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PeerTube v2 (framablog.org)
455 points by jeremiem 27 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 151 comments



I really want to like peertube but I think its UX, at least where it stands now, is going to hold it back from ever challenging youtube.

I use youtube a lot, and for a huge range of topics. I don't have any interest in creating an account on a niche-specific instance and I think the average user who doesn't even understand what federalization does even less. However, I literally don't even understand how to make an account on what, as far I can tell, is supposed to be the go-to instance - https://peertube.social. If there's no main platform where you can watch and discover general content then there's nothing that you can point new users to.

As a developer, if you want to host a niche video site, then peertube looks great. As a user, if you want to move off of youtube then I don't think this is how you're going to do that.


Probably because:

> Signups are currently closed, but you can get an account by sending a message (including your desired username) through the "contact administrator" button above. Please read the terms first.

(from https://peertube.social/about/instance)


After following the documentation, It looks like joinpeertube.org is the peertube signup page. peertube.social appears to be a leftist oriented instance.


I think hosting a niche video site is more PT’s speed anyway.

There are plenty of video makers that have an audience that would follow them them to a new platform and PT is one way to do that and (possibly) keep more of the cut that YT is currently taking now.

As long as YT stays dominant they’re always going to have the advantage of availability and discovery so it’s honestly not worth competing for makers on that front.


>I think hosting a niche video site is more PT’s speed anyway.

I'm not debating you but just want to highlight the 1st sentence from the article of this thread: ", we have been developing a software to free us all from YouTube & Co for a year."

Whether the dev team really thinks PeerTube's architecture can replace Youtube for "all of us" instead of just niche content, I can't say.


> keep more of the cut that YT is currently taking now.

Keep more of what cut? AFAICT, YouTube creators make money from two primary sources: YouTube ads and Patreon. The latter is independent of YouTube (i.e. YouTube doesn't get a cut). The former seems very closely tied to YouTube. How would an independent creator even go about sourcing ads to show on their independent site? Do they want to put in the effort? Would they really have enough leverage to get paid substantially more than their cut of YouTube's ads?


> How would an independent creator even go about sourcing ads to show on their independent site? Do they want to put in the effort?

I'm pretty sure networks on Youtube are able to provide alternative ads on channels part of their networks already.

Any Youtuber can also put bake ads directly in their videos too, all the big ones already do that either in sponsorship, or literally as ads (see Linus Tech Tips as a reference).

So essentially PeerTube doesn't add anything in revenue, it only remove Youtube ads network (which can provide quite a bit of money without any effort in ads).


There's a list of instances that allow account creation: https://joinpeertube.org/instances#instances-list peertube.social is not one of them.


While your point is very valid it look like peertube.social isn't the got to instance as far as the v2 new information page tell.

https://peertube.social/about/instance "Peertube instance for leftist and non-commercial content. Unlimited uploads (up to 500 MB per day)"

I never used youtube account so as long as video are accessible without login on peertube it's a small bother, but yeah v3 should have some OpenID like mechanism.


I would wonder why sites don't just copy most of YouTube's layout. Japanese video sites thrive and look very similar, but with their own kind of community setups. Does Google own some sort of copyright or software patents on their 'content presentation'?

On that note, if we were to ever get efficient AV1 encoding/decoding in the browser it may be possible to eliminate the large conversion and bandwidth overhead that currently makes competition quite difficult


I don't quite like this way of "decentralization". If I understand it correctly, you have to pick up a provider to make an account. And then other providers can somehow link your provider seamlessly. Nice, but if my provider shuts down, all my videos and my account are lost, are they not? Why can't we simply have globe-scale storage with many replicas, with every provider hosting some files of others? That would be true decentralization, similar to how torrent is decentralized. Maybe the whole process of scheduling and routing is hard to design...


The interface on that go-to instance is quite slow. The infinite scroll takes a few seconds every scroll to catch up.

Also the actual content there seems lacking. Lots of non-English content (would it not be better to have some language filter?) and further down feet-tickling and NSFW videos...


The "federalization" of internet services...

I don't know why this came across so darn funny.


The peer-to-peer storage and sharing of video files isn't the hard part: it's the ability to search for and discover content that makes YouTube compelling in my opinion. Are any of these p2p YouTube replacements presenting a compelling way to search/discover content in a distributed way? Or if the search index is centralized, do any of them have a compelling model for staying funded without selling everyone's search/catalog information to data brokers?


> Are any of these p2p YouTube replacements presenting a compelling way to search/discover content in a distributed way?

Being "distributed" over p2p/federated architecture opposes the end-user convenience of search/discovery/ranking/recommendations because of speed-of-light limitations. I wrote a previous comment about this: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17578332

Also, the previous last reply by posting2fast of a partial-centralized server doesn't really replace Youtube because his proposed idea creates new problems of spam videos and untrusted/fake videos. E.g. the central index of metadata says "www.johndoehomeserver.com" has a tutorial video for Algebra but when you actually stream the video from "johndoehomeserver.com", you get a spam video for Viagra instead of math instruction. Therefore, users will naturally gravitate toward the centralized servers that have both the metadata and the actual video content. This emergent group behavior of preferences would end up recreating another "Youtube"-like clone.

p2p architecture and torrents works well for things like pirated Photoshop or ripped Marvel Avengers movies because the users already have the content's title _preloaded_ in their brain and therefore a centralized index for discovery/serendipity of unknown content isn't necessary.


It does not necessarily oppose it. All there needs to be done is to expose a static, daily generated JSON file that contains all videos on the instance. This has nothing to do with the speed of light.

Anyone then could build a search index and build a good search experience.

To combat spam, instances should reveal up/downvotes to indicate quality, I guess your fake math video would not get much love from the community.


>This has nothing to do with the speed of light.

Please take extra care to correctly parse what I actually wrote in response to the gp. Yes, speed-of-light is still a limitation based on the gp's constraint of "search/discovery in a _distributed_ way" which means the search algorithm avoids central servers and loops through a bunch of remote p2p nodes to parse a bunch of exposed JSON manifest files.

If instead, the search algorithm loops through data in a cached index server, that's no longer "search in a distributed way" that the gp was originally wondering about. That's the particular point I was responding to.

>Anyone then could build a search index and build a good search experience.

Now, as to the issue with that "cache index server" that pre-parses the JSON files...

The cache server that also contains the actual video data will naturally attract the most users because when they hit the "play" button on their smartphone, the video starts immediately instead of waiting or suffering stuttering from somebody's flakey home video server.

So, the index server with the "good experience" as perceived by users will be the one that also includes the actual videos -- basically acts as a CDN -- and this emergent behavior of user preferences defeats the decentralized ideals of p2p video.

We see that p2p of things like illegal software already works and is proven. However, p2p of mainstream videos has massive technical hurdles that oppose how typical users like to discover content and play them with immediate gratification.


> If instead, the search algorithm loops through data in a cached index server, that's no longer "search in a distributed way" that the gp was originally wondering about.

So DNS isn't distributed because my computer caches queries?

I think this is arguing semantics rather than practicalities. Centralization isn't binary -- it's a continuum, and we care about it because of the benefits it provides, not because we think it's an end in and of itself. What we care about is the ability to aggregate search results from multiple places, to bypass search if we have a specific video URL that's being shared, and to build our own search engines without running into copyright problems.

If all of those goals can be accomplished with a caching server, then does anyone actually care if it's technically decentralized?

> So, the index server with the "good experience" as perceived by users will be the one that also includes the actual videos -- basically acts as a CDN -- and this emergent behavior of user preferences defeats the decentralized ideals of p2p video.

My reading of this argument is I might as well just host my blog on Medium, because Google search is just another point of centralization. And after all, for speed reasons users will prefer to use a search engine that hosts both the blog and the search results -- so eventually Google search is definitely going to lose to Medium anyway.

But of course Medium isn't going to unseat Google, because in the real world speed improvements are relative, and at a certain point users stop caring, or at least other concerns like range of accessible content and network effects begin to matter a lot more.


> Centralization isn't binary -- it's a continuum

It's both I would argue. Distributed systems professor here. My lab has been working on a "academically pure" distributed Youtube for 14 years and 7 months now. That means no central servers, no web portals, and no discovery website. Pure Peer-to-Peer and lawyer-proof hopefully. Distributing everything usually means developer productivity drops by roughly 95%. Plus half of our master-level students are not capable of significantly contributing. Decentralised==hard. This is something the "Distributed Apps" generation is re-discovering after the Napter-age Devs got kids/s

> All there needs to be done is to expose a static, daily generated JSON file that contains all videos on the instance.

Or simply make it real-time gossip. Disclaimer; promoting our work here. We implemented a semantic clustered overlay back in 2014 for decentralised video search, that could make it just as fast as Google Servers[1]. This year we finished implementing a real-time channel feed of Magnet links protocol + deployment to our users. Our 51k concurrent users ensure that we can simply re-seed a new Bittorrent hash with 1 million hashes, then everybody updates. Complete research portfolio, including our decentralised trust function [2].

> does anyone actually care if it's technically decentralized?

That is an interesting question. Our goal is real Internet freedom. In our case, logically decentralisation is a hard requirement. Our users often don't care. Caching servers quickly introduce brittleness into your architecture and legal issues.

[1]https://www.usenix.org/system/files/conference/foci14/foci14... [2]https://github.com/Tribler/tribler/wiki#current-items-under-...


>So DNS isn't distributed because my computer caches queries?

Again, I'm not talking about a technical engineering component. I'm talking about users aggregate behaviors. Please see my other reply of how we seem to be talking at different abstraction levels.

>Centralization isn't binary -- it's a continuum, and we care about it because of the benefits it provides, not because we think it's an end in and of itself.

Right, but that's not what I'm arguing. I'm talking about centralization as a emergent phenomenon that bypasses the ideals decentralized protocols that the protocol's designers didn't intend.

>If all of those goals can be accomplished with a caching server, then does anyone actually care if it's technically decentralized?

I guess I don't understand the premise then because if that were true, why would the adjective "distributed" even be mentioned in the question "search/discovery in a _distributed_ way?" To me, something about distributed/decentralized as a characteristic in the technical implementation is very important to the person asking the question.

EDIT: here's another example of that type of "search without central indexing server" question: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20282397


> I'm talking about users aggregate behaviors.

So am I.

For example, Github currently hosts the majority of Git repositories online, and I've heard people argue that this means Git isn't really decentralized, because the user behavior is to stick everything into a central repository on a central server. But when Microsoft bought Github, lots of people migrated to Gitlab, and (issues notwithstanding) it was easy for them to do so because of Git's distributed architecture. Git was decentralized enough that pivoting from a bad event was still way easier than it would have been with a different architecture.

When I talk about decentralization as a practical concern, I'm not worried about users aggregating around good services. I'm worried about whether the architecture supports moving away from or augmenting those services if something goes wrong in the future.

And what I mean when I talk about centralization as a continuum is that the social aggregated behaviors you're worried about are still strictly better under a PeerTube system than they are under a Youtube system -- so there's no point in bashing PeerTube just because it doesn't solve literally every problem.

If I'm removed from a centralized PeerTube indexing service, my video is still online under the same URL, and I can still point users at a different indexing service. If censorship becomes problematic or widespread, users will move to different indexes because the network lock-in of an indexer is less than the lock-in of a social platform. As far as speed concerns go, users can fall back on slower indexers only when fast ones fail. All of this is workable.

But if I'm removed from Youtube, I have to start over from scratch with a new URL on a different site with different features that doesn't play nicely with any of the existing tools or infrastructure.

> I'm talking about centralization as a emergent phenomenon

The emergent phenomenon you're talking about is that sometimes better, faster services have more users than bad services. That's not a problem with decentralization, and that's not a problem decentralization is trying to solve. Decentralization is only trying to mitigate the harmful effects of that phenomenon.

It is not a desirable goal of decentralization to make every node in a graph have the same traffic levels -- and I mean that both on a technical and on a cultural level.


>When I talk about decentralization as a practical concern, I'm not worried about users aggregating around good services. I'm worried about whether the architecture supports moving away from or augmenting those services if something goes wrong in the future.

I understand your point here but this sounds more like a technical detail and not about social power structure. To your point, I'd also say the combination of DNS and http protocols already allow for people to move their content around the internet (keep the same url) and yet people do care about aggregation around platforms because they don't like concentration of power. So even though you state you don't worry about it, others do. I believe reducing platform power is part of the motivation for p2p video.

>And what I mean when I talk about centralization as a continuum is that the social aggregated behaviors you're worried about are still strictly better under a PeerTube system than they are under a Youtube system -- so there's no point in bashing PeerTube just because it doesn't solve literally every problem.

Btw, I'm not "bashing" Peertube. Instead, I'm trying to emphasize that it would be a mistaken belief to think that a p2p video protocol can stop defacto centralization. (E.g. see history of http protocol on why that doesn't happen.) Instead of thinking about what's technically possible with cache index servers, we should think about what humans typically do that inadvertently recreates centralization that nobody seems to want. A quality cache index server can create a feedback loop that attracts both users and video uploaders which weakens decentralized p2p nodes. If that particular cache server's popularity doesn't really matter because p2p nodes will always be able to independently exist, then that means today we can also say that Youtube doesn't matter because you can already serve videos (AWS, Azure, home server) independently outside of Youtube.

>If I'm removed from a centralized PeerTube indexing service, my video is still online under the same URL, and I can still point users at a different indexing service. If censorship becomes problematic or widespread, users will move to different indexes because the network lock-in of an indexer is less than the lock-in of a social platform.

But people can make the same argument about Google's index search results. E.g. it doesn't matter if your blog or niche pet store got removed from the page 1 of the search results because you can theoretically point users to a different indexing service (Bing, or roll-your-own index ranking algorithm with Common Crawl dataset, etc). The content at the url domain you already own is still at that url. But we both know that answer (while true in a sense) does not satisfy people. Website owners get very upset when they lose ranking or get removed (censorship) from search results altogether. Even though there are technical solutions for people to not use "google.com", it's irrelevant when their mental framework is "power & influence" of Google.

>The emergent phenomenon you're talking about is that sometimes better, faster services have more users than bad services. That's not a problem with decentralization, and that's not a problem decentralization is trying to solve. Decentralization is only trying to mitigate the harmful effects of that phenomenon.

I think I disagree with that but let me expand. If the goal of decentralization is some diversity (e.g. some niche content has a place to serve video outside of Youtube) then your paragraph makes sense. However, if it's the more ambitious idea of "replace Youtube", then yes, it's a huge problem of decentralization that it can't be as fast/convenient/quality as centralized services for normal users. If most mainstream users are avoiding decentralized services because it "didn't solve problems it doesn't claim to solve" -- does it mean decentralization "succeeded"? I guess there's semantic wiggle room there.

>It is not a desirable goal of decentralization to make every node in a graph have the same traffic levels

I never claimed equal traffic was desirable and that seems to be an uncharitable reading of my points.


> Instead of thinking about what's technically possible with cache index servers, we should think about what humans typically do that inadvertently recreates centralization that nobody seems to want.

The comment you link to above makes a technical argument. It asserts what you believe is and isn't technically possible. In that sense I feel like you are moving the goal posts.


You're using "search/discovery in a distributed way" in a very literal manner. I interpreted the question as being one much more meaningful to the vast majority of users: "can a user search for content across the various distributed servers?"

That's all an end-user cares about.

Indexing videos once a day (or once an hour or whatever) would be very feasible. Indeed, different servers could create their own indexes, and some might be better at sorting for relevance than others.


>That's all an end-user cares about.

I imagined gp (mikece) as a HN techie (not an oblivious end-user) and thought he was wondering about how to use programming technology to avoid central servers ... and therefore, me interpreting "search/discovery in a distributed way" in a very literal manner was the appropriate level of abstraction to mikece. Avoiding central servers (if possible) is an interesting goal to discuss because they have a tendency to attract disproportionate users which defeats the goals of decentralization.

>Indexing videos once a day (or once an hour or whatever) would be very feasible.

And here, you're interpreting what's feasible only at the level of the technical stack instead of considering several chess moves ahead to emergent group behaviors which renders the metadata-only type of index a solution as not end-user friendly.

>, and some might be better at sorting for relevance than others.

And that's the server that would end up becoming a defacto "centralized" server that people were trying to avoid. This is especially true if that superior server also includes the video data.

Consider that the http protocol itself is already decentralized. If that's true why do people perceive Youtube and Facebook as centralized when they're only nodes on a http network? Because decentralized protocols don't stop emergent group behavior towards centralization.


There could be multiple search servers. I don't understand how that goes against the centralized nature, links to the video hosting instances would still be essential. Distributed services still benefit the traffic from Google, DDG, etc. Why this project is special?

I fail to see how an search index would be bad user experience. Compare that to the current situation of 61 isolated, unsearchable PeerTube instances.


Ok, I think we're talking past each other. Let me attempt to unravel.

You/SamBam/danShumway are at the abstraction level of technical protocols, parsing JSON files, index servers, etc.

I'm at the abstraction level of psychology and emergent group behavior that overrides those ideal technical structures.

>Distributed services still benefit the traffic from Google,

This sentence is a perfect example of how we're focusing on different things.

Your interpretation: Google is an index, and it links out to distributed servers. Ergo, an analagous Peertube-Index metadata server that lists PeerTube p2p nodes can be technically accomplished to do the same thing. What's the problem?!?

My interpretation of mikece: Google's index/algorithm/ranking/censorship has "too much power" over the web ecosystem and this a common complaint of its centralized authority of urls. Who gave Google all that power? Us websurfers did! How did it get that power even though it just has links to distributed http nodes instead of serving up the data (NYTimes article, etc) itself? [Excluding Google Amp in this example.]

To me, mikece is asking how to avoid another Google/Youtube type of defacto centralization of power which means we avoid central servers from existing to accumulate that power in the first place. To me this means p2p clients all querying each other and mikece is wondering if this is tehnically possible. That's what my speed-of-light answer is about.

Therefore, discussing what's "technically feasible" with indexing p2p video nodes seems to be missing the point if the abstraction level is emergent group behavior.


What does this emergent behavior mean in practice? It's not inherently good or bad. If my index becomes more popular than individual nodes, so what? PeerTube is doomed? As you mentioned, I don't see a problem with this. User experience matters a lot and Google realized this 20 years ago. 1 input, 10 instant results, the rest is history.

I see you don't like this, but slicing up a service to isolated islands won't help much. It's a good step forward, but search is essential and in this case takes very little effort.

Furthermore PeerTube instances are centralized services too, if one gets very popular, then it will thrive / suffer the same way YouTube did.


>What does this emergent behavior mean in practice? It's not inherently good or bad. If my index becomes more popular than individual nodes, so what?

Apathy or indifference is also a valid position. However, I was addressing the many who do think there's "bad" in that emergent behavior.

What does it mean in practice? Some believe Google's search index, Youtube's video service, Facebook, etc have too much power over the internet. Therefore, lecturing them that "the http protocol itself is already decentralized so what does it matter that one http node spelled "youtube" is more popular?" -- is not a satisfactory explanation. They want to change that power imbalance.

Therefore, I believe the social ideals for p2p video would be to take away power from Youtube and have it more widely dispersed. Ideally, nobody would be big enough to "dominate" in the web video ecosystem. There wouldn't be a Power Law of popular cache index servers with one eventually dominating.

I'm saying that p2p video really can't prevent that from happening if a bunch of users voluntarily gravitate towards index servers which are centralized -- which negates the power-dissipating intentions of p2p. Also consider that many video content creators would voluntarily upload their videos to those index cache servers which further solidifies the centralization of power. Humans keep being humans and will subvert the (global) goals of decentralization and (local individual actions) aggregated together inadvertently recreate centralized platforms!

If you don't care about that, that's valid but a lot of others do based on common complaints of Youtube wielding too much influence.


> Being "distributed" over p2p/federated architecture opposes the end-user convenience of search/discovery/ranking/recommendations because of speed-of-light limitations.

Speed of light is not the bottleneck in reaching 1000ms search response time anywhere on earth. Calling it a speed-of-light limitation does a disservice to your point, which really is that querying many peers for search results is slow, for reasons that have nothing to do with the speed of light.

> E.g. the central index of metadata says "www.johndoehomeserver.com" has a tutorial video for Algebra but when you actually stream the video from "johndoehomeserver.com", you get a spam video for Viagra instead of math instruction.

That some video content may not reflect its supposed category or title is not a new problem, is it?


> discover content

Discover heavily sponsored content from content farms. As an experiment, even with an old account, start just browsing the content Youtube highlights. You will soon end with a recommendation page full of shit with 500K+ views using the same template.


I don't understand your point; garbage in, garbage out.

I have a very old account and browse suggestions using my brain, not randomly. While not perfect, almost every recommendation right now looks like something I could watch.

Bicycling, civil engineering, cat toys, and weird metal music mashups, which are all similar to things I intentionally watched, but haven't watched.


You could look at LBRY (https://lbry.tech https://lbry.com https://beta.lbry.tv).

LBRY is similar to PeerTube in open and decentralization, but all content metadata is written to a blockchain, which means everyone/anyone can access the index. This blockchain can then be searched (https://github.com/lbryio/lighthouse) or extracted to SQL (https://github.com/lbryio/chainquery).


Sadly, LBRY isn't able to track view counts. Which makes organic, network effects really difficult.

Maybe they could implement a naive "view tracking" by having the client do small proof of work when they interact with content?

Similar to voting in NotaBug? https://github.com/notabugio/notabug


Well that's the real problem when you start competing with Google and the like. They're data behemoths. As long as you don't have as much data collected, they'll have a significant advantage. The solution to this is really simple and hardly conceivable at the same time: make competitively important data public. In this case, that's anonymized video browsing/viewing data. Market competition would flourish, the big guys would lose the monopoly.


>In this case, that's anonymized video browsing/viewing data

So the view count publicly available and something like the Google search analytics already available? Personalized data offers a huge competitive advantage.


Personalized (as in per user) and anonymized are not mutually exclusive.


Sure, but non-anonymized personalized data still provides a competitive advantage.


I'd say the use for personal identification is cross-platform linking of users. I.e., this user on Google Search and this user on Google Maps are the same person. I agree that this is a competitive advantage, because, in the same vein, it gives the platform owners more data. Technically, anonymized cross-platform-linked data is conceivable.

I think if the legislation ball ever gets rolling two things we're likely to see, because they're low-hanging fruit, are the end of mass tracking on the internet and a meaningful shift in who controls the data gathered.

I can imagine a platform akin to internet banking where you manage your data and its usage.

Something I'd love to see is a "publication" of big-data algorithms. A private entity designs the algorithm for profit and leases it and you run it in your (trusted) environment, owning both the input and output. Nothing leaks.


>I'd say the use for personal identification is cross-platform linking of users.

Its "this person watched this, so they would also be interested in this video and this ad." You can't make this anonymous and near as useful, and it is currently YouTube and Google's premium money maker.

Most other data is already available with a little work, providing the data you describe doesn't help competition that much.


> this person watched this, so they would also be interested in this video and this ad

That's what I meant by cross-platform linking.

> You can't make this anonymous and near as useful

I argue that you can. Anonymity is about not linking you, the physical person, to your online presence. An online presence can be tracked and profiled, without the invasion of privacy. It all depends on what data is collectable and who has access to the data. An algo provider doesn't need to also control the data it is used on, it just needs access to training datasets. There are technical solutions to all these problems, but it's a political solution that's lacking.

> Most other data is already available with a little work, providing the data you describe doesn't help competition that much.

Well if it doesn't help competition, how useful can it be?


>That's what I meant by cross-platform linking..

Everything there is taking place on YouTube. Ads can maybe be a cross platform, but even that isn't necessary

>I argue that you can

It can't. Knowing what videos I have watched in the past is very useful. This can't truly be anonymous and shared.

>Well if it doesn't help competition, how useful can it be?

You are the one arguing that releasing this data solves a problem.


I've tried to explain my thoughts on all these points. This seems like a dead conversation, so let's not continue it.


But then who will be incentivized to gather the data?


Anyone who needs more, I guess? Or, is the premise that gathering data is resource intensive (like innovation and patents for example)?

These aren't big problems, I think. The problem is that the people who hold the monopolies on data at the moment are also the people who are extremely powerful lobyists.


> Are any of these p2p YouTube replacements presenting a compelling way to search/discover content in a distributed way?

Ideally we’d see blogs return as the curated content mediators.


I really like the idea behind these types of decentralized projects. However I want to mention that they rarely take off. And it's usually not due to some technical or marketing related reason. The simple economic reason for the lack of their success is that centralized organization like YouTube can operate much more efficiently than a decentralized one like peertube. Some of the reasons are: Higher organizational efficiency (faster restructuring due to an explicit hierarchy), which allows them to quickly adapt to a changing environment. Benefiting from economies of scale (buying specialized hardware for video hosting in bulk). Being a for-profit organization provides them with a constant feedback loop whether they still meet consumer demands. On top of that a constant source of income allows them to have paid employees. Paid employees are (all year round) more motivated to continuously adapt the platform to changing consumer demands.


I just want a place (that I own) where I can store my videos, watch them and share them with people. Even if they didn't work on Peertube anymore it's already enough if they give me basic (but working) features. Not everything has to keep "improving" all the time.

A big THANK YOU to those who contribute to this project.


You're right on all points.

Still, some of the most successful systems are decentralized: internet, telephone, email, torrent, bitcoin et al, the web (caveat that DNS is centralized), etc.

All of these examples are basically networks of people. Do we want these networks operated by private companies?


I think what you refer to as decentralized systems is for the most part applications on top of the TCP/IP protocol stack. Still I wouldn't call the examples you provided - with the exception of torrents - as decentralized. The internet and the telephone systems are mostly run by a few large ISPs and CDNs, email by a few large providers (Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook), and for most people the web consists of Facebook, Youtube, Spotify, Instagram, etc and a few large newspaper sites.


I setup a peertube and companion mastodon just about a year ago. I mostly used the peertube personally. A few weeks later I noticed some user was uploading movie rips so I disabled the user account in the barebones admin user interface and set a user data limit at 2 gigabytes, the server had tons of space and this seemed generous.

Fast foward EOM, what appeared to be the same user created an automated system to create a new user, upload 2GB and move to the next. Peertubes basic ui had no way to mass ban, set filters, nothing. I had a monster bill and just unplugged the whole thing because the users were coming from a wide range of ips.

While I hope that was an outlier, the UI still leaves a LOT to be desired, and slower instances are painful to use


I love how we spend so much time rediscovering all those hard truths that we supposedly already learned in the "Web 2.0" era. Whenever you have user-generated content, you need to deal with the quality and legality of that content. FOSS and decentralization enthusiasts still seem to be imagining the internet as a place where all people willingly cooperate to create positive value for everyone, as if trolls, pirates and conspiracy theorists weren't a thing.


Went on https://peertube.video/ and immediately got a bunch of porn. Not really sure from a consumer aspect this is yet fully there from a UX perspective!

But the tech is really interesting and as a federated alternative I could see it doing really well. Best of luck to the team!


This is the nazi bar effect. If everybody forbids something, and you allow it - you quickly get associated only with that 1 thing you allow others don't.

Normal people don't want to hang around in a bar that allows nazis, and nazis from everywhere go there because it's the only place.

Peertube solves the easy problem (infrastructure) and ignores the hard problems: search, discoverability, moderation, accountability, handling all the relevant laws.


Peertube, 5 years in: YouTube still has a monopoly on generalist video streaming, but at least pornhub and xvideos are dead.


Anyone can start an instance and post whatever they want. Just because it has "peertube" in the URL doesn't mean it's an "official" instance or anything like that.


Whether a service is centralized or decentralized might matter a lot to us here, but to 99% of people it's utterly irrelevant. An implementation detail.

Therefore their mental model will equate Youtube (a service) with Peertube (an application used by multiple services). If illegal content is on some Peertube, it's "on Peertube" and it drags down all the other stuff that is "on Peertube". Just like how big advertisers withdraw all their campaigns from all of Youtube when a single popular Youtuber posts a particularly distasteful video. They don't recognize the substructure inside Youtube's community because, to the public majority, Youtube is a monolithic thing. It's going to be the same for Peertube. (Unless Peertube has a better marketing department than behemoths like Youtube, which it likely has not.)


The solution to that then is to not pretend like PeerTube is centralized by hijacking the name for your URL. If you're hosting an instance, give it a unique name. If MyCoolVideos.com is a peertube instance with a bunch of child porn, then MyCoolVideos.com is going to get labeled as a bad site, and no one will know or care if the underlying technology is PeerTube.

This is a problem with federated services in general. People always seem to want to register on the "official" instance, when really there is none. I think there should be a solution to help people make the decision, or better yet not force them to make a decision at all. Maybe some OpenID-type login/account system should be used instead of having to make an account on a single instance. Or simply stop trying to market the underlying tech, like Mastodon or PeerTube, since that's not going to make a difference to the end-user and will just confuse them.


Sounds like centralisation to me! No more open than making a WordPress blog. Am I wrong?


You are wrong because the difference is that the individual instances are federated. This means that they connect together in the backend to provide users with each other's content.

When you go on Youtube and watch someone's channel, the side bar shows you suggested videos from other channels.

PeerTube can do that same thing even if every channel is hosted on its own instance. The administrator just needs to link their instance with others (so they can, for example, avoid linking to porn instances or other undesired/unrelated topics), and PeerTube will start displaying videos hosted on other instances all without requiring the user to visit another website.


That makes sense! So KittensTube, MagicTricksTube and CleanTube could all connect to each other and act as a network of federated sites based off of PeerTube?


Yup, it's the same concept as GNU social, Mastodon, Pleroma, etc.


Thanks for the heads up! Didn't want to click through on my open plan office - or worse with my son sat next to me!


Seems like stabot ( https://gitlab.com/juergens/stabbot ) is using that instance as some kind of intermediate store. So what ever is requested of it will get posted.


This was my first thought. With all of these YT alternatives I always end up asking who determines what content is saved/available? What if it doesn't go along with their beliefs or political stance? There's a fine line between going too far in each direction. e.g. China vs Pirate Bay

Edit: "a system where videos require manual approval by administrators before posting them" If you're seeing a ton of porn, then clearly the sysadmin's beliefs/views don't align with mine.


And the great thing is that you then can use an instance that has a sysadmin that filters better for your needs.


I believe the correct URL is https://peertube.social/ ?


That's only an instance. Frontpage would be: https://joinpeertube.org/


Does anyone know of a successful server-based peer-to-peer project other than TOR and cryptocurrencies? I'm all for breaking free of the stranglehold of centralized proprietary platforms, but it also seems to me that most of the open source projects that ever really succeed at competing against entrenched proprietary incombents are the ones where a centralized service is being provided by a non-profit (e.g. Wikimedia Foundation, Mozilla, Canonical). Maybe expecting people to set up a server is just a bridge too far? Maybe there's just too many conveniences in centralization for todays users to put up with the hassle? Maybe there needs to be a centralized server that is as easy to use as the proprietary ones, and then the hardcore users can set up their own and federate with the central one?


BitTorrent? For a while it was consuming a large fraction of the public internet bandwidth worldwide. This might still be the case.

Although paid streaming has certainly taken a chunk out of its market share, there remain to be many things that can't be had on the big streaming providers. For that, there is always the p2p system with the deepest content selection :)


"successful server-based peer-to-peer" - it's certainly P2P, but I thought the whole point of Bittorrent was to avoid needing servers?


At least in private tracker land a lot of us use seedboxes. Install some autodownloaders and plex on it and you've got your own private netflix with any content you want.

Avoiding servers might be the whole point of bittorrent per its creators but us end users just want a good media experience. Server, no server, legal, illegal, pay server company, pay media company, whatever. Best experience > all else.


Doesn't that also disqualify most cryptocurrencies?


As examples of successful server-based p2p projects go, I would have picked Matrix and Mastodon. Not as successful as e-mail, mind you, but steadily growing.

Matrix is envisioning a transition to a complete p2p system in the future, if that ever proves possible.

Some stats are available on https://the-federation.info/info , such services have been recently coined as the "fediverse", and ActivityPub is a standard that emerged out of the will to unify those services and make them interoperable: mastodon, peertube and diaspora are interoperable, AFAIK.


E-Mail


This is interesting as when the subject of setting up your own server comes up, people always complain how much of a hassle it is to maintain sender reputation with Gmail and Outlook.

This leads me to two thoughts/questions:

1. Maybe successful decentralization schemes should be made providing for some peers that will be private for-profit? I know that (for example) IPFS encourages building services.

2. What could we do to ensure that small private peers will continue to be viable, even if some large for-profit peers will dominate? Of course such measures should be reasonably resistant to being used by bad spammy/illegal actors etc. ("Bad actors being bad" is always a handy rhetoric for overcentralization, but the problem itself should be obviously addressed.)


Right, and web servers too - neither had much competition when it launched though, so the point about no being able to beat incumbent proprietary solutions still stands. Not to mention the majority of people get their email hosted by a proprietary service these days.


>neither had much competition when it launched though

I'm sceptikal as well, about a federated protocol being able to replace an existing entrenched player. Buy I still hope.

>Not to mention the majority of people get their email hosted by a proprietary service these days.

But all the proprietary services talk to eachother, and, mostly, talk to private instances as well. There are absolutely allowed to be proprietary PeerTube instances.


>Maybe there needs to be a centralized server that is as easy to use as the proprietary ones, and then the hardcore users can set up their own and federate with the central one?

I think if you take care of the basic concepts, the rest is easy. Technical details about server organization are not really that important. The root problem seems to be that people have trouble looking past the app/program that they interact with.

It is still quite common for people to think of the web as IE, Chrome etc. Because it is for them. It is a legitimate thing to think. There are undoubtedly people out there that think of Gmail as the thing that they use to communicate with people. That is unless they again consider the browser as the thing that does that.

I have a friend who refers to the XMPP network as "Xabber" simply because that is the app she uses to chat with me. She is entirely uninterested in any details of the network. Suggestions that she switch to a better XMPP client are met with confusion.

Perhaps we need to teach the concept of a "protocol" in school. There are a lot of important concepts we fail to teach people these days. That is probably one of them.


> Perhaps we need to teach

Perhaps we need to start accepting that not everyone wants to know the particulars of the things that we care about. The need to teach new things is one of the big forces standing in the way of wide adoption of a lot of open solutions.


Are you familiar with the proverb "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime" ?

It's not about teaching everyone how to setup a PT instance, but how things works for the best outside a totaly centralised and company-owned system.


When someone is not interested in learning you're not going to be able to force them. In my experience you either make peace with that or live a frustrating life.


> Maybe expecting people to set up a server is just a bridge too far? Maybe there's just too many conveniences in centralization for todays users to put up with the hassle?

The users expected to set up servers should be tech-savvy people (not necessarily with any programming experience) wanting to do something for their online and offline communities. This should be like hosting forums, which is still a thing here and there. Or WordPress.

This infrastructure should be in place when some major event strikes that would drive people from centralized platforms (compare https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21480623 ). Of course who knows what will happen. But at least, we should have a durable infrastructure as an alternative to big corporate players, even if only some people will use it in practice.

It would be interesting if Alphabet would support some PeerTube-like initiative at some point, as an anti-antitrust measure.


Napster was so successful that the RIAA filed law suits to shut it down.


Wasn't Napster based on a central server and then a bunch clients who found each other via that server and then connected p2p? (And since the central server was the weak link that law enforcement could go after, Bittorrent evolved to get rid of the need for it). If so it actually further underscores the point about a central server providing ease-of-use and not being able to expect 'normal' people to set up servers themselves.


Yes, and PeerTube also uses a central server as matchmaker model, but in this case the match could be made to another Federated server on a different host.


>a successful server-based peer-to-peer project other

BitChute certainly, if only in part. The website proper is centralized, but the video delivery is ran via BitTorrent. Currently the video quality is kept somewhat low (720p IIRC), but this means initial wait time is pleasantly short, on the order of 2...5 seconds.


Nextcloud. Or depending on how you define a server, Bittorrent.


I didn't know NextCloud was P2P (I thought it was just based on a central server with a bunch of clients) - what's the P2P part?


You can share content with users of other instances, or import content that is being shared with you into your own account. This is federation, but still quite limited.

Example: I can share a folder from I@myserver.org with you@yourserver.net


Syncthing is equivalent to the file-sync portion of Nextcloud and really is p2p FWIW. Been happy enough to replace my Onedrive subscription and once set up, just works.


It's not peer-to-peer, but you can share files between Nextcloud instances.


Check Awesome P2P: https://github.com/kgryte/awesome-peer-to-peer

I like https://datproject.org and the idea of https://beakerbrowser.com (with Beaker you can setup a website without needing a server)

Edit: There is also an Awesome Dat at https://github.com/dat-land/awesome-dat/blob/master/readme.m...


Dat is cool, but it's hardly "successful". Who is even using it other than Beaker and hobby projects.


Invisible Internet Project, i2p: https://geti2p.net.

Not sure if you would consider it successful though.


>Does anyone know of a successful server-based peer-to-peer project other than TOR and cryptocurrencies?

Gun is being used successfully by a number of companies and projects AFAIK. Internet Archive, Hackernoon, NotABug.io, DTube (maybe they aren't anymore, not sure).

It performs better than webrtc in some use cases too


It's merely federated, but IRC doesn't get mentioned enough.


e-hentai with H@H[1]

[1] https://ehwiki.org/wiki/Hentai@Home


> Does anyone know of a successful server-based peer-to-peer project other than TOR and cryptocurrencies?

Git


Great work! This is a good YouTube alternative I can get behind, however after reading a little bit I kind of frowned at this line on the plugin paragraph.

> You could also imagine plug-ins to sort videos in reverse alphabetical order, or to add a Tipee, Paypal or Patreon button below videos!

Please don't consider or be tempted by those three proprietary platforms, I would much rather prefer donating using Liberapay instead.

Other than this, PeerTube has got huge potential and I would love to know what content creators (on YT or HN) think of it.


Just because you prefer it doesn't mean others do or that you should only offer a single option because it's "better".

If I'm a creator and I've already got a Patreon userbase then forcing me to switch to another similar service just to use PeerTube is an unnecessary hurdle so I'll carry on the path of least resistance which is not using PeerTube.


I love Liberapay, but it suffers from its policy that donations need to be unambiguously donations. You can't have reward tiers or exclusive content.

That's a decision I respect, and I'm not saying it's a bad thing we have a pure donation platform. But I don't think Liberapay is a replacement for Patreon, because the economics and incentives for donations online are messy, and Liberapay doesn't help me navigate that mess.

I would love to have an Open donation platform that was more willing to get into that grey area between donations and purchases. Patreon isn't really that great of a platform, a replacement would be welcome.


The point for the plugin system is that someone could write those things. That also means you could easily write a Liberapay plugin.


Unfortunately, there is no alternative. Everybody uses PayPal or Stripe on the backend...


> Everybody uses PayPal or Stripe

Are you implying that there are literally no other payment platforms than ones that reduce to PayPal or Stripe?


Unfortunately yes. Look at Librepay's "How it works for creators" paragraph:

"We currently support processing payments through Stripe and PayPal."


I think you can add any plugin you want, which can include all kinds of payment buttons.


Perhaps reach out and let them know about it


Have you tried talking to universities or university video providers (e.g. Echo360)?

A lot of universities are part of networks (e.g., the one I teach at, UNE in Australia, is part of the Regional Universities Network.) So they seem to fit the pattern of organisations that produce and host a lot of videos (course videos), don't like YouTube (we sometimes get told off for putting course videos there) and are part of networks that might like federated access to each others' video collections (while we mostly produce our own - it's not tv it's a teaching course and students usually want to hear from their teachers - sometimes we'll want to include something like a guest talk from industry).

Universities may be less interested in the bittorrent streaming aspect (they already successfully stream video and don't face the ridiculous peaks in demand because most videos aren't public) but ActivityPub to be able to search selected videos from each others' repositories could be interesting.


I love this project and that is sets the focus on providing a video platform as its primary goal ignoring implementing monetizaion like crypto tokens etc. for now.

Many thanks to all the people who worked hard on getting PeerTube to what it is today.


In the space of distributed video platforms, I think Peertube has the right idea: Bitchute is gaining a lot of traction, but the core issue of centralized control remains. Distributed content delivery is not enough to prevent censorship and viewer manipulation. Federation will allow many platforms to proliferate and solves this problem.

I hope Peertube gains traction, but they're fighting an uphill battle when it comes to the centralized competition. The problem that PeerTube cannot solve is engagement and stability:

- Engagement: Unlike Youtube they cannot use a recommender system like for suggestions. Most Youtube views are from recommendations and related videos. - Stability: As a business or media outlet, I will link to a Youtube video but not a PeerTube video because I know Youtube will host it indefinitely.


> Stability: As a business or media outlet, I will link to a Youtube video but not a PeerTube video because I know Youtube will host it indefinitely.

If you want the video to stay up indefinitely (or at least as long as your company continues operating) you should probably host it yourself (e.g. on your own PeerTube instance), because YouTube might take it down whenever they feel like it.


I've started to see _engagement_ as a mal-feature. One thing I prefer about Mastodon is that its much less engaging than twitter, which is psychotically optimized to keep my eyeballs on it.


I wonder if a decentralized recommendation system is really impossible though. If it's possible to get a user to rate and classify a few videos along some dimensions, and made those classifications public, it might be possible to find other users who similarly classified those videos and recommend videos based on the ratings of those similar users. This would mitigate many attempts at censorship, though it probably worsens echo chamber issues.

Also, a new platform doesn't have to solve every problem with the old one to be an improvement. Decentralized content delivery with a centralized recommendation engine might still be enough to compete if centralized content delivery platforms screw up badly enough.


> Unlike Youtube they cannot use a recommender system like for suggestions. Most Youtube views are from recommendations and related videos.

Maybe they could recommend content by storing the content metadata/viewcounts/social graph in a FLOOD style network like Aether[1].

Then the content itself is just linked via an IPFS/DAT url within the metadata.

[1]: https://getaether.net/


>- Engagement: Unlike Youtube they cannot use a recommender system like for suggestions. Most Youtube views are from recommendations and related videos

I won't be missing yt's recommendations at all. If peertube can implement related videos only based on the current video and nothing else, that would be great though.


Recommender system could be content based


A major differentiator for PeerTube, if they are still doing the decentralized data route, is that content publishers control their content. I am curious if that is still the case with PeerTube, but it used to be 'Mastodon for Videos'. That means a central authority can't take down videos. A site like peertube.social can only ban certain videos from being shared through its site, or ban individual users, and perhaps keep a blacklist to share with other sites.

I find it interesting that the Madame Secretary episode I watched last night (from last week) dealt with the issue of deep fakes. Particularly how easy it is, if someone is willing to put in the time, to create and publish video showing someone doing/saying something they'd never do.

Decentralized trust and reputation metrics are going to be a big thing over the next decade.


This is one of the rare good fits for blockchain. You can get the hash of a video, or hash for each segment of a video, then store that hash in a blockchain transaction, which makes it publicly verifiable while also serving as a timestamp.

A news organization could have their own wallet that they're sending currency from which acts as a verifier that it's them, then they store a hash/s of their video on the blockchain. Then you could have a facebook/twitter player that checks the hash of shared news video clips and could display a lock icon and message that says something like this video is verified non tampered from the CNN source.


The work done is awesome. I’ll try it because the idea of self-hosting low traffic videos is interesting.

Besides, I can’t stand articles that use the so called écriture inclusive. Either they write in the accepted, standardized version of French or they fork it but don’t call it French.


Sprecaþ ᵹē Englisce? Language does evolve. English used to be a heavily inflected language with 5 grammatical cases and three grammatical genders, very free word order, negative concord, no do-insertion, etc.

And no matter how much AF wants people in France to say "fin de semaine", they won't. A language is defined by the body speaking it, and standards bodies can really only suggest things to them.


Languages evolve all the time, without the creation of a "fork" language.


So the only peer-related functionality is allowing a site to share videos with other sites? While I appreciate the project, this seems like a useless gadget to me.

If we want to fix the problems of Youtube we need a service that allows creators to independently make their own video distribution website as easily as creating a Wordpress blog today. It means something that just works without technical knowledge, while the creator has 100% freedom and responsibility about what is hosted.

The www is decentralized by nature, no need to reinvent crazy and complex things. We just need to be able to create a video-distribution-website as easily as a facebook page or a youtube channel.


peertube will not catch up unless someone creates an advertisement market place for PeerTube, so content creators can monetize their content outside YouTube

here's a startup idea for you all. :-)


I really like the platform, but I think it would shine even more with scalable video coding support, to the point that it would be a game-changer. Unfortunately, the issue was closed [1].

Do any of you know open source libraries, or documentation on SVC for mp4, VP9 or AV1? I don't think ffmpeg supports this at all, which is a shame.

[1]: https://github.com/Chocobozzz/PeerTube/issues/99


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scalable_Video_Coding

From what I can tell SVC adds lower resolution streams to the H264 bitstream so that devices with weaker decoders can still decode the video. This would increase, not decrease, the bandwidth.

>Do any of you know open source libraries, or documentation on SVC for mp4, VP9 or AV1

It appears to be defined as annex G in the H.264 (mpeg4 part 10) spec, so it's not available in VP9 or AV1.

The status quo is to use Adaptive Bitrate, where you publish streams at different quality levels and have the client choose which stream to use to adapt to network conditions.


> This would increase, not decrease, the bandwidth.

Not if that part of the stream isn't downloaded. It's quite easy to skip over some chunks in either HTTP (range) or bittorent.

> The status quo is to use Adaptive Bitrate, where you publish streams at different quality levels and have the client choose which stream to use to adapt to network conditions.

This works well if you have a good connection (uninterrupted, so that you can switch to adapt to the available bandwidth), however you cannot progressively load better and better quality content, as the low quality one will be wasted. Moreover, if the connection is interrupted, you cannot fall back to the low quality content, as you probably haven't downloaded it.

However, that's just wasteful, as it would "just" be a matter of presenting data in a manner that can be better chuncked. And for adaptative bitrate to work well, you need a reliable bandwidth estimate from the start...

Luckily, network infrastructure is improving everywhere. But that shouldn't be a reason to be that wasteful, especially given that a) most of Internet's bandwidth is dedicated to video b) it would lower transcoding energy costs as well c) if everyone gets the same file, it's much, much more effective for p2p, such as in that case (especially for a moderate number of viewers).

Edit:

> From what I can tell SVC adds lower resolution streams to the H264 bitstream so that devices with weaker decoders can still decode the video.

It's more like organizing the data so that some can be dropped, and it gracefully degrades quality (FPS, resolution...) instead of dropping some images. I tried to explain it with my own terms there: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17307277 before knowing the proper name.

Searching HN, I found https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18045494 which kind of answers my question.


Seems like cool tech, but not something that your average user would notice positively.


Do I understand it correctly, that the federation in this case means that I can watch video from site A on site B, while it's being hosted on A, meaning bandwidth cost for A and no ability to for instance suggest videos A hosts, show viewer advertisement, etc?

Not sure how would I like it if I hosted instance, paid storage and bandwidth costs while noone even visits my site and views all content on site with better SEO.


Federation in this case means that you can watch videos from site A on site B, simultaneously seeding it for other users, reducing bandwidth cost for A. This only happens if site B federates with site A, meaning that it lists videos A hosts in its catalog (a mild suggestion to maybe watch them). Site A would be unable to include ads, except by baking them into the videos or descriptions etc.

I'm pretty sure PeerTube isn't aiming to provide an easy way to host an ad-supported video site. They want to be an alternative to YouTube, not an exact equivalent. If you need money to produce or host videos, their current suggestion is to ask for it: https://joinpeertube.org/faq#what-is-peertube-s-remuneration...


I tried to play the about PeerTube video and selected 1080p and got about a second, then spent most of the time waiting while it buffered... very slowly (100-200KB/s), whereas YouTube 1080p is near-instant. I would have thought there (probably) most popular video should be well seeded, but I only see like 2 seeds on it.


I like the idea, peer to peer and decentralized, but it seems like the UX and UI should be the biggest problem of it by now.


Some people here said that Youtube has a good recomandation algorithm, this is weird because I stil get same video recommended and auto played even if I disliked it and trying to google "how to do X on youtube" just returns youtube results for your query not web results on how to fix youtube


Unfortunately, "normal people" are never going to use something like this in significant numbers.

We need a centralized video hosting website, with freedom of speech values, with huge funding, which markets to normal people.

The only way I see this happening is a single bored billionaire going for it.


We need centralized access for discovery, but distributed access for storage and accessing, as to spread the costs.

And then we need countless people on the internet to buy, install, maintain and replace the hardware that powers all of this.

That's not easy.


>with freedom of speech values

No thanks, I prefer to go to bars without Nazis.


Is there a search engine to look for content across all instances?


elephant in the room: how does this platform deal with DMCA requests, copyright violations, and content moderation.


That's a little bit like asking how nginx deals with DMCA requests.

It depends who's running the specific server running PeerTube.


Website allegedly claims that it can't take down user's content because it's decentralized, would the DMCA request go through to the individual user? I can see that being a problem with negligent people, I expect that the company would probably step in regardless and take down videos.


My problem with peertube is - if I install it and federate I'll have all sorts of illegal videos on my computer. Nazi propaganda, child porn, anything.

I'm not going to spend hours moderating that, and I certainly don't want to explain myself to police.

And if I don't federate it's basically less convenient ftp.


> These instances can chose to follow each other (this is called federating). For example, if the head of IT services of College X would like KarateTube videos to appear on CollegeTube, all she has to do is federate with KarateTube. KarateTube’s videos will remain on its server but students who are used to watching videos from CollegeTube will be able to see them.

It sounds like federation isn't an everything-or-nothing approach. You can federate with a specific instance that you trust, and even in that case, you won't host any videos on your device other than what you upload.

Would like to see confirmation, but it also seems like instances can follow in one-direction. IE, I could have a private server that follows no one, but allow other instances that want to include my public videos in their search results to follow me.

That assumes I understand the details correctly -- the FAQ is a tiny bit vague so maybe I'm misunderstanding.


can anyone tdlr peertube vs lbry?


Peertube is a feration protocol for YouTube-like video hosts to interact with eachother. Or more precisely, it's an implementation of ActivityPub, like Mastodon, focused on video hosting.

LBRY appears to be some kind of cryptocurrency thing. I don't know. Looks shady.


Thanks for the response, not sure why my request had been downvoted :/ I've used LBRY in the past, its decentralised video hosting as I understand it. But also allows for content producers to monetise their stuff. kauffj mentions it above - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21513640


It seems like they did not consider how they want peertubers to be able to monetize. On the contrary, it seems they have something against 'capturing your attention and selling it to Fanta'. I want this piece of work to be exhibit A in how staying inside your ideological bubble will ensure failure. I think it's especially sad since they used crowdfunded money so they aren't just failing on their own dime.


> It seems like they did not consider how they want peertubers to be able to monetize.

This is a valid point, the majority of [YouTube] creators want to earn money from their content, which would make PeerTube more appealing to creators big & small IMO.


Most of the YouTubers I follow have ads they embed themselves in their videos, sponsored content or patreons. I'm not sure the platform running ads is actually strictly needed. (+ of course it doesn't have replace YouTube to be valuable)

It'd be interesting if an instance could add them itself - I think doing it dynamically would mess with Webtorrent support?


Might work for bigger channels with a stable following. Which is great but they need to start somewhere. I have an old friend who owns a history channel on yt. History Hustle. His vids are quite good but he's no pro just kinda doing it on the side. He doesn't have any real kind of sponsorship aside of his one patreon and yt. I think a lot of guys started out this way too. But I remember how other friend bragging when he got like a few euro through it. I think that inspired it. I don't know how that kind of thing would work without the yt model.


Here's the relevant FAQ entry for that: https://joinpeertube.org/faq#what-is-peertube-s-remuneration...


paraphrasing: 'Getting compensated for your efforts is politically contentious, so we won't help you. But hey, we're open sourcey and stuff, so you can do it yourself. toodleydoo :) '

Look I don't really want this to fail. Would be great if streaming a video would no longer mean sending free money across the ocean. But they will have to change their attitude just a tiny bit.




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