Ever since BitTorrent first appeared on the scene, it has become one of the most popular file-sharing methods around. BitTorrent is fast because each file is split into very small chunks and can be downloaded from complete and partially downloaded files. This protocol is especially popular for new releases.
The service has its pros and cons. While piracy is rampant, let's not forget that there are a lot of free, legally available torrent files as well. I won't go into that whole argument since this isn't the point of my post. Instead I'm going to focus on what seems to be the next stage in the evolution of torrent technology.
EZTV, a BitTorrent indexer for TV shows, has recently announced that it plans to use BitTorrent Video Streaming. They are using file-sharing technology from Tribler for this purpose. What this means is that you will be able to watch your video file while it is still downloading. That means no more waiting for those precious first and last chunks of files to download before you can preview the file.
To make video streaming possible, you will need a client called SwarmPlayer. This is nothing but a combination of a modified torrent client and VLC as the video player. Streaming torrent files will be provided in a special .tstream format but the player will also recognize and play standard .torrent files. SwarmPlayer is currently in beta mode.
If EZTV can actually pull this off, they could just start a new trend for the BitTorrent technology. The streaming obviously will not work if you have a slower connection but for people with super-fast connections, it will be a breeze. I expect other torrent indexers to start offering files in streaming format soon. In addition, the format will also have to be recognized by video players.
I'm not sure how well this will work. For one, streaming video takes up a lot of bandwidth although SwarmPlayer does claim to be bandwidth-efficient. Another concern is the possible legal issues that are going to show up. Would you be interested in torrent streaming? What are your thoughts on this technology? Let me know in the comments.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.