Catching On To The Combination Of RSS And BitTorrent

from the seeing-the-power dept

Well, that didn't take long. Wired News is already reporting about Andrew Grumet quick and dirty demo of a combination of RSS and BitTorrent - something we were just discussing last week. It will be interesting to see how the major media players respond (if at all). What this does, is offer them an easy way to offer up online content to users (whether you're a big, small or almost non-existent media player). It has two major benefits: (1) it follows much more of a "push" model of content delivery, where a user receives any new content when it's released and (2) whoever publishes the content does not get hit with insane bandwidth use. Of course, if history is any indication, the major media companies will completely ignore the benefits, and jump to the conclusion that this is just another "tool for piracy" - which would be an unfortunate view of the technology (which actually isn't all that useful for illegally sharing files). Of course, the other interesting thing to watch is how many other companies start to copy this idea with BitTorrent-like distribution systems. There's no reason this specifically needs to be done with BitTorrent - and having some other options (perhaps ones that are easier to set up and understand) could help drive adoption even more.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Doug from the Hood, Mar 15th, 2004 @ 11:12am

    No Subject Given

    Why wouldn't this help illegal file sharing??? I am confused. Please visit It seems to me that Torrent is HELPINg illegal file sharing.

    Or maybe I am not getting enough sleep :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    Mike (profile), Mar 15th, 2004 @ 11:34am

    Re: No Subject Given

    The problem with using bittorrent for illegal sharing is that it's painfully easy to locate who's responsible...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    TAD, Mar 15th, 2004 @ 12:02pm

    No Subject Given

    But, with BitTorrents, you're only sharing a PART of a file with others, and usually not with hundreds or thousands of others, just the 5 or 6 people who are connected to you.

    I can't possibly see the difference in doing this and in sharing my VHS copy of the Sopranos with a buddy or two - and that's legal, isn't it? It'll be difficult for the empty suits to point at one person and say - this PIRATE is sharing 500000 files online! They can say, hey, Joe Blow shared a part of the Sopranos episode with 7 people.

    Isn't that a little different?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Brian Clark, Mar 15th, 2004 @ 12:30pm

    Swarming a little different

    I think Mike hit it on the head there: the difference between swarming and other P2P methods is in how the download gets originated. From a media producer's standpoint, I'm still the source of the torrent file (and publishing a torrent file is a way to help speed up the download and not bear as much of the cost.) If I take down the torrent file, then it's essentially out of BT (unless someone else publishes the torrent file, in which case they are easy to track down.)

    That swarming aspect is part of what makes the RSS feed addition possible where in other P2P it would be far more frustrating -- since the torrent file is always up (supposedly) you can point to it with a feed as an authority, rather than just having to point to one of the peers that may or may not be up, or point to some "central index" of where to get that peer.

    Keep at it, Mike: clearly more education still needs to be done about why BT is a wee bit different than other kinds of P2P.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 15th, 2004 @ 12:42pm

    No Subject Given

    What if we used the combined power of RSS, BitTorrent, PHP, CGI, and XML! Just Imagine!

    I'll go patent that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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