[Theora] BitTorrent

Ralph Giles giles
Fri Jun 25 10:51:00 PDT 2004

On Fri, Jun 25, 2004 at 10:21:34AM -0500, John Kintree wrote:

> It seems like more efficient file transfer technology may be about as
> important to bringing video production and distribution to the masses as more
> efficient video compression.

Absolutely. At least until terabytes of transfer become a normal amount of
monthly traffic. Even then, one can argue that P2P distribution models
are worthwhile for their more efficient use of bandwidth. Bittorrent is
hugely important for the low-budget distribution of media files.

> I'm wondering how much of a difference BitTorrent made in the downloads of the
> theora sample files.  Is there a record of the number of downloads that were
> made, and the number of Gbytes that were sent from the server with BitTorrent
> compared with the number of of Gbytes that would have been sent without
> BitTorrent?

I don't have great statistics on the launch torrents. Download counts are
(probably temporarily) available from the tracker itself at
http://westfish.xiph.org:7000/ Those 998 completed downloads correspond
to 197 GB of data. Downloads of the torrent files themselves used 23 MB.
I don't have a data on how much transfer the tracker itself used, but I
think the rule of thumb is 10^-3 of the download.

However, this wasn't a great demonstration as we rarely had more than 10
simultaneous downloaders, and we were providing a fair fraction of the
seeds ourselves (thanks everyone!) BT doesn't really come into its own
until you have thousands of simultaneous downloaders. If you count the
seed bandwidth I doubt we saved more than a factor of 2 or 3.


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