Autobahn - a German word for motorway - is a software application for Windows and Mac OSX that can speed up downloads and streams of several popular services including Apple's iTunes service, the video portal Veoh and MySpace TV. The developers are not revealing lots of information about how the application is speeding up the transfers. They do give only one example.
Autobahn speeds up iTunes downloads and transfers by establishing multiple connections to the iTunes server. This stabilizes streams and increases downloads from iTunes which is especially important for large downloads or streams.
The only indicator that Autobahn is running is a system tray icon after its installation. It depends largely on the Internet connection if the service is able to speed up the transfers noticeably. It is obviously not possible to achieve higher transfer rates than possible.
The application is using quite some computer memory while running (26 Megabytes) and it is therefor recommended to only run it when it is needed.
Update: The program has not been updated in a long time, which is an indication that the program is no longer working properly, nor compatible with newer versions of iTunes that Apple Software has released in recent time.
The company behind the technology, Swarmcast, ceased operations on January 15, 2010.
Another indicator is that the project homepage is returning a "server not found" error when you try to open it. Taking all that together, we have to assume that the project is dead and no longer working. While you can still download the latest version from download portals, it is likely that those versions won't improve the download speed on iTunes at all anymore.
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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.