BitTorrent

Discussions around miscellaneous technologies and projects for the general membership.
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cottrells
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BitTorrent

Postby cottrells » Sat Jul 14, 2007 8:21 am

Has the Church considered using the BitTorrent protocol for distributing content from Church websites?

One application I would love to see, for example, would be for the Training Lessons for clerks being distributed this way. I serve as stake clerk and I like to install copies of all the lessons on the administrative PCs used by the ward and branch clerks in their buildings. It is great that there is a link posted on the page to download all the lessons in one zip file. Once it is done the first time, it is frustrating that the only way to access the new content is to download the whole file once again. What would be ever better if they were provided as a .torrent file as some BitTorrent clients allow the selective downloading of files with the package. Then when a new lesson is added I would only need to download the new files, saving me time and the Church bandwidth.

I could also see this being beneficial for serving up the MP3s from General Conference, the Ensign and other materials. I'm not sure what kind of bandwidth usage you experience when new content is first made available? Using BitTorrent would help reduce the load.

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brado426
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Postby brado426 » Tue Jul 17, 2007 3:01 pm

I agree that BitTorrent is awesome technology... The only problem with it is the complexity of needing to open port 6881 and deal with .torrent files. I think BT is beyond the less technical user.

Brad O.

potatosalad
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Postby potatosalad » Sat Jul 21, 2007 8:42 pm

Most modern BitTorrent clients (such as Azureus 2.4+) don't require you to open port 6881 (instead you have to open some higher arbitrary port) or you can use UPnP (which is what I would assume most less technical users would end up using without their knowledge; a default WRT54G Linksys router and someone using Windows XP SP2 has everything to make UPnP work out of the box). On the other hand, I have no idea why a normal user would be downloading something like Azureus in the first place.

Anyway, there are other ways to make use of BitTorrent while making its use nearly transparent to the user. For example, Warner Brothers uses BitTorrent as a backend to its movie download service (I've never used it, but I've read about it). There are also other BitTorrent based media systems such as Vuze http://www.vuze.com/

Some sort of system along those lines would certainly not hurt anything. There is no reason the lds.org servers should take all of the beating from all of the people wanting to download the latest general conference videos.

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MikeHillyer-p40
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Postby MikeHillyer-p40 » Mon Oct 01, 2007 7:15 am

I agree, I think ideally what could be done is the creation of a custom manager/player tool.

Take a tool like Miro (formerly Democracy Player http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miro_(software) ), a combination RSS reader, bittorrent client and video player, and modify it into a tool that always provides members with a current list of available video content, updated by an RSS feed provided by Church HQ.

Members browse the list of available materials, select the ones they want to watch, and then the client starts pulling them via Bittorrent. Once the DL is complete they can watch the videos while their BT clients share along so other members can benefit.

The application would be upfront about its bandwidth consumption and storage use, allowing members to select how much bandwidth they are willing to grant to the tool.

This would allow for a large catalog of material to be available to members without the normal bandwidth costs for offering a large collection. Add in a seach functionality and tagging of videos with subjects and suddenly I can sit down with my LDS Video Library, search on 'Atonement', and see Conference talks, info videos and other church videos on demand.

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Postby fraserredmond » Tue Oct 02, 2007 5:44 pm

Like Cottrells, I thought that bittorrent would be a useful technology for the church.... but MikeHillyer, you're making my mouth water! :)

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Postby cannona-p40 » Fri Oct 05, 2007 12:28 pm

brado426 wrote:I agree that BitTorrent is awesome technology... The only problem with it is the complexity of needing to open port 6881 and deal with .torrent files. I think BT is beyond the less technical user.

Brad O.


There is a new open source Java Applet that is a simple BitTorrent client. Its called bitlet and it can be found at http://www.bitlet.org

It seeks to make the downloading of torrents as transparent and simple as possible to the user.

Aaron

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Postby mrcolj-p40 » Wed Mar 05, 2008 8:46 pm

Doesn't anyone think that bit torrent would be seen as tacit approval of a perceived-as-illegal protocol? I mean, philosophy aside, one really doesn't see legal things done with p2p yet, and it doesn't seem to me the church will go that close to the line...

rmrichesjr
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Postby rmrichesjr » Wed Mar 05, 2008 8:55 pm

mrcolj wrote:Doesn't anyone think that bit torrent would be seen as tacit approval of a perceived-as-illegal protocol? I mean, philosophy aside, one really doesn't see legal things done with p2p yet, and it doesn't seem to me the church will go that close to the line...


Nothing legal done with p2p? BitTorrent is how I obtained most of the past few releases of Mandriva Linux, including a few proprietary components (the Powerpack edition), to which my paid club membership entitled me. It was legal, and it was done with p2p.

(Mandriva Linux mentioned strictly as an example of something legal for which p2p is used. No intent to imply any sort of official endorsement.)

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mkmurray
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Postby mkmurray » Wed Mar 05, 2008 9:06 pm

rmrichesjr wrote:Nothing legal done with p2p? BitTorrent is how I obtained most of the past few releases of Mandriva Linux, including a few proprietary components (the Powerpack edition), to which my paid club membership entitled me. It was legal, and it was done with p2p.

(Mandriva Linux mentioned strictly as an example of something legal for which p2p is used. No intent to imply any sort of official endorsement.)

Well, I still think he has a point...

There isn't any major companies I can think of that deliver main stream content via Bit Torrent.

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cottrells
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Postby cottrells » Thu Mar 06, 2008 5:57 am

mkmurray wrote:There isn't any major companies I can think of that deliver main stream content via Bit Torrent.

How about
  • 20th Century Fox
  • MGM
  • MTV
  • Paramount
  • Warner Bros.
  • PBS

PBS Press Release wrote:PBS joins an established roster of leading content partners, including 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate, MTV Networks, MGM, Paramount and Warner Bros, who utilize BitTorrent’s entertainment platform to provide feature-length films, TV shows and music videos direct to consumers. Not only does BitTorrent’s entertainment platform provide fast, on-demand access to the most comprehensive licensed catalog of thousands of movies, TV shows, music and games, it also provides content creators a publishing platform to list their works in high-quality alongside the most recognizable titles from major movie studios, TV networks, and record labels.
http://www.bittorrent.com/about/press/pbs-partners-with-bittorrent-to-reach-audiences-online


See also http://www.bittorrent.com/about/partners?csrc=about-press_l-a_lt

I understand why mrcolj raises this point, but like most media distribution channels, it's not the channel which is the problem but the content that people distribute. BitTorrent/P2P networks can be used for good and evil. I just think the Church and members would benefit from the reduced distribution/production costs.


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