I'm more interested in the decentralization aspect. It makes live streams hard to censor and easy to distribute.
The closest open source equivalent we have is PPSPP (Peer-to-Peer Streaming Peer Protocol), or RFC 7574. Unfortunately, the reference implementation, libswift, was seemingly abandoned a few years ago. In addition, PPSPP only deals with a stream of bytes, and while it was made with video in mind there is no implementation that handles video well: making different swarms for different quality levels, intelligent chunking, perhaps even deterministic encoding.
Even good HTML5 players that match YouTube's feature set are few and far between.
Bitorrent Live is excellent btw. One of the best performing video apps on iOS.
- Doing adaptive bitrate like YouTube does means doing many transcodes.
- Transcoding is either extremely CPU intensive, bandwidth heavy or low quality.
- Transcoding in realtime requires further compromise on the above, to the point where distributing the transcode over multiple machines is necessary.
- There doesn't seem to be an agreed upon, browser supported protocol for live DASH. Static is easy enough but live is more difficult, especially when you add seeking, pausing etc.
- The above means you need both a backend and a frontend system.
- Running a system like this is very expensive. The entities interested in running it and able to do so are usually willing to pay for it.
All this said, Emby can stream a transcode and perhaps its stack would be a good place to start.
If you're interested in the tech and want to read some related stuff, we're hosting an engineering blog over at https://blog.btlive.io/.
I hesitate to wager, but I can imagine a world where an open video only protocol sucks up a bigger percent of attention than the web.
I'm sure there's other use cases, but I'm not sure what they'd be.
The big issue with P2P publicly is privacy. A lot of people don't want other people to know what they are doing.
Imagine for example youtube, or worse pornhub, using P2P.
Counterexample: network TV, radio, facebook.com, gmail.com, pretty much all of the ad-supported web.
>Peer-to-peer only ever made sense for popular stuff that people won't pay for.
Counterexample: Skype (freeium model on a P2P network). The content wasn't "popular" it was private phone conversations and people paid for it.
Counterexample: Bitcoin (runs on a P2P network). People pay fees to miners so that the network relays their transactions.
Counterexample: The internet. A giant P2P inter-network with all sorts of different business relationships. Many of which involve paying someone to send a packet that is only meaningful to a particular party.
>170 million people used the protocol every month, according to the company’s website. Facebook and Twitter use it to distribute updates to their servers. Florida State University has used it to distribute large scientific datasets to its researchers. Blizzard Entertainment has used BitTorrent to let players download World of Warcraft. The company’s site boasts that the protocol moves as much as 40 percent of the world’s Internet traffic each day.
Doesn't sound like a "shit protocol that only pirates use" to me.
How so? As far as I know it's actually pretty efficient.
If you look at how big files are moved on the net in practice it's all professional CDNs. BitTorrent is hardly used outside piracy.
And when the first CDN appeared, they were also hardly used. That approach would disqualify any business except copycats.
The article mentions that big cos are using BitTorrent for cluster upgrades. There's a lot of cash in enterprise networking. BitTorrent is basically a large blob multicast protocol.
BitTorrent Sync was a decent product too. What would have happened had they put $30 mil behind a push to take sync from Dropbox and Box instead of sidelining it? Seems like they spun out the best contender they had. It'd be funny if the spinoff succeeds.
receive controlling interest of a company with $33million in cash reserves by using a $10million promisory note to gain shares.
proceed to spend $18million in cash, some of which is spent to pay your buddies.
when time comes to pay $10million promisory note, shrug your shoulders, and no actual penalties are involved for not paying up.
am i missing something? sounds like a great scam.
They were like the Tandy or Radioshack of Australia at first, and followed a similar path - killing off their electronics hobbyist roots, and became pretty much a generic consumer electronics store.
I'm attempting to migrate away from an aging, single user, files-only OwnCloud instance to Syncthing, and the end user client is not nearly as painless. Syncthing distributes CLI binaries for a bunch of platforms, which is great. But there's no unified GUI for end users that's officially sanctioned. Instead, there's a bunch of 3rd party repos that one hopes they can trust. And, glaringly, zero iOS clients. (I'm working around this by adding a WebDAV server to my always-on system, but it's a workaround for sure.)
Normally the BitTorrent's general counsel would have objected to all this but Klinker (the CEO) and BitTorrent's long time general counsel are married to one another. How the board ever allowed the CEO to hire his wife as general counsel is totally bewildering.
P.S.: Off topic, but I dislike these Medium hosted sites with large blurry images on page load that come into focus later.
Why install a weird temperamental app when you can just stream video from Twitch (Amazon) or YouTube or Facebook? They've all invested tens of billions in networking infrastructure and have the necessary advertising structures to recoup the costs.
Streaming bandwidth is super pricey, and the money is enough to really matter. Even a startup can easily get to five or six figure expenses. Bittorrent Live gets that right.
However transcoding is critical, given that every OS and browser has its own format quirks. BT Live can't remotely do this.
Check out Zencoder for the real competition.
Maybe BT Live will find a niche with use cases that just produce no money at all, or where servers get shut down for political reasons. Marches, samizdat, and, uh, questionable copyright.
On a personal note, it's great to see the old decentralization crew on this thread.
1) overall user experience including seemless play and video quality
2) customer support burden
During a huge scale live event you can't afford to have more than a very small fraction of the users experiencing technical problems.
"Unbelievable story of..." feels very click-bait to me.