22 July 2008

The Acceptable Face of P2P

Despite attempts to demonise P2P, the technology is thriving. And no wonder: it's such an efficient way of sharing bits. Good, then, to see some "official" development of the idea in the form of P2P-Next - funded in part by the EU - to apply P2P to live video streaming.

Now you can download the SwarmPlayer, too:

Peer-to-peer (P2P) technology has proven to be an effective way to distribute a video among many users. This can be done in three ways:

* Download the video, and watch it afterwards (typical BitTorrent behaviour)
* Watch the video while downloading it (Video-on-Demand, Vuze and Joost)
* Watch the video while it is being generated (web-cams, live TV broadcasts, etc)

Our research focusses on combining all these modes of video streaming into a single solution by merging them into the BitTorrent protocol. This allows a single player to download movies, watch video-on-demand, and watch live video streams using one technology, while taking advantage of the popularity and maturity of existing BitTorrent clients.

We have completed our SwarmPlayer software to support these streaming modes, but require an audience to test it on. After all, P2P technology is designed to support thousands of users, and to properly test this, many users have to watch the same video at the same time.

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