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BitTorrent for Content Providers 100

snuvlorgin writes "ibiblio.org has entered the fray, launching an enhanced BitTorrent site. Among the torrent offerings (all legal) are Linux kernels, distros, Project Gutenberg texts, and the ibiblio Speaker Series, which includes videos of talks by Larry Lessig, Robin Miller, and Dan Gillmor. ibiblio developed and open sourced the Osprey and Permaseed software to make BitTorrent seeding reliable, persistent, and suitable for large-scale content providers. Yes, you can find these torrents later."
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BitTorrent for Content Providers

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  • Great idea. It legitimizes BitTorrent as a protocol and it makes find some great content easy. Torrents On!
  • Let's see. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Poromenos1 ( 830658 ) on Wednesday August 10, 2005 @06:53PM (#13290155) Homepage
    Hopefully with this companies will start to use BT as an alternative to http/ftp. The downside is that you have to have a client, but I bet that browsers will have integrated BT support soon (the new Opera does, FF has a plugin). And the savings for the server range from a LOT to none, and even none can't hurt, since if nothing else you at least have a great download client able to resume downloads, download huge files, etc.
    • In addition it is good with load balancing, so you don't have the problem of lots of people using one server and another not being used.
    • The downside is that you have to have a client, but I bet that browsers will have integrated BT support soon (the new Opera does, FF has a plugin).

      You know what I'd like to see? A protocol that, in cases of low load, performs similar to modern FTP/HTTP implementations (pause/resume, multi-sourcing, etc.) but switches seamlessly a swarming model when a certain threshold is met.

      Maybe BitTorrent already does this, but it doesn't feel that way. When just starting a rare file (or even trying a popular fil

      • by aywwts4 ( 610966 ) on Wednesday August 10, 2005 @08:27PM (#13290736)
        Shut your face, as someone who is actually still stuck on dialup I find your comments offensive and insensitive; you know full well on your dialup days the downloads you attempt would have taken weeks. And even try to liken it to our suffering when you see speeds in the lower half of a hundred K that might take a couple of hours. For Shame Good sir, For Shame.

        (Yeah, I'm planning on suing the government and AT&T for retributions for the hardships and suffering our modem bound people have had to endure.)

        Seriously though, the answer to the rare file dilemma is that the website that is hosting the torrents needs to have a server running Bittorent and all the files with intelligent prioritizing of the worst seeded files. So when there are other people to take the load the website can outsource it, when its rare the website will have to share the burden like it would have had to via http anyways.
    • by Danathar ( 267989 ) on Wednesday August 10, 2005 @08:20PM (#13290706) Journal
      Where I work bittorrent is classified as a Peer to Peer software in the same grouping as Kazza, Morpheus, ect....so the offical policy is that you are not allowed to use bittorrent FOR ANYTHING unless you have permission from the CIO.

      On an upside those that have broken the rules are people who were downloading LINUX distros and no action was taken.

      My point being I REALLY hope that bittorrent becomes an offical specified file transfer protocol. It might seperate it from the rest of the peer to peer crap that's tarnishing bittorrents legitimate use.
    • Re:Let's see. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by TeknoHog ( 164938 )
      Hopefully with this companies will start to use BT as an alternative to http/ftp. The downside is that you have to have a client

      As opposed to http and ftp, which somehow magically work without a client ;)

      Seriously though, something like BT plugin in Firefox would probably help a lot.

    • ..a hybrid might be better for independent smaller groups to distribute stuff.

      I've looked at BitTorrent and haven't found this feature, which could be of use to me and hopefully others. I've been dealing with distributing Creative Commons licensed music, and have used BT very successfully. Obviously, BT is great for saving bandwidth costs and these types of musicians don't usually have the cash to pay for tons of downloads themselves.

      This becomes a problem though if the last seed goes down (computer gets tu
      • If there were a way to specify a subsitute or alternate URL that would only be used in case of emergency when all the P2P seeds are down, it would save on bandwidth costs but also allow for a backup to turn an unfinished peer into a seeder. Then once their was a 100% seeder, the alternate URL would not need to be used, only the new seeder.

        Any decent client has these kind of options for seeding (I can only talk for Azureus (which also provides a tracker)):
        seed atleast x% and after that only if there ar

      • Why not run a BT client on another machine and make it a seed? with small upload bandwidth, it will be there to fill up missing parts when needed. Now you can really remove that http/ftp link.
      • The BitTorrent FAQ for content providers [bittorrent.com] suggests that a provider should run both a tracker and a seed. If you think about it, this is the only way that content can get into the system in the first place; without that initial seed, how does anyone have anything available to download?

        So, a legitimate provider can just keep that initial seed running, rather than stop it after a few uploads; if they run the seed on the system that would have run the HTTP server for a HTTP download, your worst case speeds are

    • I cheat. I use a Java (Jython actually) applet that acts as a client as long as my users are connected anywhere on my website. I was pouring out 150GB+ a day in bandwidth from my server so switching to distributed downloads was sort of essential for my budget.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 10, 2005 @06:55PM (#13290170)
    Excellent, now maybe stupid Radford University will stop blocking ports 6800-6900. Seriously, BitTorrent needs all the legitimate support it can get if it is not to be grouped together with "illegitimate P2P traffic"
    Fairfax Underground: Public message board for residents of Fairfax County, VA [fairfaxunderground.com]
    • Why wouldn't you just change the port you're using?
      • Why wouldn't you just change the port you're using?

        As a reasonably intelligent Slashdotter, you would. As anyone else, you would answer that question with a blank look that says: "port? What's a port? All I know is my download didn't work."

      • Just changing the port that your program uses won't help if the torrent's tracker listens only on a port that your ISP blocks inbound and outbound. No, trackerless torrents don't work well yet because Azureus and BitTorrent clients use mutually incompatible protocols.

    • You can set BT to whatever port you want, so I don't see that as a problem.
      • That will not make much difference if everyone else still uses the default ports.
        You still need someone to connect to
        and these filters usually block the outgoing port

        You might be able to receive and reply to connection requests, but you cannot initiate connections yourself.
        • I know Azureus and BitComet (And the rip-off copy BitLord) use a random port. You can set whatever port you want there, too. I'm currently using port 5555. Seeing as how Azureus and BitComet are really popular, you shouldn't have a problem finding peers.
          • they do? Interesting. I thought azureus had 6800 as default too.
            But i would guess that azureus and co are only really popular with the heavy users, probably not the people that only want to download a gutenberg book.
            ABC, torrentstorm, and the python variants of the orginal client use the standard ports afaik. Opera probably too.
            Of yourse it can be changed, but 99% of the users won't botter, and why should they, if their connection is not blocked?
        • Two words: SSH tunneling.

          Tunnel the connection to a computer outside of the firewall, and you'll have it made.
    • Surely their reason for blocking will be related to bandwidth hogging rather than p2p politics?
  • The subject says it all really.

    A great repository of mirrors of just about everything that has ever been written and released, not to mention massive, MASSIVE, bandwidth. They are just friggin' cool - cooler than sharks with lasers on their heads!!!!1

    Thanks guys! You guys rock!
    • Re:I love IBiblio! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jmcharry ( 608079 )
      Ibiblio also hosts the streaming audio for a number of NC public and student radio stations. It is a great service, and if bittorrent can reduce a bit of its server load so it can do even more, great!

      Ibiblio is the former sunsite, and has been a major contributor to the Internet for years.
      • I also love ibiblio,

        they host a bunch of projects for me and and always are super nice when you need changes. If you have a project that is worthy, they are more than happy to host it for you.

        go Ibiblio
    • Re:I love IBiblio! (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Sayan ( 653024 )
      Thanks for your support! I can tell you it feels just as great working there.
      • When I look at the lists of torrents, although each torrent is identified in the category column as 'video', 'software' etc. but these categories are not links. There seems to be no way to look at all the torrents from one category, just the search and what is listed on the frontpage. That said I think that projects like IBiblo are wonderful and I'm very glad to see them adopting BT for distribution (as long as there are still ftp/http ways of getting files that may not be as popular). I just wish I could
  • Just kidding. This is a good thing. I just hope they can combine efforts with The Linux Mirror Project [tlm-project.org]. It'd be a shame for either to go to the wayside, especially when keeping as many seeders as possible is vital to any BT site.
  • /.ed? (Score:4, Funny)

    by anthony_dipierro ( 543308 ) on Wednesday August 10, 2005 @07:10PM (#13290268) Journal
    Finally, a Slashdotting that's a good thing.
  • PLEASE PLEASE (Score:2, Insightful)

    by xmorg ( 718633 )
    I am sick to death of waiting for fileplanet/etc downloads. Or the dreaded "Sorry there are already 500 users logged into this ftp server. Im like, dude... wheres the torrent???
    • Yeah, fileplanet is a sickness.
      I searched an utility last week. A small programm, about 300k zipped (to be exact, an extractor for some games packfiles).
      The only source i could find was fileplanet. So i bit the bullet and made an account (not the paying kind, but still very "dont like").
      Only to find out that there were x00 people before me in the row and i could expect my download to start in 68 minutes...
      Well, i tried out a blind emule search (now that i could see the exact filesize in fileplanet) and got
    • Re:PLEASE PLEASE (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Kimos ( 859729 )

      I am sick to death of waiting for fileplanet/etc downloads. Or the dreaded "Sorry there are already 500 users logged into this ftp server. Im like, dude... wheres the torrent???

      FilePlanet and others like them won't switch to torrents. If they make you wait in a queue they not only get to put ads on your screen for the entire time you wait, but they hope to get you to pay for instant member access. If the torrents could just be distributed without their strict control their business model would fail.

      • Here is an absolutely crazy idea; We have seen the success of illegal P2P sites get funding for servers and bandwidth and whatnot, and we know there is a great demand for game related content (Videos, Mods, Patches, Etc) Since that market is being overloaded by a not so nice company or two; Why doesn't someone make a Torrent site for all of it? People here have the know how, You don't get sued for hosting the files, etc. Its over my head, But I haven't run across anything that fills this niche yet.

        Yeah I k
        • and we know there is a great demand for game related content (Videos, Mods, Patches, Etc) Since that market is being overloaded by a not so nice company or two; Why doesn't someone make a Torrent site for all of it?

          A great idea. You could even call it FileRush.com [filerush.com], for example.

          However, note that placing some game demos on torrents is a technical violation of copyright laws. Although the idea of game demos is that they are widely distributed to everyone, often the lawyers slap the same licenses on them as
    • They offer an alternative torrent download for demos, patches, in game video, and other goodness. They have been doing this for several years now AFAIK.
  • by kkamrani ( 882365 ) on Wednesday August 10, 2005 @07:31PM (#13290401) Homepage
    I would like to see the scientific journals, especially The Public Library of Science (PLoS) http://www.plos.org/ [plos.org] start distributing their montly publications over Bit Torrent. There have been occasions of downloading their 150mb journals where there servers and bandwidth were clearly overwhelmed. It would, in my opnion, be a great front to publicize excellent and FREE scientific articles as well as popularize and legitmize bit torrent as a cost effective and fast way to distribute content.
  • Much as I like BitTorrent and want to see it take over all downloads (seriously), it pains me to see new BT sites when the BT protocol is banned from my prospective university network. Any helpful suggestions?
    • Re:Much as I like... (Score:3, Informative)

      by forkazoo ( 138186 )
      Find some things like:
      Clifford Lynch: Speech on Scholarly Communications

      And write a friendly note to your IT staff explaining that you seem to be having trouble getting it, apparently because the ports are blocked. Explain that it is relavent academic material that you need to consult. (Try to find something specific to your major, and with an academic title.) Whenever you run across something like this that has legitimate scholarly merit that is relevant to your courseload, write another friendl
      • Whenever you run across something like this that has legitimate scholarly merit that is relevant to your courseload, write another friendly note explaining how you need access to it.

        Given such a request, an IT staff member would probably investigate the request, wait for approval from the university's CTO, fire up Azureus himself*, download the file, and mirror it on the internal network. It would be like a manual BT proxy with all access controlled through the CTO.

        Just make polite, courteous explana

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Why don't we all show our love by donating to ibiblio: https://secure.ibiblio.org/gift/ [ibiblio.org]
    I am sure they could do with some more quad-Opteron boxes ;)
  • I have a server at a hosting company that gives me up to a terabyte a month of traffic on a reasonably fast net link. Since my site normally doesn't come anywhere near that, I've taken to seeding a bunch of legal torrents (Debian and Ubuntu distros, Project Gutenberg DVD, etc. -- lots of the same stuff ibiblio is hosting.) I think of it as giving a little something back to the net at large.

    Seeding lots of torrents on a server is somewhat annoying to do in that, as far as I can tell, there's no good non-GU

  • If I'm not mistaken ibiblo has been in the torrent business for some time, they host the artist approved live recording trade site http://bt.etree.org/ [etree.org], which provides safe downloads of live performances.
  • by avasol ( 904335 )
    Legal Bittorrents. Yay. Almost a sexy as Government-approved country music.
    Move on.
  • Project Gutenberg?

    Tell me again by one website managed hosted on a 29.99 / month server wouldnt be enough to host all of the project gutenberg text downloads for the whole world?

    For a bunch of supposedly "honest" computer people, so different from the "corrupt" lawyers and businesspeople always being bitched about here, this sure looks like an attempt to throw up some smokescreens to give bitTorrent the appearance of legitimacy. "Honest" people wouldn't have to resort to such actions, I would have thou

  • The BBC [bbc.co.uk] is currently running a pilot experiment in distributing TV footage via p2p. [bbc.co.uk]

    Essentially, the system uses a custom media player (with in-built DRM) and p2p software to distribute segments of the file between users. Its architecture is very similar to Bittorent (in as much as a central seed server exists). If the pilot is successfull, it is likely that this technology could find its way into the set-top boxes of the future. This is a real possibility given that the UK telecoms network is soon to be
  • ADVision [advfilms.com] recently made a MADLAX trailer available on BitTorrent.

In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on ... the overriding problem of war and peace. -- James Slagle