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Peercast: Peer-to-Peer Streaming 89

Anonymous Coward writes "peercast is currently in beta for a new p2p client based on the Gnutella protocol. Seems to be alot easier to use than the current "streamers". Linux/Mac on its way."
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Peercast: Peer-to-Peer Streaming

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  • So it's more than decentralised enough, which is a Good Thing(tm) for those who don't wanna pay royalties. But it's gonna suck donkey balls if you try to use it with dialup... (pats DSL modem affectionately) Mmmm, bandwidth...

    • Anything based on gnutella sucks, I'm sorry but come on!! Gnutella?!

      I'm going to stick with streamer myself
  • Interesting how slashdot posts this when they didn't post the story of Gene Kan, one of the original gnutella coders, being found dead.

    I guesse the priorities are getting new software and not paying respect to coder who's contributions help us fight the good fight.
    • An actual link to the story [] about late Gene Kan might have nicer than just mentioning how no one has mentioned it. It took literally five seconds with Google and wasn't even vitrol-powered.

      I don't think this is terribly off-topic, as Gnutella is one of the reasons we're at this story, after all.
    • I see why you feel that way, but I think the reason he didn't make it to Slashdot was that he committed suicide. I'm not saying that's right or wrong, just saying that there is a difference between 'died in his sleep' and 'died at his own hand'. I'm sure the people that knew the guy don't want to be reminded of it.

      I'm a little puzzled as to why your post was modded off-topic. It's all related. As you pointed out, Gene has done a lot of work to make P2P what it is today.
      • well Gene kan wrote software that was very important to alot of slashdot users, wether he died by his own hand or not slashdot is not being a proper 'geek' news source by not mentioning what happened to an important figure.
      • It hasn't been ruled a suicide yet, so how can you say that?

        Also, since when do they announce somebody's death after cremating the body?

        Mr. Kan's death screams of foul play. That slashdot chose not to run the story is indefensible.
      • I'm a little puzzled as to why your post was modded off-topic.

        As am I.

        I posted about this [] over in another forum that was not quite as related to the story as this one was, yet still managed to see the story modded up to 5 over the course of several hours. I had also posted several replies within the same thread.

        In the space of under two minute I watched as all my posts were modded down to -1. It was like 4 AM EST.

        Not only do they not want the story posted, they don't want us to talk about it. Sick bastards they are.
    • I was actually doubting that story's truth.
      I expected it to be here as soon as the news broke.

      One reason that it wasn't posted was probably that the deadhwas a suicide.
  • Cable TOS (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Weffs11 ( 323188 )
    I wonder what my cable provider has to say about this....

    I know they forbid hosting/serving, but does this count?

    Anyone read the TOS agreement for Cox recently?
    • Doesn't really matter, does it? Their TOS is dynamically linked. All they haveta do is update it, and we're automatically updated to the most up-to-date version of TOS.

      In other words, they'll just sneak it in when it bugs them.

      Gotta wonder why they even bother posting a 'Terms of Service' if they're going to reserve the right to spontaneously change it.

  • by MadFarmAnimalz ( 460972 ) on Saturday July 13, 2002 @05:17AM (#3876208) Homepage
    There's apparently a winamp plugin [] in the pipeline.

    If this could get bundled with the regular winamp download, I think we'd be on to something.

    I think the folks at winamp would be interested in doing this; it's an interesting 'selling' point. Download this player, get instant access to millions (?) of songs instantly and without further downloads.

    The gnutella network, if I read things correctly, would benefit from the incremental bandwidth of Joe Sixpack and his brethren.

    Win-win situation?

    • I think Nullsoft would be a too high profile target for those wanting to take peer-to-peer down. No way they would actually do this.

      One can always wish, though (I know i do...)

      • It is complicated.

        AOL/TW owns the content people will publish, CARP free.

        Nullsoft created the original Gnutella, yet abandoned it because of AOL/TW of course...

        Nullsoft would attract mindshare, stealing from Windows Media Player, +1 for AOL/TW.

        Nullsoft would attract mindshare to shoutcast, and further it's free alternatives such as Icecast, even more stealing mindshare from Windows Media Player.

        Yet AOL/TW doesn't want people out there streaming their music without paying up - and other companies would very quickly object to AOL/TW's software allowing people to do the same to them.

        The next Winamp "Eula" equivalent would prohibit this type of technology -or- AOL/TW locks down your ability to "copy" streams* by co-developing the technology and it's okay.

        *I favor this approach. I would rather the client to not allow stream "ripping". It would make more sense than to charge money for something that isn't even been stolen yet.

        • I don't listen to Top40 streams or many that have even any RIAA cartel member's songs on them at all. How would this effect the poor DJ who just wants to do a live stream from his home without paying 100's or even 1000's of dollars for bandwidth?
          • It doesn't matter what you are playing. Likely it is owned by someone, if not then great - we need more new, live, different music.

            But if any song is on a label that is owned by a mega-multinational that can collect, then the RIAA will get involved because they have the CARP.

            If you are DJ'ing their music then they will destroy this technology, or try like they do with current P2P. This though could be better for them to develop so I don't understand why they would want to fight it. With this P2P you could bring their music to the masses, even to new countries... and it isn't going to be copied if they act now and actually support it.

            There is no reason to let someone allow copyrighted music to be copied from the streams, sorry but the law requires it because of it's digital nature. They RIAA assumes that radio over Gnutella would be like a CD, which is funny at best.

            By putting funds into clients, and helping their development maybe we would be more inclined to disable features which would make it possible to save their music from a stream. This is a breakthrough like any other - and there is no reason they can't get in on it and sponsor yet again.

            Why are they so insane?

        • I would rather the client to not allow stream "ripping".

          Stream ripping is a major problem on my Real and Windows Media servers. We've had people fire off stream rippers to take off a 1 hour stream ("hey it's free, I must be able to save it myself"), however stream rippers are horrible from a provider point of view. For a 1 hour stream, a user in an NYC trading bank (I traced the IP) took 40GB to get the stream. The source file was about 4Mb. As you can imagine, for that hour, other people's experience was not optimal.

          Now, imagine on a peer to peer network, some anti-social little sod stealing your stream. All your DSL bandwidth gone.

          Of course, someone will write a stream ripper anyway, and people will use it, not caring about other users.

          • Well, I just went off on a rant to someone else who responded to my first comment like yourself.

            If the whole network is built around security, and I'm not talking DRM, then stream ripping would be hard at least. Servlets could identify clients, XMMS and Winamp could not allow saving streams, and M$ would have to catch up.

            I just think if they supported the development, developers would be more inclined to leave out those features. A law isn't necessary when you have billions of dollars to pour into the deployment of measures against piracy and in your case "hogging".

            There isn't anything, rationally, restrictive about not letting people save copyrighted material. If you are a DJ, and would like to publish your works in a mp3 format or copies of live shows then release them on the regular P2P networks.

            There is a sane solution to this mumbo-jumbo. Sites like Soma-FM didn't have to go down. I was actually let down because I was discovering new music with those stations, and now there isn't many places to go because of these actions. Where is it possible to have a choice? Freedom people. That is all I'm talking about.

            We can exercise our freedoms in a manner which respects the law, and we can use the explosion of p2p possiblities also while respecting that law. We must make sure this isn't taken away from us.

            • If the whole network is built around security, and I'm not talking DRM, then stream ripping would be hard at least. Servlets could identify clients, XMMS and Winamp could not allow saving streams, and M$ would have to catch up.

              Well they would, if the stream rippers were honest. They're not. They send the HTTP_USERAGENT equivilant of the normal players. ASF recorder identifies itself as Media Player 7.

              People, as you say, should be restricted from saving copyrighted streams. Unfortunately, people don't care. It's hard to tell users that just because it's digital doesn't mean it has no value. The example I save was a charity concert by a heavy metal band. It was broadcast live, then put on line by the label for 4 days, so those who missed it could see it. It's coming on DVD eventually. But people still want to steal it.

              Of course, as a streaming provider, we provide what the bill payers want, not what the consumer wants.

          • For a 1 hour stream, a user in an NYC trading bank (I traced the IP) took 40GB to get the stream. The source file was about 4Mb.

            I'm confused... why would ripping a stream take any more (or less) of the server's bandwidth than regular streaming-playback? Either way, you just need to download the contents of the stream once, whether you are saving the bytes to disk or just viewing them and then throwing them away shouldn't even be detectable by the server. Or am I missing something?

            Now, imagine on a peer to peer network, some anti-social little sod stealing your stream. All your DSL bandwidth gone.

            Exactly the opposite, I would think. Instead of every listener having to connect to your server to get the stream, now a good percentage of them are connecting to the "anti-social little sods'" peer-machines, and therefore not using bandwidth on your server. More likely you'd be sitting there with lots of bandwidth free, wondering where everybody went... ;^)

            • why would ripping a stream take any more (or less) of the server's bandwidth than regular streaming-playback?

              That confused me too. However, think about how streaming works. Dropping packets isn't a big issue, it looks like the stream records pull multiple streams, and go forward and packet over each frame making sure nothing gets dropped. The ripper had 10 simultaneous connections (that can't be well written, if you want to reduce packet loss, you don't open multiple streams)

              What's even worse is when someone on a 56k modem rips at 300kps stream. Gaaaahhhh!

              Perhaps peer to peer will solve this, but I can't see my customers (who I have to admit include major labels) going for it.

  • by Mattygfunk ( 517948 ) on Saturday July 13, 2002 @05:20AM (#3876218) Homepage
    A built-in web server is included with each client, this enables you or someone else on your LAN to view/listen to your active channels with a standard web browser.

    For all you lot preparing to cry sercurity, sercurity, security, don't worry it only runs on windows so I'm sure everything is ok.

  • by MADCOWbeserk ( 515545 ) on Saturday July 13, 2002 @05:46AM (#3876256)
    Downloaded and tried it a few minutes ago. The system set to default settings found three streams. They all seemed to stream well, I liked the "Soma Tribute" stream alot. All in all everything works as advertised. I'm (easily?) impressed with what they have done. But more content is needed, more people need to put up "stations."

    I'll be taking down my andromeda server and replacing it with a Peercast stream in the next few days. []
    • oops forgot to close that tag....
    • I'll be taking down my andromeda

      Hey, I take that personally [] ;)

      fwiw, you can certainly run Andromeda alongside any other system (you don't need to choose). Each will have different advantages for different circumstnaces. -Scott

      • Scott, I really like Andromeda aand will continue to use it. What I probly will do is put a password on it and take public access away. The only thing that would prevent me from running both publically is bandwidth.

        Thanks again Scott, I linked to Andromeda [] so that people would try it. I recommend every one run the PHP version on top of Apache like me. (in the spirit of open source of course)
        • I really like Andromeda aand will continue to use it. What I probly will do is put a password on it and take public access away. The only thing that would prevent me from running both publically is bandwidth.

          Great, I'm glad to hear it. Locking Andromeda down for personal use is one great way to use it. It's all just a matter of finding the right tool for the job, and sometimes that means 'tools'.

          Enjoy, -Scott

    • Wow, I'm amazed at this idea. How long has this been around? Why wasn't this done last year when P2P was so hot? It's very cool.

      I'm trying it right now and it seems okay. The UI isn't exactly intuitive, so I made the mistake of opening 3 or 4 streams at the same time (this is like downloading 3 or 4 files using a Gnutella servent I gather). Though I was listening to only one, I was downloading others, which cut my bandwidth down quite a bit.

      Now that I'm downloading only one stream, Green Dragon Radio, it seems okay, but my bandwidth must not be enough because it keeps starting and stopping (buffering). I've got an ADSL 256 down/128 up so it should be good enough to stream. Off shoutcast it would be fine. That's a 128 bit stream, trying others do the same despite supposedly being broadcast at less bandwidth.

      I assume the overhead of the p2p stuff is cutting into either the broadcasting or receiving ends. (Or my machine is messed... always a possibility) This is only Beta, though so I'm sure it'll improve quickly.

      Good job guys at Peercast!


    • I can second this, I just came home and saw this on slashdot. Slashdotting a p2p network pretty much counts as the ultimate stresstest. There's only four channels right now but they work! Nuff said.

      The UI is a bit counter intuitive: from the list with channels you first have to 'get' one. It then appears in a second list called 'available channels' from which you can pick one to listen to. Apparently you can connect to (and thus share) more than one stream. Once you get it isn't hard.

      It would be nice if this idea were extended to video. The show stopper for streamed video so-far was available bandwidth, that problem now appears to have been solved (until the freeloading clients appear of course).
  • Why just 32Kbps streams? Can't the network handle any more? Someone please test my Röyksopp 128K test and get back to me if it's streaming ok.
  • by ImaLamer ( 260199 ) <> on Saturday July 13, 2002 @07:18AM (#3876352) Homepage Journal
    Posted: Sat Jul 13, 2002 10:31 am
    Post subject: Slashdot

    Our router decided to die a minute ago because of the /... but hopefully it should be OK now. If you find it difficult to connect to then please keep trying.. We have enough bandwidth (100Mb fibre) .. just not a very good router [icon_smile.gif]

  • After seeing this edonkey/kaaza crap, hitting my fw every other second from all over the world, thanks to iptables "limit", that I usually don't see much of it...;-)

    However, I would really like to know, what people are sharing all day long? Or is it just do put some stuff on their >100 GB discs and think they look real cool, while wasting bandwith?
  • (OT) Source (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 13, 2002 @09:16AM (#3876611)
    From the peercast homepage: The main reason for not releasing the source code so far is literally because we haven`t had the time yet. We`re doing this in our spare time (yes, we have proper jobs :) and want to have the chance to clean up the code, document it and put it CVS.

    Not wishing to get into the old GPL debate, as their page implies it was all written from scratch rather than borrowing GPL code, but...

    I really don't understand why people plan to put things into CVS after the code is writen and changed, etc... It makes sense to start with CVS from the outset.

    • I generally like to have a working version of stuff before I put the code into CVS. Things change so quickly during prototyping, and though sometimes I wish I had that version from 2 hours ago, normally I'm moving crap around and renaming things so much that I don't want to mess with CVS, specifically because CVS is a pain when it comes to folder management. Create a folder and it's there for life (unless you go into the repository and rip it out by the root). I'd rather be free to do what I want, then when I've got a decent base, I check it into CVS and start working from there like a real project.

      Maybe that's just me, but that's how I work.

  • Bandwidth? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JediTrainer ( 314273 ) on Saturday July 13, 2002 @11:16AM (#3877120)
    P2P is all great and everything, but nowadays I'm worried that it'll all be killed off because of bandwidth costs.

    Most cable/DSL companies are now putting caps on traffic, and are starting to charge by the byte when you go over those limits.

    I don't know about you, but while I don't mind paying for bandwidth I use, I sure as hell am not going to pay for someone else to get music/videos/pictures/etc at my expense.

    This also brings in an interesting dilemma - if both users are on the came cable company's backbone, are they double-dipping if they charge both users for that bandwidth?
    • In a properly-implemented system of this type, each listener would provide a stream for n additional listeners, only when actually listening (where n is a user selected integer of fairly small value). If n=>~3, one would be able to help out the fraction of listeners who are hopelessly and forever firewalled and thus unable to mirror the stream themselves.

      At any rate, you turn off the "radio" and go to bed - and all bandwidth consumption halts until such a time as you feel like turning it on again.

      You shouldn't look at it as paying for someone else's music - that someone may very well be in the same boat as you, and must pay seperately to -recieve- the bandwidth you give them. Not to mention the poor soul who was kind enough to let you listen to THEIR stream, on THEIR dime, in the first place.

      It is as fair a system as one can get (with the obvious exception of the aforementioned firewalled users, and an unavoidable portion of people like yourself who, as you say, "sure as hell [are] not going to pay for someone else to get music/videos/pictures/etc at my expense" and will simply refuse to cooperate with the network, both types of whom make things more difficult and expensive for the rest of us with proper connectivity and a fucking spine).

      If the cost in your case of providing this service to listeners, and indeed, the originator of the stream, is too great for you to muster, you'll be better off sticking with FM radio and (if applicable) MTV, either of whom who will happily allow you to sit around and consume their material all day, free of charge.

      Meanwhile, leave the rest of us alone, you blood-sucking, parasitic tick. You've got the wrong attitude to participate in anything requiring a cooperative effort between peers, where the only cost of admission is that you do what you can to share what you've got.
    • High bandwidth costs are a myth only validated through the initial cost of infrastructure. In five years, these costs will be subsidized dramatically through the decreased cost of business and bandwidth will rain upon us from the heavens as never before.

      :P []
  • Something that I would like to see partial packets (an audio stream is broken into two or more streams that both sound OK, and combine to make a good sounding single sound stream. This would allow for a person to rely on multiple hosts instead of just one. (hopefully this could be broken into maybe even 6 streams) This reminds me of Ogg Vorbis.. (break off the back of the packet and keep sound comming).. but it is a bit more complicated than that. So, If I have a high bandwidth server, I could have 6 sources for my audio... each one would work partially independently: They could be made to overlap slightly to discourage purposefull bad packet introduction. 6 8bit streams... or 7 or 8... or more... So, your browser would try to get the stuff from as many providers as possible. You would serve the packets that others are lacking. BTW, how does this system currently handle latency?

"The pathology is to want control, not that you ever get it, because of course you never do." -- Gregory Bateson