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Thursday, April 14, 2005  

People are always singing the praises of Bit Torrent to me, and I have mostly ignored them since I haven’t had much luck with this new wave in file sharing. For those unclear on “BT” it is a way to share large files across the internet. Without getting into the technical aspects (see here for more info) Bit Torrent spreads the bandwidth burden among many different “nodes” as opposed to just the guy that HAS the file and the guy that WANTS the file (like a typical peer-to-peer solution like Kazaa or Limewire.) It is ideally suited for large files that are “time sensitive” (because the more popular a file is the faster it will download) and so has found its niche in distributing TV and Movie content. I know people who have whole “DVR” setups that revolve around RSS feeds and Bit Torrent that will automatically download the TV shows they watch each week.

I’ve only dabbled in BT, and mostly to download audio bootlegs of concerts. The few times I’ve tried to deal w/ video content from BT I’ve been stymied by slow-speeds, huge-files, weird video codecs, and poor software. But on Sunday my aging TiVo failed to record Arrested Development and Julie and I were hard-up for the weekly exploits of the Bluth Family so I turned to BT to get my fix. It took me most of an evening btu I finally got the client running, found a .torrent for the episode we missed, downloaded it, got the necessary video codecs and software installed, and got the powerbook connected to the TV (though I was missing the cable necessary for the stereo connection.)

So, it worked, but I’m a little sad to say the whole process become a bit of an obsession. I wasn’t about to let any of the many stumbling blocks that cropped up during the whole procedure stop me from getting that show downloaded. I’m still having some difficulty with getting my router configured to fully work w/ bit torrent (like my TiVo the router is on its last legs.) The good news is with some more work this whole Bit Torrent thing might solve the whole “Gilmore Conundrum” and allow Julie and I to catch-up on three seasons before the 6th season begins in the fall.

Anybody have any luck with BT? Any favorite apps, tricks, or hacks? Best tracker sites?

posted by JMV | 4/14/2005 11:32:00 AM
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