Let it be noted that at 6:27 a.m. EST on December 10, 2005 I downloaded my first BitTorrent file, an MP3 of Lawrence Lessig and friends talking about Google Print. Sad thing is I’m not sure what it is that I’ve done, and it seems to be going pretty slowly so far. As always, any enlightenment about what I may have wrought would be appreciated…
Tollie Williams (tollie.org) says
BitTorrent is a distributed method of file-sharing, most commonly used for files much bigger than Triangulation Podcast you downloaded.
Torrents download slowly at first but speed up later because of the “sharing is good” algorithm built into the system. In other words, once you’ve downloaded part of the torrent file you begin “seeding” what parts you have others. The more parts of the file you seed, the more people who will share their parts of the file with you. This saves bandwidth for the server sharing the original file and when many people are “seeding” the speeds are often faster than the regular server would be anyways.
PS. The show you downloaded is hosted by Leo Laporte and John Dvorak, with Lawrence Lessig as their guest for this episode.
John Pederson says
I just started a draft post about stepping out of the “echo chamber”, flipped back to NetNewsWire, and learned that we both had our first BitTorrent experience, with same file, within 12 hours of eachother.
I worry about the echo. On the other hand, the fact that we are all learning together, having these experiences, and building this community completely blows my mind. We do need more voices though.
Tom Hoffman says
BitTorrent is often slower than a regular download, if demand for the file is not high. This is, of course, the opposite of the normal situation.