On Monday, Bittorrent inc attempted to go legit. The company launched the “Bittorrent Entertainment Network” a service with a number of movies and TV shows available for download, at a cost. That’s right, imagine using Bittorrent and paying money for the privilege.
Now anyone that uses Bittorrent is probably a downloader of some sort of illegally copyright material, be it albums, TV shows or movies. I know there are lots of other things to download, but these seem to be the main three that take up all that bandwidth. In fact, I have read (and it is probably speculation) that Bittorrent is now the most used application on the Internet, surpassing both email and surfing of the Worldwide webski. Maybe not in terms of numbers, but I can certainly see it being the case in terms of bandwidth.
So with all that in mind, what would make you pay for content over the sometimes hit-and-miss experience of bittorrent? When i say hit and miss, I mean there are people I know who don’t know a thing about opening ports on their router, are getting speeds of 5-10k and actually think this is the way it is. And then you have ISP’s that throttle ports, because they came to the conclusion long ago that Bittorrent=illegal. It can be that big a strain on an ISP’s bandwidth.
Well I know I would pay for extremely high definition content, delivered faster than ever before, that I could watch wherever I want, whenever I want, using whatever media player I want. Is this new dealie offering any of these things? Ok just one of these things? Remember I’m willing to pay?? no, no no.
First of all the format is WMV. My media player of choice (VLC) doesn’t always like that, so that doesn’t help. You can’t burn that format to a disc and stick it in a DVD player, so that restricts you to your computer monitor, which isn’t ideal. It has DRM, which means you can’t share it with your mates and loved ones, and finally the quality doesn’t seem very hi-def, and that is going by the file sizes of the Arrested Development episodes that I spotted going for $1.99 each.
Another thing I expect from legitimacy is speed. I use Azureus has my bittorrent client, and it comes with this content ‘thing’ called Zudeo. all the content there can be browsed and downloaded from within Azureus, and one thing I can guarntee is that it will come faster than superman on his honeymoon. My average bittorrent speed is somewhere in the 300kbps, but Zudeo trailers and short movies can zip to me at 450kbps, sometimes hitting the 500’s.
I tried to download a free episode of Mariposa HD from the Bittorrent Entertainment Network, and it was coming at 20-30kbps, and I got bored and cancelled the download.
The second craziest thing about the BEN, as Michael Jackson would call it, is that the movies expire within 24 hours of the viewer pressing play. This seems excessive. What’s wrong with seven days?
But the number one crazy thing about this service is more related to the nature of Bittorrent itself. They want you, yes you, to share the movie with your own bandwidth. Now I read recently that people downloading large files from servers isn’t the future, but neither is this. you can’t expect people to seed files that long expired on their own machines, just for the benefit of some other sucker who stumped up $1.99. For all these reasons, I say this service is dead on its feet. Look, even the porn is overpriced!! (So I’m told, by those who purchase the stuff)