work out the details it could have some worth while contents.
      Think college radio station. But maybe with music videos thrown in. Any highshchool or college could have there one PBS style station with out having to spend huge amounts on a transmiter. That small college without any type of TV deal could also broadcast their sports events.
    • Re:Bittorrent like? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by FunkyRat (36011) *

      Oh well, fuckit. Peercasting is DOA, there's no worthwhile content.

      You know... You don't have to rely on the large media conglomerates for content. Almost anybody can learn to play music. Almost anybody can learn how to use a video camera and software to make TV shows or movies. You can too.

      Wait... What's that I hear? You don't want to listen to the kids down the street who can barely play their instruments and their crappy garage band? You don't want to watch the fat guy across the way with the digicam

    • The BBC Creative Archive may work that way - see http://alchemi.co.uk/archives/mus/latest_on_the_b. html [alchemi.co.uk]
  • I'm trying to use peercast right now.

    Every "station" has 0 listeners and 0 relayers, save two or three japanese ones.

    Yeah, sound's like the next big thing for bloggers. Another way to "express yourself" without anyone ever seeing or hearing.
  • by Lonesome Squash (676652) on Monday January 10, 2005 @12:22PM (#11310573)
    At the moment these systems rely on the social contract to make sure they aren't abused by people who download without contributing upload bandwidth. This creates an opportunity for those who wish to push out content at little-to-no cost to simply turn their upload bandwidth to zero, or play games with firewalls to prevent uploads.

    If the paradigm really pays off, the upload bandwidth for heavy users may become significant. The reward for defecting from the contract will increase. Remember that at one time no one would think of sponging off the Internet to mass mail a commercial message (Horrors!) and the first ones to do so were roundly excoriated.

    The advantage here is that there may be valuable mitigating strategies (For example, blessed client binaries with authentication keys built in, with a checkbox to only upload to authorized clients is one possibility). The question in my mind is, will parasitism be an inconvenience(like email spam), a pain in the ass (like worms/trojans requiring active efforts to suppress), or virtually debilitating (as it is on Usenet)?

    It will depend on a lot of factors, including the growth and shape of the torrent-style community (how many uploaders/downloaders/freeloaders), the cost of the upload streams for those that will end up having to pay for extra bandwidth, etc.

    • by Jeremi (14640) on Monday January 10, 2005 @01:06PM (#11310955) Homepage
      At the moment these systems rely on the social contract to make sure they aren't abused by people who download without contributing upload bandwidth.


      As I understand it, BitTorrent (and by extension, IceCase which is layered on top of BitTorrent) solves this problem at the peer level using a tit-for-tat algorithm: people who aren't uploading packets don't get many download packets either. This seems like a much more robust solution than "blessed binaries" (which will be hacked anyway, and prevent people from developing their own clients)

      • That's strange, because when I unlimit my upload, it saturates at around 20 KBps and my download stays around 20 KBps too... but when I limit my upload to 5 or 10 KBps, my download saturates to around 300 KBps. This is with the standard BitTorrent client on OS X...
        • I've seen the same thing, and wondered about it myself.

          My assumption is that a saturated uplink is stopping those ACKs from getting through. Though, I have the problem even after prioritizing ACKs on my router.
          • My assumption is that a saturated uplink is stopping those ACKs from getting through. Though, I have the problem even after prioritizing ACKs on my router.

            I haven't managed to find the right knobs to prioritise ACKs, but I've seen QoS HOWTOs that talks about exactly this problem.

            If I limit my upload bandwidth to ~5kbps (on a 64k uplink, max upload is ~6kbps) then it all flies. Let it go up to 6kbps and downloads choke. :)
      • people who aren't uploading packets don't get many download packets

        BitTorrent's anti-leeching works well enough for static files, but can't work for live streams.

        With a file, every node grabs a different (random) part of the file, and then shares that with anyone that needes it. That way, everyone has something someone else needs, and when they start downloading a piece from you, you start downloading a different piece (that you don't already have) from them. This won't work with streams, as nobody is g

    • It never seems to dawn on P2P advocates that you can't have an upload ratio greater than 1:1 unless somebody has one below 1:1. But if you're below 1:1, you're called a leach or a freeloader. The only way to eliminate users an upload/download ratio below 1:1 is to have everybody exactly at 1:1.

      For this reason, P2P can never work the way the evangelizers claim. Making it worse is the fact that many users are limited to 128Kbps or 256Kbps upload, meaning they can't download faster than that (without becom
  • Not only for streams (Score:4, Interesting)

    by art6217 (757847) on Monday January 10, 2005 @12:23PM (#11310579)
    A community could also run sites like Slashdot with everybody sharing the bandwidth. That might mean no ads, no dependency on a single corporation, everybody can participate in selecting stories, setting "locality" - browsing stories scored by an interest group a reader belongs to, by a group close geographically, or with the score averaged globally.
    • Sadly, you only get a boost when file sizes are quite large - otherwise you end up spending more time connecting to peers than you do downloading.

      There's always localised caching, usenet style, but I'm not convinced that this would work well for web pages which are updated on a frequent basis.
  • Internet bandwidth (Score:5, Interesting)

    by asliarun (636603) on Monday January 10, 2005 @12:26PM (#11310607)
    I'm curious to know how "peercasting" and peer-to-peer softwares change the network bandwidth usage for a country or across geos.

    Currently, even though the internet is supposed to be a decentralized network, it's still built with old network usage patterns in mind. Bandwidth is allocated accordingly as well.

    I think that along with P2P network usage, wireless usage (WiMax, for example) will also change the bandwidth usage pattern.

    Although i'm not a network designer by any means, i would still be very interested to know how the network designs of the future would look like, and the kinds of bottlenecks one would face in the future, if still connected to the older networks.
  • Media BLOGs? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheLoneCabbage (323135) on Monday January 10, 2005 @12:26PM (#11310608) Homepage

    While I'm sure everyone is ready to scream "it's the age of the one man TV Station!", we may not be entirely there just yet.

    Media distribution is a technological problem, and there for inenvitably solvable.

    But content is not. It still takes Talent, Money and Training (or 2 of the 3:) to produce content on the level that people expect. You can look to modern day BLOGs as a paradime. Everybody and his brother has a BLOG, but how many of them have regular readers? Only a few people have the tallent to write anything that the rest of us care to read.

    The situation is made worse with a peercast network because:
    1) you need the tallent
    2) You need a host of OTHER people with tallent (say actors)
    3) You need people to watch it. Lot's of people, a traditional BLOG doesn't require ramp up, to scale. But you need a following to get a following. Chicken and the egg.

    Until problems like "Bad Actors" get solved it may be some time before peercasts acomplish anything more than syndicating otherpeoples (read comercial/stolen/porn) media.

    • One less barrier (Score:2, Insightful)

      by spud603 (832173)
      You're right. Content is more than just a technological challenge. As you said, "it still takes Talent, Money and Training (or 2 of the 3:)".

      But you can think of P2P broadcasting as a way of eliminating, or at least minimizing, the "money" requirement. It has the potential to lower (though probably not destroy) the barriers to entry into the media.

      Your point about blogs is a good one. 90% of them are really not worth reading, and most of the rest are just barely interesting. But the .01% that are really e

    • Yes, if it's one thing that Hollywood gets right, it's fixing that bad actor problem.
    • It's silly to expect this to replace what we now come to know and expect from Television broadcasting (except through piracy), but I don't think that's the point. The web hasn't replaced books, and blogs haven't replaced the newspaper. But the web and blogs are still very interesting things that have developed content more suited to their specific strengths.

      I don't expect to see nightly news webcasts equivalent to television news, but I expect to see live video broadcasts from protests and other mass ev

      • "I don't expect to see the equivalent of
        Super Law and Order: Super Turbo Extreme broadcast from a bunch of kids on the internet"

        I don't know. That could be hilarious, maybe even intentionally so.

    • Re:Media BLOGs? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Spy Hunter (317220)
      Maybe peercasting will be used for something other than traditional content with actors. For example, people who take interesting video of newsworthy events with their camcorders or phones or whatever will be able to broadcast it themselves, hopefully without fear of getting Slashdotted to death.
  • So, I download on my 1.45Mbps stream, and my outgoing is set to 128KBps. The guy who gets connected to me is going to be really hosed....
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...when they have compelling content. Its all about the content, nothing about technology.
  • If they aren't webcasting the macworld keynote due to extra expense, maybe they should consider a peercast of it. Save on lots of bandwidth, still get the free advertising. I see it as a win-win situation.

    Honestly, I don't think someone is going to go to macworld simply because they can't see a live stream of the keynote, so I don't believe the argument that they got rid of streaming to increase attendance...
  • slashdotted (Score:3, Funny)

    by Mr. McGibby (41471) on Monday January 10, 2005 @12:33PM (#11310665) Homepage Journal
    Maybe they should p2p their web site. It's already down.

  • Good, Free, Content (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Thunderstruck (210399) on Monday January 10, 2005 @12:34PM (#11310677)
    Software like this raises an interesting question, where is the talent?

    I'm running Firefox, a free browser created from donated talent on the internet,(and occasionally funded & used as a testing ground for new stuff by corporations.)

    I read my email with Thunderbird, a free client created from donated talent on the internet,(and occasionally funded & used as a testing ground for new stuff by corporations.)

    I write documents with OpenOffice.org, a free office sutie created from donated talent on the internet (and occasionally funded & used as a testing ground for new stuff by corporations.)

    Why is there so little entertainment produced this way? There are people out there with free time and talent. There are media companies with spare cash who don't want to spend jillions hyping a sitcom with a theme that will flop. Or is it just a matter of time?

    • by stratjakt (596332)
      There's plenty of entertainment produced this way.

      It's not from Hollywood, so you won't see it on Entertainment Tonight or the E! Channel, and it won't be picked up by your local Fox affiliate, but it's out there on the 'net.

      Every year thousands of film students graduate, and they create plenty of good indy films, full length and shorts. They're generally mocked by the public at large as artsy-fartsy nonsense, but there are plenty of good ones.

      The Blair Witch project is a good example of a student proje
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Schlock mercenary [schlockmercenary.com]
      Sluggy Freelance [sluggy.com]
      Megatokyo [megatokyo.com]
      PvP online [pvponline.com]
      8-bit theater [nuklearpower.com]
      Red vs. Blue [redvsblue.com]

      A lot of content is produced that way. Some of it even good one. Just beacause it's not video doesn't mean it doesn't count.

      And let's face it, most of us would rather read a comic with a pile of crap fighting psycho-bears [schlockmercenary.com] than see some bald guy [schlockmercenary.com] parading in front of a camerafor half an hour, no matter what he actually did.
    • Seriously, there's an INSANE amount of entertainment content produced for free--text, comics, music, cartoons, short videos. Occasionally corporations purchase some small portion of it and bring it to the mainstream. Sure, some it is really crappy, but some open source software is really crappy too. And some commercial software and A WHOLE LOT of commercial entertainment is really crappy as well.
    • Speaking as a professional filmmaker and closet nerd, the content does exist. The independent film community is strong, and there are hundreds of little shorts made every year. They're obviously not up to network gloss levels, but many of them are interesting and thought-provoking. The big problem is that the people making movies are not the people writing the software to distribute the movies. They don't understand network protocols any more than the average programmer understands skip bleach processin
    • Why is there so little entertainment produced this way? There are people out there with free time and talent.

      Actually, quite a bit of content is produced that way... And, like Open Source programs, 99% of them were made in an hour or two, and are very, very simple.

      Just as there's relatively few open source projects that approach the size and complexity of expensive commercial programs, there are also very few free media projects that produce something rivaling commercial media.

  • Netcraft [netcraft.com] confirms it.
  • Streamdist (Score:4, Interesting)

    by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Monday January 10, 2005 @12:36PM (#11310691) Homepage Journal
    ``"Have you ever wanted to run your own internet radio or TV station, but thought the bandwidth would cost too much?''

    Yes. That's why I started to write streamdist [nyud.net]. One person starts serving a stream, then everyone who connects distributes it to the next person. I made it work for Ogg Vorbis files, but then I lost interest and moved on. I guess peercast is similar.
    • Latency? I haven't gotten to read all about peercast, but I think you get your stream from a swarm instead of the next person so that every next stream isn't X number of seconds behind the broadcaster. That protects me from some kid who only has a dialup to serve the stream to me as well. Otherwise we might have to setup peercasting timezones for those who are behind the crowd lol.
      • Well, it's not precisely like you _have_ to get the stream from the person in front of you with streamdist. In fact, sometimes you can't (e.g. if both you and the other party are NATed or firewalled).

        That said, latency does accumulate with streamdist. I did not consider this a problem, so I did nothing to prevent it. The idea is that everyone gets the data, not that they all get it exactly at the same time.
  • by Weaselmancer (533834) on Monday January 10, 2005 @12:36PM (#11310694)

    Y'know, they're pretty picky about net broadcast fees [usatoday.com]. Exactly how are they going to bill people? And exactly who will be billed?

    I'm all for this, don't get me wrong. But like any good idea that promotes the *AA's products, moron music execs will be all over it since it bypasses one of their revenue models.

    Enjoy it for now, because it's probably going away soon.

    • Enjoy it for now, because it's probably going away soon.

      Unless content producers who aren't affiliated with the MPAA or RIAA start using it.

      I'm thinking of my son fresh out of film school. It's an ideal way for him to put his portfolio up on the net without getting hammered by bandwidth charges. He's made some awfully funny movies that very few folks would get to see if he relied on normal distribution methods.

      • Well, that's always the matador's cape that gets displayed every time a P2P app shows up on the radar. "It makes a handy way to distribute and promote non-*AA media." But realistically, and I'm sure most people would agree - the lion's share of bandwidth in all P2P is copyrighted.

        And that's why the music mafia are gunning for P2P. And if some legitimate users get stomped on...well then it's tough luck. The fact that they're producing a competing product is, of course, a complete accident. ;^)

    • "Y'know, they're pretty picky about net broadcast fees [usatoday.com]. Exactly how are they going to bill people? And exactly who will be billed?"

      From what I read...looks like you can broadcast pretty much anonymously...no one knows who is broadcasting vs those that are only acting as clients...

      So, if you wanted to run a pirate station, it should be pretty difficult for them to tell 'who' to bill.....

  • Anybody feel like setting up a peercast of the MacWorld keynote tomorrow? You will be my God if you do....
  • Does anyone know whether this is patented? This sounds like the kind of thing that Peercast or some other company probably attempted to slap a stupid software patent on. Obviously we in the geek community could name plenty of prior art based on non media data replication, but this sounds like something the proprietary software scumbags of the world would have rushed to grab a patent on.
  • Amateur Pr0n (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Of course, one of the big potential uses for this is in the amateur ("I've got a webcam and will perform in front of it") sexual video arena. Though at the moment the software looks like it is probably aimed at single broadcast/multiple watchers, if it became a true peer-to-peer network it could be a Very Big Thing Indeed since it does not rely on a single entity (corporation) hosting a central (such as yahoo or webcamnow or camarades) server.

    Let the ("heh, heh, heh") games begin!

  • by Abcd1234 (188840) on Monday January 10, 2005 @01:03PM (#11310925) Homepage
    The whole *point* of IP multicasting is to allow the network to perform data replication, etc, so that an individual can send data to n receivers without having to transmit n copies of the stream. Too bad, much like IPv6, no one seems to want to support it.
  • by tji (74570) on Monday January 10, 2005 @01:06PM (#11310952)
    This sounds like an interesting use of P2P networking. But, it makes your broadcast very non-deterministic. Listeners will get a decent experience iff several factors are correct.

    Multicasting would be a much better solution for IP broadcasting, and it has been around for a long time. But, it has never really hit prime time. With multicasting, you need only enough bandwidth for your stream. It is passed through the internet as needed - as users connect to the broadcast & subscribe to the multicast stream, the data is mirrored onto the necessary links. But, any link should have a maximum of one instance of the stream.

    In theory multicasting sounds great, and there have been some very interesting implementations, particularly on Internet2. But, it never seems to hit critical mass.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    They are a bunch of g**tfucking lyers: Front page:

    Features: .. * open source ..

    FAQ:

    "Cost - PeerCast is free for broadcasters and listeners alike. There are no server license fees, regardless of how many listeners there are. When the source code eventually gets released we will implement a

    scheme that will allow developers of commercial products to license the PeerCast core code. But for the broadcasters and end users, PeerCast will remain completely free."

    So much for PeerCast...

  • by jbn-o (555068) <mail@digitalcitizen.info> on Monday January 10, 2005 @01:33PM (#11311241) Homepage
    On their download page, PeerCast claims that their program has "No adware/spyware". How can I verify this without complete source code to the program? If I learn that the claim is a lie, how can I change the program to do what I want without source code under a license that lets me modify it? If I want to distribute my improved version to help others, how can I do this without source code under a license that lets me distribute my derivative?

    This is one way people acquire backdoors, spyware, adware, and all the other software people don't want.
  • Ourmedia.org is a grassroots organization of the Internet Archive, videobloggers, and many others to create a single site (and perhaps even a bittorrent tracker) for any publishing or media syndication that is Creative Commons licensed.

    Have a look! [ourmedia.org] We're announcing the opening at VloggerCon [blogspot.com] in NYC.


  • Everyone's tearing this thing to shreds based upon this embryonic release. The point is, the vision is absolutely on target.

    TiVO is very, very close to being a killer app. So you take TiVO and turn it in to an opensourced downloadable PC based app, and then add P2P streaming and theoretically you've got infinite on-demand programming. Am I the only one that thinks that would rule?

    Granted there are some enormous technical problems (not the least of which are upload bandwidth, bitrate issues, and MPAA /
  • Seems that many people don't know about this, but the latest versions of Winamp [winamp.com] include something called the "media library", including a list of live television like streams. Nullsoft has pitched the NSV format [nullsoft.com], which works awfully well -- it is really mp3 audio plus VP3 for video. If this was improved to use ogg vorbis for audio and say ogg theora for video (theora is based on VP3), it would use even less bandwidth. My point is, if you browse through the media library you will quickly see that TV is gonna

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