Bittorrent Live public beta needs better controls

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 13, 2013
Music and Video, tv

Bittorrent Inc. seems to be working constantly on new technologies and products. Last year, the company released OneHash, a technology to stream torrents directly in the web browser and Bittorrent Live, a broadcasting solution based on P2P technology. Bittorrent Live back then was available as a closed beta that you had to sign up for to get access to the client. Yesterday, that restriction was lifted so that it is now available as an unrestricted and direct download on the Bittorrent Live website.

The basic idea behind Bittorrent Live is certainly an interesting one. Let anyone broadcast live to the Internet using P2P technology. It is different from streaming solutions such as Twitch which use dedicated servers of their own to stream your live contents to an audience. With Bittorrent Live, you stream the contents to connected peers, who stream the contents to other peers and so on.

This works on the client side by running Bittorrent Live in the background, and accessing streams in your browser of choice. It seems to do just fine without plugins and the like as well as none are installed in your browser after the installation of Bittorrent Live on your system.

The bottleneck with this approach is upload bandwidth. Bittorrent Live requires broadcasters to have at least four times the total stream bitrate in upload bandwidth so that the stream can scale beyond a small number of users. While that is certainly a problem for home users who want to stream contents, especially HD, to the Internet, it should not be an issue for companies or well equipped broadcasters who use a server infrastructure to broadcast a stream.

While the idea is certainly interesting, the current implementation of Bittorrent Live is not. The first thing that you will notice is that the desktop client that you install has virtually no controls or settings. What this means is that you have no control over the bandwidth that is used to stream the broadcast to other users who are also watching the stream. While you can use programs to limit the upload bandwidth of programs in Windows, it would be far better if Bittorrent Live would come with preferences that enable you to limit the bandwidth used.

It needs to be noted that the program is still in beta, and that it is likely that its engineers will add preferences to it at one point or the other. Bittorrent Live in my opinion will thrive the most if broadcasters use dedicated servers for the streaming and utilize the power of P2P to save a lot of bandwidth.


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  1. Anonymous said on August 1, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Why not make use of the mplayer.conf?

  2. Mike J said on August 1, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Huh, I have never even seen this “font cache” pane; videos play at once for me, using VLC & XP SP3.

    1. Martin said on August 1, 2010 at 3:39 pm

      Mike, in theory this should have only been displayed once to you, at the very first video that you played with VLC. The time this window is displayed depends largely on the number of fonts in your font directory.

      1. Mike J said on August 2, 2010 at 2:30 pm

        huh, I lucked out for a change?? Amazing!!
        Apparently VLC keeps this info through version updates, but I didn’t see this message after a fresh OS install about 8 weeks ago, & a new VLC.

  3. myo said on August 1, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    yes, yes, i have the same problem. sometimes, VLC crashes when it is playing .mov file.

  4. Kishore said on August 13, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Buidling font Cache pop-up


    Open VLC player.

    On Menu Bar:


    (at bottom – left side)
    Show settings — ALL

    Open: Video
    Click: Subtitles/OSD (This is now highlited, not opened)
    Text rendering module – change this to “Dummy font renderer function”


    Re-open – done.
    Progam will no longer look outside self for fonts

    Source –

    1. Martin said on August 13, 2010 at 3:10 pm

      Great tip, thanks a lot Kishore.

  5. javier said on August 14, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    @Kishore, I’ll try your tips, but does this mean it will no longer show subtitles either?
    I do use subtitles, but the fontcache dialog box pops up (almost) everytime I play a file.

    Could this be related to the fonts I have installed? Or if I add/remove fonts to my system?

    I’ll try to do a fresh install also, if your tips does no work. I’ll post back here later…


  6. Kishore said on August 15, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    @ Javier, The trick i posted will show up subtitles too. If not,

  7. Kishore said on August 15, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    @ Javier, The trick i posted will show up subtitles too. If not,Dont worry, VLC is currently sorting out this issue and the next version will be out soon.

    No probs @ Martin !! Its my pleasure

  8. Ted said on October 22, 2010 at 3:57 am

    Try running LC with administrator privileges. That seemed to fix it for me

  9. Evan said on December 8, 2013 at 1:48 am

    I am using SMplayer 0.8.6 (64-bit) (Portable Edition) on Windows 7 x64. Even with the -nofontconfig parameter in place SMplayer still scans the fonts. Also, I have enabled normal subtitles and it is still scanning fonts before playing a video. Also, it does this every time the player opens a video after a system restart (only the fist video played).

  10. Mike Williams said on September 6, 2023 at 1:26 pm

    Does that mean that only instrumental versions of songs will be available for non-paying users?

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