I finally got around to exploring this BitTorrent thing in ernest the other day and bought a copy of XTorrent to use as my BitTorrent client (yes, I know there are freebies out there and I tried Azureus out first but David Watanabe makes some great software so I went with his). The first thing I downloaded with XTorrent (and my first real BitTorrent experience) was the new version of Ubuntu for the PC (which turned out to be unnecessary when I found out Ubuntu will do the upgrade from within). The download was pretty quick and there were no real problems (probably because this version of Ubuntu was in such demand given that it was just released).
The whole BitTorrent idea appeals to me tremendously. There is obviously potential for tremendous abuse (I ran a couple searches for tv series I would like to have and found most of them on BitTorrent for (illegal) download) and I can see how enticing the prospect of loads of free stuff can be even though it is totally illegal. This side of BitTorrent has unfortunately tarnished the protocol/service and it would be great to see a lot more emphasis placed on it as a legitimate distribution channel for legitimate content like open source applications, content licensed under alternative licensing schemes like Creative Commons licenses and so on.
A related service also appeals to me tremendously. I signed up for Amazon’s S3 service a while ago because of the promise of extremely cheap file storage. I didn’t really use it except to poke around and try figure out how to use it. I finally figured out how to configure Transmit to connect to the service and upload files and since then I have been thinking about the possibilities.
I have been thinking about relaunching my Legally Content podcast and S3 would be a perfect service to use to host my episodes. I also understand that S3 supports BitTorrent (haven’t figured out how that works yet) so it would be awesome to publish my podcast both the usual way and perhaps even as a torrent feed (ok, working on this one too). I don’t know how successful a BitTorrent version of the podcast would be compared to the normal RSS alternative given that I don’t know how many subscribers will use the torrent option and my understanding that unless you have a lot of people accessing the files, the download rates will be low. I am keen to try it out though so as soon as I work out how to publish a torrent, I’ll get that set up.
As a related aside, I see that you can buy content to be downloaded via BitTorrent too. It would be great to see more commercial applications of this technology that we can use down South.