Torrents for blogging

Quite a few bloggers tend to post large videos to their blogs. The burden on their servers can become quite large. One good solution is to use torrents. The idea behind torrents is that everyone who wants to get the file actually help distribute it. To handle torrents you use a special client, such as BitTorrent. The client reads the torrent file and then starts downloading the original file. The portion of the file that has been downloaded is also uploaded again to any other torrent client requesting the file. What you get is a wide networked peer-to-peer sharing of the originally blogged file.

For torrents, you need a seed and a tracker. A seed is the client holding the original file. After all, at least one client should have the full file or there's not much point in sharing. The tracker is for keeping track of clients and seeds. Prodigem is a tracker service that can optionally host the seed.

A while ago, Joichi Ito offered Prodigem the idea of providing an API interface to their torrent service so that anyone could create torrents via ecto, for example. Gary Lerhaupt from Prodigem and me followed up with several emails and we settled on a REST API not unlike Flickr's API. Gary just finished implementing the Prodigem BitTorrent Web API. Obviously, ecto for MacOSX and for Windows will fully support this API and offer users a one-click sharing of their media files. Since I'm planning an ecto 3 for MacOSX version, this support will be part of that (free) upgrade, but I cannot give a timetable.

Technorati Tags: blogging, prodigem, torrent

Posted by Adriaan on September 14, 2005