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Communications The Internet Software

Blog Torrent Beta Released 125

chatooya writes "Downhill Battle has released the first public preview of Blog Torrent a "simplified" BitTorrent package that they developed because, "Making it easy to blog large video files means that people can share their home movies the same way they share their photos or writings." Features include: integrated torrent creation and upload, simple non-MySQL installation, and an RSS feed for every tracker. Currently Windows only on the client side, but Mac and Linux versions are in the works."
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Blog Torrent Beta Released

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  • by Ckwop ( 707653 ) * <Simon.Johnson@gmail.com> on Thursday November 25, 2004 @06:54PM (#10920718) Homepage
    Would you host a torrent for someone else's blog? I dunno, sharing a torrent for a music album or a linux distro is a bit different to someones home movie.

    I'd love to see it take off but I'm yet to be convinced.

    • by jacksonj04 ( 800021 ) <nick@nickjackson.me> on Thursday November 25, 2004 @07:17PM (#10920815) Homepage
      I had the same thought - the BitTorrent ideal is that lots of people share the same file. The chances of readerships for blogs with videos (mainly ones read rarely) neing large enough for this to work is slim to none. Especially since the chances of everybody being online at once are even more remote.
    • by Champaign ( 307086 ) on Thursday November 25, 2004 @07:20PM (#10920821) Homepage Journal
      I probably wouldn't, but I'd certain be willing (forced) to share with others AS I downloaded it. This would certainly be useful.

      Plus it lets the blog owner use their home connection bandwidth instead of their blog/server bandwidth...

      • I probably wouldn't, but I'd certain be willing (forced) to share with others AS I downloaded it.
        Actually that is one of the few real problems that I've noticed with bit torrent. People share while downloading the torrent but then once they have it they stop sharing. The result is that for really big torrents you often end up downloading like 90% of the torrent and then you are screwed because there is no one sharing the last part of it.
        • by ZorinLynx ( 31751 ) on Thursday November 25, 2004 @08:44PM (#10921170) Homepage
          Blame the assymetry of most high speed connections. For instance, I have a whole 3 megabits downstream, but only 384Kbps upstream. This means that if I get even half my connection speed downloading a torrent, my ratio will still be pathetic.

          Sure, you can let torrents seed for a while, and I frequently do. But a 3 or 4GB torrent has to seed for days before even coming close to a 1:1 ratio.

          I wish residential connections weren't so assymetrical. BitTorrent would be amazing if everyone had 3000/1000 or even 1500/1500 connections.

          • by realdpk ( 116490 ) on Thursday November 25, 2004 @09:03PM (#10921266) Homepage Journal
            Worse yet, due to the assyemtry, if you let BitTorrent use that full 384Kbps upstream, all other Internet use will be abysmally slow. So you're best off capping it at half that, or so.

            A good compromise would be for the cable companies to uncap inter-customer connections, and keep the cap on for anything that goes to the Internet. Probably too expensive tho.
            • We all have linux based routers/gateways at home and we all do traffic shaping on our egress traffic, so no slowdowns whatsoever.

              Well, those of us who actually walk the walk do.
            • by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Thursday November 25, 2004 @11:00PM (#10921753)
              Worse yet, due to the assyemtry, if you let BitTorrent use that full 384Kbps upstream, all other Internet use will be abysmally slow. So you're best off capping it at half that, or so.
              You can get around that, at least on Linux, using LARTC [lartc.org]. I have set up my box so "miscellaneous" packets (p2p, email, etc) are only sent if there are NO ssh or web browsing packets ready to go (script [theknack.net]). There may be a few remnants of wondershaper [lartc.org] in there, but I think mine is better :)

              It does work. With this in place the effect of running BitTorrent (or whatever) in the background is tiny.

        • All you need is for the original seeder to be responsible for their torrents (keep seeding) and this is avoided. And that would certainly be the case if someone was distributing media through their blog/website. If they can't be bothered to keep seeding it, why are they trying to distribute it in the first place?

          What I think would be useful would be a super easy way to seed a bunch of torrents at once, and throttle the bandwidth on them, so you could provide a tiny trickle to many different torrents and

    • Dear God, no.

      Look, blogs (weblogs) suck ass. Their only use is to stroke the egos of a bunch of narcissistic losers ("A webpage about me! YAAAAAAAY! Let's tell the entire world about me, because they care. I'm such a wonderful person, let me give you 100000 reasons why! And then I can tell you about my day!").

      Blogs fuck up Google. I get 100 irrelevant hits from blogs, and about 10 relevant hits. They just increase the noise to signal ratio. It's like spam, just make it stop!

      And now, you want to ruin Bit
    • "...I dunno, sharing a torrent for a music album or a linux distro is a bit different to someones home movie."

      Well I guess that depends on the type of "home movie" **cough** doesn't it...
  • by Fluidic Binary ( 554336 ) on Thursday November 25, 2004 @06:54PM (#10920720) Homepage
    If bittorrent works off many users sharing bandwidth at once, I fail to see how this would help most blogs that don't have huge readerships.

    Any retorts?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 25, 2004 @07:14PM (#10920801)
      Well, theoretically the overhead of bittorrent is not much higher than that of simply running an FTP server (assuming the tracker server is also seeding the file, which would be necessary in this situation). So, if only one person is downloading the file, then it would be better to just run an FTP server. but, as soon as a second person joins the torrent, the first person starts uploading to them, offloading some of the bandwidth burden from the tracker server.

      pretty simple
    • by hackstraw ( 262471 ) * on Thursday November 25, 2004 @07:40PM (#10920892)
      If bittorrent works off many users sharing bandwidth at once, I fail to see how this would help most blogs that don't have huge readerships.

      But without p2p, you would have to upload the whole file to a server, tell your friends and family where the file can be downloaded. Which means that you would have server space with very generous bandwidth limits, etc, etc.

      With a torrent, you create the torrent, register it with a tracker, and post on your blog or in an email, and you never have to think about it, nor would you have to wait for the upload to finish first before telling your friends & family.

      This rocks.
    • by TrevorB ( 57780 ) on Thursday November 25, 2004 @07:41PM (#10920900) Homepage
      Sometimes images become shared between thousands of blog users as the meme of the week.

      For instance, this link has been making the rounds last week:

      http://img40.exs.cx/my.php?loc=img40=feuerfreimo vi e.swf

      You could easily find that link on a thousand LiveJournals. It's not quite slashdotting, but files often get locked out because they're shared on bandwidth limited servers.

      So don't think home movies. Think shared movies. Not the MPAA DivX kind, but more like weebls stuff or mpeg clips of turkeys attacking George Bush's crotch or something... The kind of thing that's embedded in a page.
      • Sometimes images become shared between thousands of blog users as the meme of the week.

        My stupid video at Killakid.com [killakid.com] got posted on a couple hundred blogs somehow. Next thing I know I pushed 60GB of traffic through my site in 2 days.

        • My stupid video at Killakid.com got posted on a couple hundred blogs somehow. Next thing I know I pushed 60GB of traffic through my site in 2 days.

          Be sure to give us an update in 2 days.

    • Yes because no blogs [slashdot.org] get a large readership that would be interested in having a video section.
    • Imagine a blog hosted at home, and the owner posts a home-made movie.

      Before Torrent: Little traffic means nothing to worry about. Lots of traffic (link from some big site) means the movie has to go.

      Using Torrent: Little traffic still means nothing to worry about. Lots of traffic makes the problem even smaller, as you suddenly and automatically have thousands of mirrors.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 25, 2004 @06:55PM (#10920723)
    When you compare it to something like Dijjer [dijjer.org], which requires zero effort to publish content, while it might be easier than BitTorrent - is it easy enough?
    • Yeah but it was proved last week that Dijjer keeps files transfering through your machine that you never intended to have happen. This deceitful and a nightmare for network admins.
      • Yeah but it was proved last week that Dijjer keeps files transfering through your machine that you never intended to have happen. This deceitful and a nightmare for network admins.
        Yeah, they are really trying to keep that quiet, which is why it is addressed by the first three questions [dijjer.org] in their FAQ. How very deceitful of them.
        • The problem is that it doesn't tell the usually naive user at the time that it's doing it. It just does it in the background. Cablvision severely penalizes users who upload more than a few hours a day with painful bandwidth capping, reducing your upstream bandwidth by a 10x fold decrease. Apps like Dijjer operating in the background, moving around stuff that the user isn't aware of could have potentially damaging consequences for the user. Same goes for many other cable ISPs who penalize their customers
    • Holmes here from Downhill Battle [downhillbattle.org]

      I think this previous post [slashdot.org] covers our thinking on the subject pretty well.

      When it comes to really large files, uploading them from a home computer to a webserver is no picnic. Most people don't have more than 500MB on their web hosting account. And uploading really large files in a web form is really flakey--there's no status bar, etc. Also, if your original file is on a home computer with a cable modem, just getting the file uploaded could take a couple days. In the

  • New P2P app (Score:2, Informative)

    by glrotate ( 300695 )
    Suprnova.org is doing a beta of their own p2p app. keep an eye out.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 25, 2004 @06:57PM (#10920735)
    The only real use of this, is of course for the amateur porn blogs. Then it's a killer app!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 25, 2004 @06:57PM (#10920736)
    I made a bunch of home movies with my wife on my honeymoon, now i finally have a way to share with the world how lucky and well endowed i am!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 25, 2004 @07:01PM (#10920758)
    Does anybody else see this as a misuse of the word "blog"? Sounds like they just combined two buzzwords together (bittorrent and blog) in the hopes that it would increase the popularity of their product. And since it ended up on the front page of Slashdot, it appears to have worked.
    • Does anybody else see this as a misuse of the word "blog"? Sounds like they just combined two buzzwords together (bittorrent and blog)

      Misuse of a misuse of a misuse of a made-up name. One of my family member is here behind me, looking at this /. article, asking me what the hell a blog-torrent is, and I'm about to tell her to sit down for a little while, whil I explain the concept of P2P and blogging, and bandwidth, and Slashdot to her. Oh dear...
    • While I agree that it's a little contrived, the BlogTorrent software was designed for use in blogs first and foremost, so it's an appropriate name.
  • by FrenZon ( 65408 ) * on Thursday November 25, 2004 @07:09PM (#10920780) Homepage

    An admirable work, congratulations to them. Though doesn't this sort of encourage users to think that it's right to download and run small executables in order to get to bigger files? We should probably be teaching users to be a bit more discerning about what they click 'Open' on.

    I'm nitpicking, of course

    • Re:User mindset (Score:4, Informative)

      by holmes wilson ( 748112 ) on Thursday November 25, 2004 @09:24PM (#10921366) Homepage
      Hey, Holmes from Downhill Battle here.

      We definitely thought about that, and other people have raised that concern. But here's how we view it:

      First, the only person who gets an executable to download is a first time user. Once Blogtorrent is installed, the tracker detects that and just serves you up regular torrent files (or blogtorrent files for uploaders). So we aren't creating any habits here.

      And considering the first time user, they fall into one of two camps. Either they're an experienced user who understands what's bad about running an executable from an untrusted website, or they're not.

      If the former, they'll be happy to install Blogtorrent if the tracker is running on a site they trust, while if it's on "war3z d00d's p2p moviez page" they probably won't. And they won't have to. It will be enough to check out Blogtorrent.com and download it there.

      And if the latter is true (our user doesn't know what's bad about running executables from shady sites) then their computer is probably already a petri dish of virii trojans, adware, and virii, or it will get that way soon. And the majority of such users would have a hard enough time wrapping their heads around how Bittorrent works that they'd just give up without the executable installer.

      Deciding to *not* give these users an executable installer just means deciding (on their behalf) that they should continue their life in adware purgatory, but without that video clip or album they wanted. We wouldn't really be protecting anybody by not providing this feature.

      And I know Bittorrent is pretty easy to install, but trust us, we've talked to so many people who have tried *so* hard to get it and failed miserably. With the executable, anybody who wants a file will end up getting it. And next time they're covered.

    • Running EXE files (Score:2, Informative)

      by Clark_Kent ( 87439 )
      As Holmes pointed out, we've already thought about this issue, and I think we've come up with the most reasonable solution possible. This post [sourceforge.net] explains it nicely:

      To clear things up once and for all: End users only need to download an installer for Blog Torrent ONCE, just as they would for any other Bit Torrent client. After that, they just download torrents. When it comes down to it, any software that's going to be doing downloading will need permission to access the local machine. The best way we can de

  • In other news the proliferation of really cheezy home movies posted to personal Blogs has reached epic poportions. Tonight at 11...
  • Incorporate into /. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by cuteseal ( 794590 )
    Perhaps they could incorporate it somehow (don't look at meef, I'm no techie) into slashdot posts -- slashdot certainly has a huge readership, and as soon as an article links to a site, it usually goes belly up.

    Perhaps this could help alleviate the slashdot effect?

    • Bittorrent is good for large (hundreds of MB->tens of GB) files accessed by hundreds or thousands of users. Most slashdotted sites are serving web pages (tens of KB) to hundreds of thousands of people. Also, the sites that fall quickest seem to be the ones that serve dynamic pages, which can't be torrented.

      Blogtorrent probably won't be much use for most people as Bittorrent is not so good when there's only a handful of downloaders. Most people's blogs just aren't that interesting. It would be handy for
      • I am sure this is becomming a standard slashdot comment now, but instead of posting torrents (although for large files, they should), they should use coral cache (append .nyud.net:8090 to the host name)

        actually, I think there is even a bookmaklet to do this automatically. *googles* Yep, here it is:
        Coral Cache Bookmarklet [ostermiller.org]
  • THTTP (Score:5, Interesting)

    by areve ( 724106 ) on Thursday November 25, 2004 @07:32PM (#10920862)
    I've wondered about Torrent being an extension to to the http protocol for surfing the web. I wouldn't expect it to happen but if our web browser would just get data from the nearest node instead of the original site then the slashdot effect would be a positive one increasing your sites bandwidth not a negative one.
    • No need to extend the HTTP protocol. As it is now, BT is linked to your browser with the mime-type mechanism (i.e. ".torrent extension == launch Bittorrent and give it the file" sort of scheme). The only thing you need really is to get Bittorrent to tell the browser to display the downloaded HTML page(s).
    • ugh. bittorrent is for big files. HTML pages are not big files. There are other, better solutions for HTTP, like HTTP proxies and coral. Bittorrent is the wrong hammer to be using for the http screw.
    • I've been thinking that having the browser handle .torrent files transparently would be good. For example, I am considering making a Firefox extension where instead of downloading the torrent and then opening BitTorrent to deal with it, the Firefox download manager would handle it itself (unfortunately, I need to learn both how Firefox extensions work and how BitTorrent works, so it'll take a while).
    • No offence, but its way too high in latency.

      I click and receive a website in under a second in many cases (10Mbit feed at home). BitTorrent takes over a second just to figure out what peers are out there, not including beginning a download.

      There are smart ways to spread copies of small amounts of data around for faster access; BitTorrent isn't one of them.
    • This has been brought up *so* many times on the BT mailing list, and always get shot down.

      BT swarms are optmized for large amounts of static content... they are terrible for small amounts of dynamic data (ie, websites).
    • Other posters have shown how this idea has problems, but I have a slightly different suggestion that has most of the same advantages as BitTorrent and would be more appropriate for typical web content.

      Basically, set up the browsers to share the cached data.

      A typical transaction life cycle would be to send an HTTP request to a server, but instead of getting back the actual document content, your browser gets back a short list of the last n clients to ask for the document. Your browser then requests the do
  • LOL (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 25, 2004 @07:38PM (#10920884)
    Now non-Mysql has become a feature? Just some years ago every project bragged about supporting MySQL! ;)
    • Re:LOL (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Thursday November 25, 2004 @07:42PM (#10920902)
      Supporting MySQL is great. Requiring MySQL sucks, as most users don't have it installed, let alone configured, and automated install scripts are notoriously good at messing up complex servers' config files anyway...
      • Re:LOL (Score:2, Informative)

        And as far as the MySQL support goes, that's definitely coming. We want to integrate Blogtorrent with the Drupal/Civicspace CMS real soon, and part of that will be rewriting it to use a database instead of flat files.

        Downhill Battle [doownhillbattle.org]

  • Ideal for podcasting (Score:2, Interesting)

    by brdweb ( 689780 )
    Adam Curry and Dave Winer have already been thinking about ways to better integrate bittorrent into some rss readers and blog tools. It's not hosting your blog itself, but rather your podcast or show which takes up the vast majority of available bandwidth. This allows the 'small guy' that has talent to compete with some of the big broadcasters out there. At least on the 'net.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Sounds like a great way for startup blogs to loose the big collegiate market. Most campuses block Bit Torrent these days.
  • by colmore ( 56499 ) on Thursday November 25, 2004 @09:00PM (#10921254) Journal
    This is going to be used for amateur porn right? As I understand it BitTorrent needs simultaneous downloads to really function, and who has home movies that a whole lot of people really want to watch?

    Oh yeah, naked people.
    • The comment is modded funny, but it's so very true. Sad enough as it is, internet porn as a whole pioneers a lot of new (not saying good or bad) ideas.

      If you build it, you can bet it will be used for porn. This new tool is certainly no exception to the rule.
  • by Duncan3 ( 10537 ) on Thursday November 25, 2004 @09:31PM (#10921392) Homepage
    First we had web pages about peoples cats...

    Then came blogs about peoples cats...

    Now we have videos about peoples cats...

    And still, NOONE CARES! Seriously.
  • How they are called? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gmuslera ( 3436 ) on Thursday November 25, 2004 @09:44PM (#10921434) Homepage Journal
    Video Blog = Vlog? Already saw Blikis (Blog+Wiki) and other extrange mix between words, so, there is an standard, compressed way to name them?
  • They like to state that "most people don't have a client installed", so their blog torrent installs the original BT, lets it steal all .torrent associations, and then uses it's installation to download the file. This will screw up all your associations if you already have it, and their plan does NOT include seperately hosting the .torrent for those of us who have a favorite. Thanks, merry bloggers, you've been retarded yet again.

    Oh yeah, and I love your site, downhillbattle? You want to spread awareness
    • by katsushiro ( 513378 ) on Thursday November 25, 2004 @10:14PM (#10921546) Homepage
      Okay, I know you're trolling, but I'll bite, simply because it really sucks when people make completely false statements about something they know nothing about and then no one calls them on it:

      If you'd bothered to actually take a look at the 'BlogTorrent' thing (I hate the name, by the way, but what can you do?), you'd see that it *DOES* include separately hosting the .torrent for those of us with a favorite Torrent client. In fact, since I actually have it installed on my server and have been trying it out, I can copy and paste the text on the page:

      How do I download a file?

      If you've never used BitTorrent before, just click on the "Easy Downloader" link next to the file you want. Open the Easy Downloader (by clicking "open" in your browser, or by saving it to your Desktop and double clicking on it). That will install the Blog Torrent plugin and begin downloading the file you want. Note: if you already have a BitTorrent client installed, you do not need the Easy Downloader, just click on the .torrent file. (Emphasis added)
      • I wasn't trolling, that was my experience with the client. I was just 'demoing' it out and found out it was worthless. I'm not terribly interested in checking out the "full" version to "publish" them, especially because their website says this is pretty much the same as the downloaders version (see the section on the front page entitled "Why use Blog Torrent on your blog or website?").

        Why not just learn from blizzard and use a technique like the blizzard downloader [worldofwarcraft.com], an all in one stand-alone exe which d

        • Actually, I went and looked at the demo on their site right now and it's the same one I've got on my site, there's a column with a link to the .torrent file itself right before the 'Easy Downloader' link, and the same text on the page.. maybe when you looked they still had an old version up.

          Anyway, I do agree with you that it would be nice if they did something like the Blizzard Downloader that just downloads that one file and that's it, but I don't think that's what they're aiming for. It looks like they'
  • Blog blog blog blog!

    I suspect it won't be all that long before we start to see this term misapplied in non-computer related stories, instead of just computer-related stories. Can't you just imagine it?

    • Vatican condemns blog abortion statistics
    • Ukranian president in blog election scandal
    • Australian cricket team wins the toss and elects to blog

    On a more relevant note, it's a good idea in theory, but I doubt that I'd want to share much of my precious capped bandwidth to distribute the video of some boz

  • But does anyone really think that getting users to download and run random binaries off the internet is a good thing? How are people supposed to be able to differentiate the "good" foo.torrent.exe offering (say) porn from the "bad" dialer.exe which also offers porn?

    And why did the project think that having users install new software from a different web-site every time they feel like watching a video was a better solution than creating a clear and fool-proof BT client which only needs to be downloaded o

  • OMG! All the rants against this, it's a HUGE step forward.
    Really, come one, we're going to have a technology that allows HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of video feeds, with the ability to easily search for streams playing (using RSS), with the ability to handle popular feeds to scale up (albeit, we'll see how it works, but I think it'll happen).
    We've all moaned about the lack of quality on TV, and although it'll start poor quality, it'll get better! This is a Tivo for us all!

    • I have to agree. the world will end up in the hands of the little people as long as information can flow freely. watch the monetary system. watch the revolution. we are in the middle of something as big as the fall of communism with the information stuff. I give it 4 years and all fucking hell with break loose with politics as people realize we don't need the governement any more. oh yeah -- and tin foil hats for EVERYONE!
  • I've been trying to find out information about what kind of RAM/CPU usage a Bittorrent tracker can expect. Based on say... 10 seeds, 100 peers.

    Anyone know?
  • Somehow I must have misunderstood what BlogTorrent does. I briefly tried it and found, that the file is not uploaded to the BlogTorrent site.

    The BlogTorrent itself is not seeding.
    So I have to keep my local machine running.

    BT developers, please consider BT to store the file on the server and seed it automatically.

    Yes of course, then you have to have lots of webspace and others might swamp your precious space, but then you can blog and turn your local machine off.
    Make it optional...

  • DownhillBattle are about enableing artist to distribute their own music.

    They thought 'this blog thing would be useful for posting songs' (musos not being the geekyest of types)

    But hosting would cost too much. so they thought 'bittorret would share the load' bit it was complex and time-consuming (musos not being the geekyest of types)

    So they thought 'we could combine the two - lets call it blogTorrent'

    It was slasdotted and people cried 'Vapourware' so they released something and people complain about 'bu

Do not simplify the design of a program if a way can be found to make it complex and wonderful.