[BitTorrent] Questions from content distributor POV

John Reuning john at metalab.unc.edu
Wed Oct 13 14:50:45 EDT 2004

I'm working on a project to develop web application software to
facilitate content distribution via bittorrent.  There have been several
discussions on the list regarding this problem, with several solutions. 
The goal is to integrate a bittorrent tracker and a large-scale search &
browse system.

Here's the project site, which includes rough documentation and
somewhat-working code in phpdocumentor output:


>From a content distributor's outlook, BT is well-suited for large files
such as cd/dvd images or bundled files.  My two main problems to solve
are 1) helping people find what's available and 2) permanently seeding
content into bittorrent.  Bittorrent is wonderful, but most tracker
software isn't designed like a catalog system.  Also, when seeds go
away, content becomes unavailable.  I'd like to make available a few TB
of data.

So, on to my questions:

- The web seed feature is interesting for permanent seeding, but not all
clients support it.  How feasible is a portal application whose contact
information could be given by the tracker to clients if no complete
copies of the content exist among the peers?

- How useful would inter-tracker peer sharing be for creating bittorrent
tracker clusters for enormous swarms?  Some have said that client
communication with 30-100 peers is best.  But if the tracker had access
to several thousand peers for a torrent, could it better allocate a
seed/leecher combination to the clients?

Many thanks,

-John R.

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