Of course you know that BitTorrent is great for piracy not only because of the wide availability or torrents, but because the way in which BitTorrent operates means that no one is posting or downloading illegal files wholesale. But beyond all that, BitTorrent also has great practical applications when it comes to reducing the need for bandwidth by distributing the load among a network of users. It’s this handy quality that BitTorrent is using to experiment with peer-to-peer video streaming.
This Friday night, BitTorrent will be using the burgeoning technology to live stream NAMM Jam, a metal festival along with Dean Guitars. “Metal” as in the loosely-defined musical genre, not just a bunch of girders or something. The hope is that the large-scale test of this P2P streaming technology will go off without a hitch and P2P video streaming can go on to eliminate the need for crazy server infrastructure and reduce latency at the same time, making live streaming a much easier pursuit for the average Joe.
Bram Cohen, BitTorrent’s founder and lead mad scientist reports that, so far, the P2P video streaming protocol has been extremely stable, so now he wants to try to push it to its limits, which is presumably why he’s streaming a metal concert and not like, a [insert your least favorite band] concert. If you’re interested in helping to test before the real rocking starts, BitTorrent is already testing the protocol every night at 8 p.m. by having a DJ perform live at their headquarters and streaming that. Suddenly my office just started to feel a lot less cool.
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