The Future for Bittorrent

I was wondering the other day how a technology like Bittorrent could be used to do more than allow people all over the world transfer software, movies and music illegally. I mean, let’s be frank, what else is it used for at the moment?

Seth Godin
is thinking about the same thing (ahh great minds think alike, they say!) saying this:

So, the interesting part of the near future re to BitTorrent is this:

When everyone can watch high resolution DVD quality video on their screen without breaking your server, what will you do about that?

Is Volvo ready with a thirty minute test drive I can watch when I’m ready to buy a new car?

Is Toshiba ready with a how-to manual for their new music server? A fifteen minute well-made video that actually explains what I should do to hook it up?

How about publishers? Are they ready to do a video news release with complete interviews with all their important authors?

This, folks, is the real 500 channel universe. It will probably turn out to be more boring than Seinfeld, but way more specific. A billion infomercials, all the time.

The winners will be people who have the guts to make the interesting ones.

I still don’t see what would motivate people to keep seeding after they’re done downloading clips * like Seth describes, but the overall idea of useful content being delivered using distributed systems like Bittorrent makes sense, especially for those in very high demand.

Would take a gem of imagination to create clips of interest, but as Seth says, those who do create interesting ones will be the winners.

Edited: But then, I never thought people using Bittorrent would leave files seeding when they’re done at all. The popularity of the system has now proved me wrong. I need to give people credit sometimes.

3 thoughts on “The Future for Bittorrent

  1. Gamera

    Well you do remember when it came out, it wasn’t about Supernva one bit but as a “mean for legal companies to distribute their software releases”. Eg software publishers that do distribute fixes, updates, service-packs and that don’t want to be caught by a massive surge in downloads. There are a few Linux distributions out there that legally serve their free iso CD-rom files via bittorent.

    Also because it wasn’t initially intended for piracy (argh, Yarrr!!) Bittorrent doesn’t include any anonymous or encrypted connections.

    It just happened to be faster than what people where using like Kazaa or Edonkey and presented the legal loophole that “we the server havn’t got the files itself, so don’t blame us”.

    Recently they all went under apart from the Anime ones and a lot of them are carefully refusing new members.

    Something will come out to fit the needs of the underground folks (no not the Circle Line) while bittorrent might at last enjoy a proper use.

    But as you said, if people don’t know what p2p is they will close that “silly window that says sharing” once they have the file cause they are used to http/ftp transfers.

    With the advent of legal “pay-per-view movies over ADSL” like they start to now promote in Europe, it might also be used from city hub to city hubs from the same video/audio provider while the end customer won’t know a thing. Here you can get Canal+, Eurosports, etc.. on ADSL. Unfortunately I want NHK, SKY, the Discovery Channel, not those dumb froggy channels.

  2. John

    The most useful thing that bittorrent can do is democratize the power of the internet. All of a sudden some yahoo with an idea can distribute it. This would mostly apply to open source software, garage bands, independent movies, etc (all of which there is more and more). Whats important is that online bandwith = power, and now you don’t have to have a million dollars to spend on hosting.

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